Smoky Valley was down 21-0 at one point Thursday night against Abilene, but perservered and sent the Class 4A District 15 finale into not one, but two overtimes.
Unfortunately, the Vikings came up short of making the playoffs, as they fell 49-42.
“We were fighting from behind all night,” Smoky Valley coach Chris Hattabaugh said, “but the kids made a heck of an effort to get it to overtime.”
The Cowboys jumped ahead after a pair of short-yardage touchdowns by Tanner Hoekman and a 35-yard run by Trey Bender.
Ethan Loder got the Vikings on the board with 90 seconds left in the opening quarter with a 69-yard pass to Matt Guerrero.
Loder pulled Smoky Valley (7-2, 1-2 District 5) to within a touchdown with 2:53 to go before the half after he connected with Jarod DeMott for 23 yards.
Abilene scored once in the third, but the Vikings responded with a 14-7 fourth quarter that tied it up at 35-35, sending the game into overtime.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime period.
The Cowboys, however, scored on a short run in the second overtime and then intercepted Smoky Valley in the end zone to end the game and send the Cowboys to the playoffs.
Abilene (5-4, 2-1) opens the playoffs Tuesday at Goodland, who won District 16.