With last Saturday's game at Washburn coming down to the wire, Fort Hays State backup quarterback Voshon Waiters wasn't fazed by the moment.
Waiters, who took his first in-game snaps with the Tigers earlier in the fourth quarter because of an injury to Chance Fuller, calmly executed a game-tying drive for a field goal in the closing moments of regulation. Fort Hays went on to win in overtime, 41-38.
"Growing up my dad always instilled in me that you never know when your turn is going to come, so just be ready at all times, and that's what I was," Waiters said.
Waiters, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound Miami native, completed seven passes on FHSU's drive late in the fourth quarter, helping move the Tigers down to the 7-yard line and enable Dante Brown to knock in a 24-yard field goal to send it to OT.
"We knew we didn't have to get too far, because of Dante," Waiters said. "I trust my O-line, my receivers. They did all the work, I just had to go in and do simple things. We worked all week doing that two-minute drill. Coach put us in the position, we just had to go execute."
Waiters' biggest throw was a fourth-and-5 completion to Charles Tigner to keep the Tigers' alive.
"I rolled out, and Charles Tigner came open," Waiters said. "If they were covering him, I was going to run for it, so I think we could have got it either way."
Waiters last played college football in 2017 for ASA Miami junior college. He said former Tiger standout running back Shaquille Cooper helped get him in touch with the FHSU coaching staff when he was looking for an opportunity to continue his career.
"I was off of football for a whole year," Waiters said. "(Cooper) said, 'Hey I'm good with the football coaches at Fort Hays, I think you can go up there and walk-on or earn a scholarship,' so that's how it happened. I'm just thankful coach (Chris) Brown gave me this opportunity here.
"I just want to be part of a winning program," he added. "It speaks for itself, the tradition. I'm just coming in, working and putting my head down, doing what I got to do."
Chris Brown credited Waiters for staying ready and embracing the opportunity.
"Some kids just go practice as a backup, that's how they see their role," Brown said. "But Voshon, he's practicing to be the starter, because he knows, especially at the quarterback position you never know when your time is going to come up. He really stepped in and did a nice job for us. He prepared and got himself ready."
Brown said Tuesday that he is optimistic Fulller will be able to return for Saturday's home game against Missouri Southern. But Waiters will remain ready if his number is called again.
"I just wanted to show my teammates that I got them if they need me," Waiters said. "I'm going to be there every time they need me."
Fireworks and Football
Saturday's game starts at 7 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium. Reserved tickets on the west side cost $16, general admission tickets on the east side or behind the end zones cost $12, and kids K-12th grade general admission tickets cost $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at fhsuathletics.com, or in the Athletic Department located in Cunningham Hall 138. Once the game is over, there will be a 10 minute countdown until the lights are turned off and a fireworks show will start behind the south end zone. Sponsors of this year’s show are the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, Horizon Appliance and Electronics, and J.DAY Fireworks.