Everything looked right. The storybook ending would send the underdog Monacan Chiefs to their first-ever appearance in a State Football Championship game.
Except for one small detail, and one heads-up play by Lake Taylor.
Monacan blocked a would-be game-winning 23-yard Titan field goal attempt in the final seconds of the 4A South Region Championship Friday in Norfolk, and promptly began their celebration. But in the euphoria of the moment, the players forgot something.
The whistle didn't blow.
The ball never crossed the line of scrimmage, and Marquise Poole scooped up the live ball and went into the end zone. Final score: Lake Taylor 19, Monacan 14.
Never has celebration turned into heartache quicker.
Monacan finishes its best season since 1985 at 11-3.
"To lose it like that, it's frustrating, it's sucks. But that's the rules of the game," said Monacan Head Coach Jim Henderson after the game to NBC12.
Freshman quarterback Syour Flood passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns.