Three idle weeks caused Corpus Christi Hammerhead wide receiver Nathaniel Dunn some anxiousness on Saturday during his team's Intense Football League semifinal playoff game with the CenTex Barracudas.
Four seconds was all Dunn needed to help his team post a 64-34 victory and earn its third consecutive trip to the Intense Bowl.
Dunn and Ed Gidding each caught three touchdown passes from Dustin Almond as Corpus Christi (11-4) took the rubber game of the 2008 series from a CenTex (9-7) squad that improved from a 2-12 mark in 2007.
Dunn's acrobactic touchdown catch on the final play of the second quarter turned a 10-point Hammerhead advantage into a 37-20 halftime lead.
Corpus Christi scored on the opening possesion of the third quarter to build its lead to 24 and never really threatened after that.
Dunn flew over the wall and landed in a front-row chair.
"It was crazy all right,” said Dunn, who finished with seven catches for 117 yards. "Fourth down and everyone was depending on me, I just made the play. I should have realized the wall was there."
That slight oversight might be Dunn's only flaw as far as Corpus Christi coach Jason McKinley is concerned.
"Dunn is an offensive coordinator's dream," McKinley said. "That touchdown was huge … if CenTex had any momentum, it was completely gone after that."
Corpus Christi held the Barracudas to three touchdowns over the final three quarters after the teams exhanged the lead for the first quarter and a half. McKinley noted that the Hammerheads were sluggish at first after a three-week layoff.
"The first couple of series, we were flat," McKinley said. "We played great after that." Dunn just wanted to get back on the field, period.
"Three weeks is a long time," Dunn said.
Almond finished with 192 yards and six touchdowns while running for another. Fred Wallace rushed for two scores.
Former University of Texas star James Brown was contained to 117 yards and four touchdowns as CenTex was held to under 40 points since Brown took over as starting quarterback. Olan Coleman caught six passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Corpus Christi will face the winner of Monday's Odessa-Louisiana game for the championship. If Odessa upsets Louisiana, the Hammerheads will host the title game Saturday.
If the defending champion Swashbucklers win, it's a rematch of last year's Intense Bowl III in Lake Charles, La.
"They say the third time's the charm,” McKinley said. "I'd love to play the game here, but if we're as good as we were tonight, we have a chance to win anywhere we play."