TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — School soccer’s first nationwide championship rematch was even higher than the unique, with an unimaginable twist on the finish.
Deshaun Watson and Clemson dethroned the champs and have become the primary workforce to beat Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty in a nationwide title recreation, taking down the highest-ranked Crimson Tide 35-31 Monday night time within the School Soccer Playoff.
Watson discovered Hunter Renfrow for a 2-yard landing cross with a second remaining to offer the Tigers their first nationwide championship since 1981. A yr after Alabama gained its fourth title beneath Saban with a forty five-forty basic in Arizona, Clemson closed the deal and denied the Tide an unprecedented fifth championship in eight seasons.
The lead modified palms 3 times within the fourth quarter, however Watson obtained the ball final. Probably enjoying in his last school recreation, the junior quarterback threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns. In two video games towards Alabama and probably the most ferocious protection in school soccer, Watson has thrown for 825 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns.
Coach Dabo Swinney, the native Alabaman and former Crimson Tide stroll-on receiver, has constructed an elite program at Clemson that was lacking just one factor. Now the Tigers can examine that field, too.
“Eight years in the past we got down to put Clemson again on prime,” stated Swinney, who can flip postgame interviews right into a rousing sermon. “We got here up a bit of brief final yr, however as we speak on prime of the mountain, the Clemson flag is flying.”
After three quarters of vicious hits and tight protection, Tigers-Tide II ended up wanting lots like the primary assembly when the groups mixed for forty factors within the fourth quarter.
Clemson took its first lead when Watson discovered Mike Williams for a four-yard landing a minute into the fourth quarter to make it 24-21.
The Tigers took a 28-24 lead with four:38 left within the fourth quarter when Wayne Gallman surged in from a yard out.
The Tide’s offense, which had gone dormant for a lot of the second half, got here to life with the assistance of a candy name from newly promoted offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Receiver ArDarius Stewart took a backward move from Jalen Hurts and fired a strike to O.J. Howard for twenty-four yards.
On the subsequent play, Hurts broke free from a collapsing pocket and weaved his means via defenders for a 30-yard landing run to make it 31-28 with 2:07 left.
Greater than sufficient time for Watson.
“I used to be calm,” Watson stated. He stated he considered Vince Younger’s final-second landing…