Twelve seconds.

That's what stood between the Holy Spirit football team and overtime.

Twelve seconds.

But as the Spartans' Dante Daniel said, "Playmakers make plays," and 12 ticks on Kean University's scoreboard was all it took for Mater Dei's George Pearson to Kyle Devaney to Eddie Lewis.

Three playmakers, making one big play.

And as a result, Holy Spirit fell to the Seraphs in heartbreaking fashion, 26-20, in the South Jersey Non-Public 2 final on Saturday afternoon.

"Last year they had a bad taste in their mouth the way the season ended," Holy Spirit coach A.J. Russo said. "This year they came back hungry and motivated the rest of the team and they set the tone for the future. That's what I'll think about the most. How hard those kids played - the 15 seniors - and what they'll do for us moving forward."

With the score knotted at 20 and the ball at midfield, Pearson, Mater Dei's quarterback, threw to Devaney on the left sideline, who then lateraled the ball to Lewis, who somehow found the end zone amid a sea of Spartans defenders.

"It happens," Daniel said. "It is like the NFL - you never know what is going to happen in a game. It's just something where playmakers make plays and that was all that happen today. We couldn't do anything about it."

The dramatic finish was shocking, especially considering how the contest started.

Mater Dei (12-0) went 67 yards on its first play from scrimmage, as Pearson threw to Lewis on the right sideline. No one could catch him and suddenly the Spartans (9-3) were in a 7-0 hole. The margin grew two possessions later when Pearson connected with Izaiah Henderson on a 17-yard play.

The Spartans, who trailed, 20-6, at the half, bounced back, relying on the strong running of Reggie Jean-Charles. But the senior wasn't the only playmaker.

No, those were on defense - and special teams.

James Marcheski had a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown that tied the game at 20.

And then there was Cade Antonucci's squib kick recovered by Malachi Valentine to give Holy Spirit a first and 10 at the Mater Dei 30.

Five minutes later, the Spartans got an interception from Ahmad Brown.

It all happened in the final 6 minutes, 26 seconds.

"It was exciting," Russo said. "Just wish we took advantage of it, though. We got the ball inside the 25 and weren't able to take advantage of it."

Mater Dei 13 7 0 6 - 26

Holy Spirit 0 6 7 7 - 20

MD: Eddie Lewis 67 pass from George Pearson (Roan Maxwell kick)

MD: Izaiah Henderson 17 pass from Pearson (Kick failed)

HS: Reggie Jean-Charles 8 run (Rush failed)

MD: Marvin Pierre 26 pass from Pearson (Maxwell kick)

HS: Jean-Charles 11 run (Cade Antonucci kick)

HS: James Marcheski 36 fumble return (Antonucci kick)

MD: Lewis 45 run Kyle Devaney 5 pass from Pearson (Kick failed) @ka_harman