Desperation won out as Terra Nova won 14-13. Terra Nova (5-4, 4-2) now has a shot at an at-large berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs, and it could earn one of the three Bay Division automatic berths if the Tigers beat Half Moon Bay next week.
There wasn't a turning point in the game that see-sawed, but two defensive plays one by each team gave the game a thrilling finish.
With the score 14-13, Woodside failed on a 35-yard field goal because of an errant snap with 4:35 left in the game,
Terra Nova was forced to punt after three plays. Woodside defensive end Jordan Carr blocked the punt and gave Woodside another chance from the Terra Nova 35. It was the fourth strong defensive play of the night by Carr, who had sacked Terra Nova quarterback Jack Forbes twice and threw running back Divine Copeland for a 3-yard loss.
After the blocked punt, Woodside drove nine yards to the 26 for a third-and-1 but was hit with a procedure penalty. An incomplete pass brought up a fourth down with 1:10 remaining. Woodside quarterback Matt Pelesasa was sacked and a fumble was forced and recovered by James Taliva'a.
Both teams traded punts and an interception in a scoreless first quarter. Woodside scored first with an 80-yard, 12-play drive highlighted by the Wildcats overcoming a first-and-40 situation.
Terra Nova came right back with a 61-yard drive that took less than two minutes. The biggest chunks came on a 37-yard run by Toamalana Tufono and a 19-yarder by D.J. McDonough. Copeland scored on a 5-yard run to give Terra Nova a 7-6 lead.
Each team had just one possession in the third quarter. Woodside used its for another 80-yard drive that featured passing. Pelesasa completed four passes on the drive, including a 22-yard touchdown on a fade to receiver Zack Test, who caught three passes for 41 yards on the drive.
Terra Nova carried its drive into the fourth quarter. The 73-yard march was capped by Copeland's second touchdown, and the ensuing extra point gave the Tigers their final margin.
Woodside (6-3, 4-2) must beat Menlo-Atherton next week to have a chance at an automatic playoff bid, but there is a possibility of a three-way tie between Terra Nova, Woodside and M-A if M-A loses to Aragon and Woodside.
Aragon has clinched a CCS berth with victories over both Woodside and Terra Nova.