In his lone season with the Troy Buchanan football squad, Nathan Ryan has made it almost customary to come up with exciting and critical catches in almost every game.

Friday night, with his team's season on the line, the senior saved his best of both for Francis Howell. Ryan's 9-yard diving catch at the front of the end zone with no time remaining turned defeat into a 23-21 victory - and the Class 6 District 2 championship.

Ryan, who joined the football squad in 2021 after playing basketball for three years, finished with nine grabs for 163 yards and two TDs. 

Quarterback Charos Sutton looked for Ryan throughout the game-winning drive. Ryan had catches of 17 and 11 yards along the right sideline on Troy Buchanan's march, which began on Francis Howell's 44-yard-line with 1:07 remaining and no time outs.

Ryan spoke to the Lincoln County Journal's Shawn Singleton during the bedlam of excitement after the game to talk about his game-winning catch.

That basketball ability was put on full display on several occasions throughout the contest, including Ryan's first score, where he adjusted on a tipped pass by Vikings defensive back Dashon Hudson, and hauled the ball in with his first diving catch of the night from 23 yards out at the end of the first quarter.

Ryan also had a 43-yard catch where he outleaped a defender in the fourth quarter, which was called back due to a holding penalty. He was also part of a controversial no-call of pass interference when it looked like his arm was clearly hooked on a deep ball in the fourth quarter.

A controversial pass interference call - which was made - on the Vikings final drive aided Francis Howell in its last-second 41-38 win over the Trojans six weeks earlier.

The Trojans (10-2) will host Liberty North in a Class 6 semifinal matchup on Nov. 20, with a time yet to be determined.