Quarterback Alex Fox's 30-yard touchdown pass to David Hawkins with 3 minutes, 36 seconds remaining lifted the visiting Canal Winchester High School football team to a 26-23 win over Grove City on Friday, Sept. 2.
Fox led the Indians - who improved to 2-0 while Grove City dropped to 0-2 - by rushing for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries and completing 10 of 20 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.
"Alex is a great leader on the field," Canal Winchester coach Shawn Hinkle said. "You can't replace solid leadership on the football field. It's like having another coach out there. You really need to have that. It definitely works in our favor."
Trailing 23-20 and faced with a fourth-and-5 from the Grove City 30, Fox was pressured, rolled left and connected with Hawkins, who caught the ball at the 10 and ran into the end zone with 3:36 left.
Canal Winchester's Joe Boswell intercepted a pass by Nick Davis on the Dawgs' next play from scrimmage, and the hosts got the ball back with 1:18 left but could only reach midfield before time expired.
"We have to bounce back," Grove City senior Connor Lucas said. "We can't go 0-3. We can't start the season off 0-3 like last year. We can't do it. It was fluke play, a scramble and we just lost coverage because it was such a long play. Anytime a play goes that long something's bound to go wrong. We had to make a tackle in the backfield and he got it off."
Grove City running back Jordan Fisher, who finished with 110 yards on six carries, scored on an 80-yard run with 8:23 remaining in the game to give his team its final lead at 23-20.
Lucas scored on a 3-yard run 3:04 into the game to give the Dawgs a 7-0 lead. Tyler Conner's fumble recovery set up the score.
Fox scored on runs of 59 and 50 yards to give the Indians a 14-10 lead with 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Grove City went back ahead on Davis' 10-yard touchdown pass to Chad Moore with 8:37 left in the second quarter, as the Dawgs led 16-14 at the half.
Fox scored again on a 3-yard run in the third quarter, as the Indians took a 20-16 lead.
"We have to quit living this way or I'm going to have a heart attack before I hit 43," said Hinkle, who turned 42 on Aug. 26.
CANAL WINCHESTER 14 0 0 12 -- 26
GROVE CITY 10 6 0 7 -- 23
GC--Lucas 3 run (Nankivell kick)
CW--Fox 59 run (Ising kick)
GC--Nankivell 25 FG
CW--Fox 50 run (Ising kick)
GC--Moore 10 pass from Davis (kick failed)
CW--Fox 3 run (kick failed)
GC--Fisher 80 run (Moore kick)
CW--Hawkins 30 pass from Fox (kick failed)