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Evergreen Park surges past Richmond-Burton

Updated: January 3, 2013 1:27AM



Evergreen Park’s playoff rematch with Richmond-Burton took a year to come around. It only seemed like it took that long for Brandon White’s last pass Saturday to come down.

“Yeah, it was in the air for a minute,” the Mustangs quarterback said. “(Jonathan Karstrand) had to wait for it. But I knew he was going to catch it.”

Little was certain at Richmond-Burton ­— even after Karstrand, slowed practically to a stop, hauled in White’s floating, 29-yard touchdown pass with 51.5 seconds to play in what would become a 34-27 Mustangs win in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Richmond-Burton’s last-ditch effort to tie — a snap that came with no time on the clock after an Evergreen Park penalty on the previous play — ended with three Rockets touching the ball and the last, quarterback Daniel Rygiel, being forced out of bounds at the two-yard line.

With the win, seventh-seeded Evergreen Park (8-3) advances to a quarterfinal next weekend against No. 5 Brooks. The Mustangs have never advanced beyond the quarterfinals, where the Rockets ended their season a year ago.

Richmond-Burton (7-4) took a 19-7 lead into halftime, with 162 yards rushing to the Mustangs’ 28. But the Mustangs hadn’t helped themselves, a White interception and a Jacquet McClendon fumble on a kickoff return leading to two of the Rockets’ three first-half scores.

“I figured I had to shake it off,” McClendon said. “It’s the playoffs. We didn’t want to go home.”

Five snaps into the second half, McClendon, who’d already had a 17-yard touchdown catch-and-run, went 75 yards with another short pass for his second TD. Evergreen Park went ahead 20-19 20 seconds into the fourth quarter on White’s 79-yard keeper.

White (20 carries, 175 yards) added a 32-yard TD as Evergreen Park went up 27-19 with 8:56 to play, but Richmond-Burton tied it with 4:54 remaining on a 36-yard reverse by Adam Kinsella (13 carries, 94 yards), one of three Rockets with at least 90 yards rushing.



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