They trotted on the field with 3 minutes, 3 seconds on the clock.
They needed 60 yards in a hurry, against a stiff wind, or their season would be over.
"Never a doubt," Shawnee senior running back Dan Wigley said of the mindset in the Renegades' huddle.
Shawnee junior quarterback Colin Wetterau was even more emphatic.
"It was like, 'Bring it on,' " Wetterau said.
Shawnee went 60 yards in eight plays, forced overtime and emerged with a 35-34 victory in the extra session in a pulse-pounding battle with Clearview Friday night in the first round of the South Jersey Group 4 tournament.
"I was saying before the game, 'I hope we don't get into one of those 33-32 shootouts,' " Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said. "Some people might say we escaped. I would say we persevered.
"These kids, they refuse to lose. They just never quit."
The victory advanced Shawnee (8-1), the No. 3 seed, to meet defending champion Timber Creek (9-0), the No. 2 seed, in next Friday's sectional semifinals.
But the site of the game is in contention. Shawnee officials believe that since the NJSIAA has admitted that a "mistake" was made in the seeding that the Renegades should host the game since they should have been the No. 2 seed at the start of the tournament.
"We're going to push for that," Gushue said.
Shawnee athletic director Rich Dodd said he planned to reach out to NJSIAA officials on Saturday in hopes of convincing them to move the site of the game to Shawnee.
"We think they should change the seeds since they admitted a mistake was made," Dodd said.
The loss was devastating to sixth-seeded Clearview (6-3), which was on the brink of just the second playoff victory in program history.
Several Clearview players fell to their knees when Shawnee kicker Rich Demko's extra point after the Renegades' touchdown in overtime clinched the victory for the home team.
Clearview quarterback/defensive back Jarett Baker fought back tears in describing his team's effort.
"I'm so proud of these guys," said Baker, who ran 18 times for 168 yards and a touchdown, threw a touchdown pass and set up Clearview's go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with an interception.
Clearview also got great work from senior running back Gyair Sharper, who scored a pair of touchdowns, and many others in toe-to-toe battle with the No. 6 team in the Inquirer Top 25 rankings.
"We fought and we battled," Clearview coach Mark Deal said. "It was one of those games, a play here, a play there."
Clearview drove 68 yards after Baker's interception to take a 28-21 lead. Baker broke loose for 27 yards on the drive and crashed into the end zone fronm two yards out with 3:11 to play.
Senior Shawn Levondosky returned the kickoff 36 yards to the 40, and the Renegades trotted on the field with their season on the line.
"I told them at halftime, 'You've been in tough games all season,' " Gushue said.
Hard running by Wigley and junior Ryan Parris moved Shawnee into Clearview territory. Levondosky made a leaping catch of a Wetterau pass for a 16-yard gain, and Wigley finished the drive with a bruising 13-yard run into the end zone with 0:33 on clock.
"The guy's a tank," Wetterau said of Wigley.
Clearview scored a touchdown in overtime on Jacob Welischek's 2-yard run. But the Pioneers didn't convert the extra point.
That opened the door for Shawnee, and Wigley ripped off gains of eight and 10 yards, and Wetterau finished the drive with his third quarterback sneak for touchdown.
Demko's fifth extra point popped the cork on a Shawnee celebration.
"It was so exciting," Wigley said. "I haven't played an overtime game in my whole career in high school. This was just huge."
Clearview 14 0 0 14 6 - 34
Shawnee 0 14 7 7 7 - 35
C: James Vargo 34 run (Christian Hagans kick)
S: Colin Wetterau 1 run (Rick Demko kick)
C: Gyair Sharper 69 run (Hagans kick)
S: Shawn Levondosky 7 pass from Wetterau (Demko kick)
S: Wetterau 1 run (Demko kick)
C: Sharper 13 pass from Jarett Baker (Hagans kick)
C: Baker 2 run (Hagans kick)
S: Dan Wigley 13 run (Dembko kick)
C: Jacob Welischek 2 run (run fail)
S: Wetterau 1 run (Demko kick)