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Woodbury tops East Ridge 35-34 in double-overtime thriller

Woodbury quarterback Sawyer Moon (3) and fellow Royals celebrate their 35-34 win over rival East Ridge Friday. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker1 / 3
Woodbury players hoisted the Golden Griffin Trophy Friday after defeating East Ridge. The trophy goes to the annual winner of the rivarly. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 3
East Ridge quarterback Brandon Johnson cuts toward the sideline Friday during the Royals' 35-34 double-overtime win. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker3 / 3

If the Woodbury-East Ridge matchup hasn't developed into one of the area's premier rivalries, someone forgot to tell the players and fans at Friday's game.

On the final play in the game's second overtime, crowds on both sides of Royals Stadium roared, waiting to see whether East Ridge's two point-conversion attempt would seal the win or end in defeat for the visiting Raptors after drawing the game to 34-35.

The two-point attempt was stuffed by the Royals and returned the rivalry's the Golden Griffin Trophy back into Woodbury possession. As Royals players celebrated the win - their third of the year - Woodbury fans stormed the field to join in.

"It's a huge win," Woodbury coach Andy Hill said after the game. "Especially because it's a huge win for our kids."

The victory improves Woodbury's season mark to 3-1 (3-1 Suburban East Conference). The loss was the second in as many weeks for the Raptors, dropping them to 1-3 on the season (1-3 SEC).

East Ridge coach Mike Pendino harbored no regrets after going for the two-point conversion. The call came after both teams entered overtime looking to unlock a 21-21 tie.

The Raptors drew first blood in overtime, opening up a 28-21 lead. Woodbury answered the call and tied the game at 28-28 and sent it into the second overtime.

The Royals had the first crack in second overtime and scored on its first opportunity when quarterback Sawyer Moon connected with running back Quran Al-Hameed in the end zone.

East Ridge answered on their ensuing possession. But instead of going for the tie, Pendino went for the win.

"We're going for it at that point," he said after the game. "We'll live to fight another day."

Look for more on the story in the Bulletin's Sept. 28 print edition.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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