MERCED — Daniel Silva's teammates were rushing the field as soon as the ball was kicked.
The junior had missed a good portion of the season with an injury after kicking the tee at the Downey game, but was back in the lineup on Friday night for Merced's biggest kick of the season.
His extra point came on the heels of a Bradley Adamson 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal, allowing Merced to escape crosstown rival Golden Valley with a 14-13 Mayor's Cup victory at Veterans Stadium.
"I'm just happy to get a win," said Merced coach Rob Scheidt, whose team improved to 7-3 and possibly secured a home game in the first round of the playoffs. "You have to give Golden Valley credit. They came out and fought.
"We didn't do ourselves a lot of favors offensively with penalties and turnovers, but fortunately we were able to find a way to come out on top."
The game remained very much in doubt until the final kick.
Golden Valley struck first in overtime.
Rashawn Vance would not be denied on his final carry of the night, dragging a couple defenders into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal at from the two.
The senior left it all on the field in his final high school game, carrying 48 times for 239 yards and the score.
It wasn't enough, though.
Desi Villanueva's extra point was blocked opening the door for the Bears (4-1 Central California Conference).
The GV defense, which was more porous than a sponge in a loss to Pitman the week before, almost got it done in OT.
The Cougars (0-5 CCC, 3-7) forced a fourth-and-goal at the 1, but Adamson was able to dive in on a sweep to tie the game. Silva sealed the victory with his extra point.
"We've run that play a few times," said Adamson. "We've had some success. We practice it a lot for those kinds of situations."
It was a tough loss for GV to stomach after it should probably have won in regulation.
Merced needed just five plays to score on its opening possession, with Eli Gutierrez running in from 33 yards out.
The Cougar defense stiffened up after that and the GV offense moved the ball efficiently. Unfortunately, the red zone offense wasn't sharp.
The Cougars missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs at the Merced 9-yard line in the first half. They had a field goal blocked and fumbled in the end zone in the third quarter.
Andre Bodiker (8 catches for 193 yards) finally got them on the board with an 87-yard TD reception from Ridge Bertuccio on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"It's just disappointing because I wanted something good for these guys to end the season," GV head coach Dennis Stubbs said. "I thought we outplayed them and deserved the win."
The Merced High Bears celebrate the win over Golden Valley with the Mayor's Cup.
Golden Valley High's Ridge Bertuccio grabs a quarterback throwback from Andre Bodiker.
Merced Keith Bolden hauls in a big catch against Golden Valley.
Golden Valley High's Andre Bodiker makes an interceptions in the end zone against Merced.