With less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half, Woodbury senior Anthony Averett intercepted a pass and raced down the left sideline, seemingly en route to the end zone.
His best friend, Glassboro senior Corey Clement, stopped him with a one-arm tackle at the 8-yard line.
But it was a temporary stop.
Averett led a fourth-quarter Woodbury rally that produced a 14-13 victory over Glassboro in a thrilling South Jersey Group 1 semifinal on Saturday.
Averett, a University of Alabama recruit who competed with an "A" patch under his left eye, carried the football 20 times for 126 yards but made the game's biggest plays with his arm: throwing a 31-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Daevon Ayers and then a two-point conversion pass to Ayers with 3 minutes, 1 second on the clock.
"We knew somebody was going to lose," Averett said of the matchup with Clement, a University of Wisconsin recruit. "It was a great game."
Second-seeded Woodbury (10-1) advanced to face top-seeded Penns Grove (11-0) in the South Jersey Group 1 final Saturday morning at Rowan University. Penns Grove advanced Saturday with a 53-6 win over Paulsboro.
Clement ended the game with tears in his eyes. He blamed himself for a lost fumble on a pitchout with 2:01 left on a play that began with Glassboro on the Woodbury 41-yard line.
"It's all my fault," Clement said. "It's sad that it's my last game and I fumbled it. I wish I could rewind it."
The fumble, recovered by Woodbury's Ty Brown, began with a pitch that appeared to hit Clement in the shoulder pads.
"If I touch it, I should have it," Clement said.
Clement carried the ball 32 times for 162 yards and both touchdowns for third-seeded Glassboro (9-2). He finished his season with 2,328 yards and his career with a South Jersey-record 6,250 yards, the fourth-highest total in state history.
Clement's second touchdown, a 1-yard run, gave Glassboro a 13-6 lead with 6:54 left. But after a penalty, the Bulldogs missed the extra point.
Averett led the Thundering Herd down the field. His 8-yard gain on fourth and 1 kept the drive alive, and his touchdown pass to Ayers split two Glassboro defenders at the 5.
On the two-point conversion, Averett looked for receivers in the end zone, then dumped a push pass to Ayers, who stumbled near the goal line and tumbled into the end zone.
"Those are two special kids," Woodbury coach Zach Valentine said of Averett and Clement. "You knew they both were going to give everything they had to win."
Glassboro 0 7 0 6 – 13
Woodbury 6 0 0 8 – 14
W: Daevon Martin 19 run (pass failed)
G: Corey Clement 28 run (Aaron Crispin kick)
G: Clement 1 run (kick failed)
W: Daevon Ayers 31 pass from Anthony Averett (Ayers pass from Averett)