ANDOVER — Jake Shope caught a pass from quarterback Kaden Hoefer over the middle with 11 seconds left and ran into the endzone to give Goddard a 17-13 win over Andover Friday.
The touchdown pass was Hoefer's second of the game, and wiped out a Trojan touchdown less than a minute earlier.
Andover (2-6) will now look to keep its season alive in the 5A state playoffs.
"I just told the kids how tough the AVCTL is," Cade Armstrong, AHS head coach, said. "Every team in our league is about the same, so it is a battle week-in and week-out. We are battle-tested. [The kids] are ready to see a 6-2 team or a 7-1 team.
I just want to keep their spirits up. Losing a game like this is really tough, and that has kind of been the way this season has gone. But the kids have stuck together and I couldn't be prouder. A lot of teams that go through this can self-destruct, and they've came together more. It is pretty impressive."
Andover led 3-0 at the half. The first touchdown wasn't scored until the 9:41 mark in the fourth quarter when Hoefer found Soren Carr to put Goddard up 7-3.
A David Kemp field goal cut the lead to 7-6 with 7:28 left.
Goddard countered with their own field goal drive to make it 10-6 with 2:36 left.
The ensuing touchdown drive by the Trojans was sparked by a long reception by Peyton Henry down the right sideline from quarterback Ashton Ngo.
"We had been getting man coverage all night and we knew that is what their defense relied on," Armstrong said. "I had a play in my back pocket, our running back was playing wide receiver because we wanted speed. We just ran a wheel route and that got us going."
With 44 seconds left, Ngo punched the ball in from inside the 10-yard-line to put the home team back on-top 13-10.
The celebration was short-lived, however. Thanks to tough catches in traffic by Goddard's Carter Morrow and Carr, the Lions moved deep into Trojan territory — within striking distance for the Hoefer-Shope connection.
The loss drops Andover to 2-6 at the end of the regular season. Goddard improved to 3-5 in 4A.
The first round of the 5A state playoffs is set for Nov. 1.