Four years ago it was Blake Plattsmier handing the ball off to Beau Bickel. Friends since childhood, the two played every sport together: football, baseball, basketball.
But on Friday, it was Bickel who put an end to his friend's high school career. Bickel, who transferred to Galena following his freshman year at Carson, connected on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Shutt to give the Grizzlies an upset victory over the very players that he shed sweat and blood for just a few years ago.
"I know all these guys," Bickel said. "It was just a big game, just emotions. We're friends, enemies. I just felt like it was a big game for the team and also me."
Bickel would be on the sideline as Dylan Sawyers was tackled 5-yards away from tying the game and forcing a second overtime. As the Galena players and coaches rushed the field, it was Bickel's former teammates that nearly melted to the turf in disbelief. But the emotions that he stewed up from Carson, paled in comparison to feeling of moving the Grizzlies into the Northern 4A championship game next week.
"I'm a Galena guy now, so I've got to go for Galena," Bickel said.
Had Bickel remained at Carson, it is likely he wouldn't have been throwing the ball at all.
"When I knew him, he wasn't even really playing quarterback," Plattsmier said. "He started playing quarterback at Galena and he started doing a really good job. He's a really good player."
He showed the poise of a quarterback in overtime. After throwing for just 32 yards and two interceptions on eight attempts, he showed the skills of a running back as he eluded a sack and found Shutt in the front of the end zone, tucked in between two defenders.
"I just knew that I had to make a big play, it's third down and we don't want to get a field goal in the first overtime," Bickel said. "I just kind of broke a tackle and I saw Shutt was wide open and he caught it and it was a great catch on two guys."
As far as the Senators were concerned, Friday wasn't supposed to be the day they were defeated by a former teammate. It was supposed to be the day they achieved 10 wins for the first time ever. It was supposed to be a rematch with Reed, who defeated McQueen 28-21. And most importantly, it wasn't supposed to the be the end of the line for 23 seniors.
Those seniors got their laughs in early on Bickel.
Josh Peacock grabbed an easy interception in the end zone during the first quarter when Bickel tried to throw a fade route to Shutt that was well covered.
In the second quarter, Erik Roberson stripped the ball out of Bickel's hands that gave the Grizzlies a 17-yard loss after they recovered the ball.
Luke Carter got a hold of Bickel for a sack in the fourth quarter and even junior Connor Beattie got in on the mix, sacking him on a cornerback blitz and then picking him off later in the quarter.
But through all the adversity, Bickel was able to shake off the errors and the Carson defense.
"I just didn't let that get to me, I forgot about it," Bickel said. "I knew we were in the game, defense was playing great. I knew we still had a chance especially after that missed field goal."
Carson's Ean Witter missed a 38-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game.
When asked if he wished Bickel was still on the team, Plattsmier didn't have to search too far to find an answer.
"I wouldn't change a thing," he said. "Everything happens for a reason. People got to do what they got to do."