This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's the kind of scenario replayed countless times in Barkley Christensen's backyard.
Down by a touchdown to Manti in the Class 2A state championship, there are 47 seconds left on the clock and 65 yards to go.
If that weren't enough, San Juan's senior quarterback was out of timeouts.
But this is what Christensen lives for these moments where the weight of the team is on his shoulder, where the responsibility to lead starts with him.
"Leadership is more than making things happen in the game," Christensen said. "It's setting the example that others can follow."
Christensen shook off any of the nerves as he got under center. He knew his team responds to his body language, and he wanted to be more than composed. He wanted to share his confidence with his teammates.
Christensen remembered every grueling practice under coach Monty Lee and knew why Lee pushed, pressured and tested the 6-foot-1 quarterback.
"He'd push me to the limits," Christensen said about Lee. "I'm glad he did it because it made me ready for moments like this."
With the season on the line, Christensen marched the Broncos down the field. He calmly led his team by going 4 of 8 passing for 50 yards. It was in the last seconds of the game that Christensen connected with Logan Meyer in the end zone for a touchdown. With the extra point, Christensen's drive forced overtime for the state title. It was the second game in a row in which he rallied his team with a late touchdown pass.
"It was a total team effort, and everybody worked so hard," Christensen said. "I am glad to be behind such great guys who put out all the work for me."
Overtime didn't work out as Christensen planned. Manti's Carlo Garcia kicked a 54-yard field goal to win it for the Templars. While Christensen was disappointed, it didn't diminish his pride in his team. He said that there wasn't one guy who wouldn't stand up for another.
"You can't understand how hard these guys work and how great it is to be on this team," Christensen said.
Christensen closes the chapter on his senior year with 1,960 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for 10 TDs this season.
He said he's considering continuing his career at either Montana or Dixie next season, but the Broncos' captain left a final word of advice for his returning teammates.
"Buckle down, work hard and trust each other," Christensen said. "You can't do what we've done without trusting each other."