Jake Gervase virtually was inconsolable walking off the football field at Spartan Stadium last Friday night.
"I don't think I slept for two nights after that," Davenport Assumption's senior captain said of the 19-13 gut-wrenching defeat to Pleasant Valley. "I take a lot of responsibility for that loss."
Gervase's emotional state was completely reversed Thursday night.
After Assumption dug itself a 20-point hole, the Knights recovered with 34 unanswered points against North Scott en route to a 40-33 triumph at Brady Street Stadium.
"Some guys felt like we were satisfied with a close game with PV," Gervase said. "We came out flat and North Scott took it to us.
"At halftime, we didn't freak out, we didn't panic and we trusted each other."
Gervase was at the center of the comeback.
The quarterback and safety threw two scores, intercepted a pass and returned a punt for a 62-yard touchdown in a 10-minute span of the third quarter to turn a 26-12 Assumption deficit into a 33-26 advantage.
"That's a pretty nice quarter," Assumption coach Wade King said. "We challenged him a little bit at halftime, not necessarily to take over the game but to do what he is capable of doing."
Assumption tailback James Hua had 145 yards rushing and a pair of scores, while Gervase finished with 166 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also registered 103 yards on the ground.
After failing to score on its first two possessions, Assumption (2-1) tallied touchdowns on its next five.
"We didn't have a very good week of practice, and we knew we were going to be flat," Hua said. "North Scott punched us hard, but coach gave us a few speeches at halftime and we woke up."
King said he didn't yell or get into his players. It was more centered on trust.
"Defensively, we were all looking and trying to watch instead of reacting to what we saw," King said. "We had people trying to do other peoples jobs."
North Scott (1-2) scored touchdowns on its first four drives and totaled 288 yards of offense, more than 100 from what Assumption was yielding per contest.
Quarterback Matt Sacia completed 10 of 14 throws for 147 yards and a touchdown in the opening half. The Lancers ran 38 plays in the first two quarters and averaged more than 7.5 yards per snap.
"When we execute and play with a certain intensity, that's how we can play," North Scott coach Kevin Tippet said.
But the Lancers generated only 29 yards of offense in the third quarter and never scored until Sacia ran in from 5 yards out with less than 10 seconds left.
In particular, Tippet pointed to down and distance. North Scott was efficient on first down early, but had 2nd and 9, 1st and 22 and 2nd and 10 on its first three possessions of the second half.
"Assumption did a good job of answering the bell," Tippet said. "They did a good job of running the ball, and we couldn't get our running game going.
"We became one dimensional. When you get in long yardage situation, the playbook really shrinks."
Sacia finished with 238 yards passing and 76 on the ground. Jacob Ridgeway had two rushing touchdowns.
"I think our guys know we let one get away tonight," Tippet said. "This is a game we could of and should have won. We didn't and Assumption made plays."
Gervase, meanwhile, walked off the field with a giant grin on his face.
"Last week really hurt," Gervase said. "We came back and responded to adversity. Hopefully, it'll give us some momentum going forward."
DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 40, NORTH SCOTT 33
NS - Austin Bowman 4 pass from Matt Sacia (Garrett Cone kick), 6:24
NS - Jacob Ridgeway 2 run (Cone kick), 1:11
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NS - Ridgeway 41 run (kick failed), 8:41
Assum - Ryan Coughlin 11 pass from Jake Gervase (kick failed), 6:21
NS - Sacia 8 run (kick failed), 1:52
Assum - James Hua 6 run (pass failed), 0:42
Assum - Kolton O'Day 57 pass from Gervase (Hunter Grenier kick), 9:52
Assum - Hua 21 pass from Gervase (Grenier kick), 4:14
Assum - Gervase 62 punt return (Grenier kick), 0:55
Assum - Hua 5 run (Grenier kick), 5:00
NS - Sacia 5 run (Cone kick), 0:07
Rushing -- North Scott, Matt Sacia 15-76, Jacob Ridgeway 11-69, Colin Kreiter 5-20, Ty Williams 1-7, Team 1-(-2). Assumption, James Hua 23-145, Jake Gervase 17-103, Team 1-(-2).
Passing -- North Scott, Sacia 18-31-2, 238 yards, TD. Assumption, Gervase 12-19-0, 166 yards, 3 TDs.
Receiving -- North Scott, Jordan Gronewold 5-95, Ricky Grimes 5-85, Williams 3-20, Michael Grunder 2-20, Sam Adkisson 2-14, Austin Bowman 1-4. Assumption, Kolton O'Day 4-86, Ryan Coughlin 5-42, Matt Wiedenhoeft 1-22, Hua 2-16.