In the time since Steve Hamilton took over as the football coach at Elk River, the Elks' Power-T attack has blown up typical presumptions of a rushing attack, putting up quick-strike touchdowns, copious yardage and points aplenty.

But for all of the offense the Elks have generated, nothing can compare to "Michigan."

After leading for most of their Class 5A state tournament quarterfinal against Moorhead on Nov. 9 at Monticello High School, the Elks fell behind 55-52 on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left.

The Elks got the ball back near their own 40-yard line. One running play was called, a trap play to Joe Nordstrom, who was tackled after a short gain. The clock appeared to run out and a few Moorhead players began to celebrate.

But Elk River had called its last timeout, preserving one precious, all-important tick of the clock.

"Joe got tackled and thankfully he did," Hamilton said. "There was one second, one-point-something, left."

"The clock on the scoreboard on the field went to zero," Elks quarterback Beau Ruby said. "None of us knew that Hammy [Hamilton] had called that timeout. We had to regather ourselves before one more play."

The Elks were 57 yards from the end zone, forcing them to try something they hadn't done all game: Throw a pass. The play was called simply "Michigan," and depended on Ruby to throw the ball to one of three receivers running straight down the field.

Ruby dropped back and threw the ball 30 yards to junior halfback Carter Otto, perhaps the team's best athlete. Otto caught it at the Moorhead 34-yard line, absorbed a blow from a Spuds defender, then outraced the rest of the defense for a touchdown as time expired.

Just like that, what seemed a heartbreaking loss was transformed into a 58-55 Elk River victory.

"As soon as I hit the sideline, I was just sprinting," Otto said. "My mom was actually standing at the goal line, behind the fence. I could see them running in. It was kind of cool."

For his part, Ruby didn't see much of the play. In fact, the senior didn't know the Elks were about to score one of the most improbable touchdowns in program history.

"I saw him catch it, but then I saw him take the big hit," Ruby said. "Everyone got super loud, but I didn't really see anything until he crossed the goal line."

Otto, Ruby and Hamilton occasionally relive the moment.

"I scroll down my Twitter timeline and watch it," Otto said. "It's kind of cool to listen to the announcer freak out."

Hamilton felt that the play happening on a rare pass just made it all the more special.

"It's amazing," he said. "I don't think I'll ever have something quite like that happen again."