Dennis Stubbs put the game in the hands of his defense.
His Golden Valley football team trailed by seven and had the ball near midfield with just over two minutes to play on Friday night.
Stubbs opted to punt and let the defense try to pin Beyer deep on its on side. Phillip Pavey responded with a fumble recovery at the Patriot 10-yard line two plays later.
Unfortunately for Stubbs, his offense only managed to go 1 yard in four plays and Beyer pulled out a 20-13 victory at Veterans Stadium.
"I guess we have some kind of monkey we have to get off our backs," said Stubbs, whose team suffered its second heart-breaking defeat in six days. "We're close. We keep knocking. I just feel bad for the kids.
"They're playing hard, but we're just making crucial mistakes."
Friday's loss may be particularly tough for the Cougars (0-2) after they turned in a dominating first-half performance.
GV set the tone with its opening drive, methodically pounding the ball on the ground.
Starting from their own 7-yard line, the Cougars marched the ball 93 yards in 17 plays. They ate up 8 minutes, 6 seconds of the first quarter while they were at it.
Stubbs' offense was just getting started, turning in another lengthy drive to close the opening half.
GV used 14 plays this time with Steven Alvarez hitting Jashaan Wright in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard TD pass with 1:28 left in the half.
Beyer (2-0) had run six plays, going three-and-out twice to that point.
The Cougars couldn't sustain it.
A failed goal-line situation resulted in a Beyer 96-yard drive with Caleb Saalfeld getting them on the board with a 3-yard run.
The game permanently changed on GV's next possession as Alvarez was intercepted by Dennis Orzhekhovsky. The linebacker returned it 35 yards for a score.
A blocked extra point kept the Cougars in front 13-12, but a fumble in GV territory helped set up Jay Green for the winning score with 4:32 to play.
The Cougars' thought they had escaped the drive unscathed, but a fourth-down interception by Orlando Robles was called back on a roughing the passer call.
Green (20 carries for 146 yards) found the end zone two plays later.
Golden Valley had its chance to respond in the final two minutes, but couldn't get its offense going.
A pair of botched plays made it third-and-long, and Wright was smothered on a fly sweep.
The game ended on an Alvarez scramble that came up well shy of the goal line.
"Dennis' interception was huge," Beyer coach Bill Flescher said. "He'd never scored before, now he's done it in back-to-back games.
"Nothing was going right on either side of the ball, but everyone kept working and we managed to get a result.
"Golden Valley played us really tough. They gave us all we could handle. It was just a few mistakes here and there that turned the game for us."
Sports writer Sean Lynch can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.