Epic over-the-head pass, bend-it-like-Beckham goal highlight Play of the Month winners

The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards national show will return in the summer of 2023.
The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards national show will return in the summer of 2023.

The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards, the largest high school sports recognition program in the country, is pleased to announce its Play of the Month winners for August and September!

Let's start with what could end up being the most buzz-worthy play of the entire season:

On Aug. 19, an extraordinary high school football battle between Georgia 8-AAAAA  schools Loganville and Monroe Area got the ending it deserved — in quadruple overtime.

From the 13 yard line, Loganville running back Solomon Leslie took the snap from the shotgun formation and slyly handed the ball to his tight end, Connor O’Neil, who gained possession with his back to the line of scrimmage.

What happened next was better suited for a game of H-O-R-S-E.

O'Neil heaved a no-look, over-the-head-pass that left the Monroe defense stunned. Tight end Joshua Rude made the catch and tumbled untouched into the end zone. The play helped Loganville secure an unbelievable, 45-39 win — and a viral video that continues to make rounds on social media.

Here's another angle of the play:

More: Check out our watch list for 2022-23 USA TODAY HSSA Offensive Football Player of the Year

Now, let's get to the Play of the Month for September:

On Sept. 27, in Delaware high school boys soccer action, Indian River and Caesar Rodney were still scoreless in overtime when senior Jordan Illian buried an incredible golden goal.

The angle on this shot is one you'll have to see to believe!

Illian gained control of the ball in the far corner, well outside the 18-yard box, and had two Caesar Rodney defenders blocking his path to the goal. He was still able to create enough space to launch a high-arching shot that somehow stayed on frame.

The goalie had little chance to make a play as the ball stayed pegged for the back post before curling inside for the game-winner. The reaction from some of the Caesar Rodney players on the field says it all!

Both of these plays are nominees for 2022-23 national Play of the Year: 

The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards is the largest high school sports recognition program in the country, honoring athletes from all 50 states. Top student-athletes in over 30 sports will be announced in teams of 24 nominees throughout this 2022-23 academic year, culminating with player of the year announcements in each sport during this summer's big event.

Play of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rising Star, Courage Award and Special Olympics Athlete of the Year will be among this year's many national premiere award categories. Visit the event website for updates leading up to this summer's on-demand event.

If you missed it, be sure to check out last year's show with hosts Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis!

Send us your own national Play of the Month highlights for October

High School Play of the Month suggestions can be submitted to both roleary@usatventures.com and BFontana@usatventures.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USA TODAY High School Sports Awards Play of the Month August September