LITTLE ROCK Dorian Evans cradled the ball in his arms postgame, and he made it clear, he wasn't letting it go.
"I'm going to sleep with it tonight," he said.
Evans might as well, he didn't let the ball go when it mattered.
With no time left in the game, Evans caught a 30-yard, Hail Mary pass from quarterback Shaquille Hunter and with it secured Junction City's third Class 2A state title in five seasons with a 27-26 victory over Bearden in War Memorial Stadium.
The almost didn't happen after the Dragons' (14-1) quarterback was forced to run and tackled inbounds with less than 15 seconds left. After some confusion, Hunter was able to get the offense set and spike the ball with 00.9 seconds left.
Hunter said that while the scene before the play was crazy, the play itself was run by-design.
The last-second touchdown came at the end of a five-play drive that began with 53 seconds left on the clock. Hunter ran for 31 yards on the first play to the Bears' (12-3) 36 to essentially put Junction City in position for the final pass.
Hunter and Evans' heroics were necessary after Bearden quarterback ran for a 35-yard touchdown with 53 seconds left on 4th and 8. The team's ensuing two-point conversion was no good.
After Junction City led 7-0 at halftime, the game featured three touchdowns in the final 3:30.
Read more about this game in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.