Nick Sadinsky never had a football game like this.
The Johnstown-Monroe High School senior caught two touchdown passes, recovered a fumble and had a game-saving interception to lead the host Johnnies to a 24-21 victory over Gnadenhutten Indian Valley in a first-round Division IV, Region 15 playoff game Nov. 2.
Johnstown (9-2) advanced to play Ironton in a regional semifinal Nov. 9 at a site to be determined. The Tigers (7-3) defeated visiting Bloom-Carroll 41-16 on Nov. 2 in another first-round matchup.
“As a senior, you always dream of doing this, and to do it in a playoff game and with your friends is something great,” Sadinsky said. “You can’t beat this feeling.”
Sadinsky caught three passes for 153 yards with two scores. He had just six catches for 76 yards and one touchdown in the regular season, with his longest reception covering 14 yards.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way Nick played,” Johnstown coach Mike Carter said. “He’s a great leader and an exceptional athlete. He came up big when we needed him to the most.”
Sadinsky intercepted Indian Valley quarterback Brady Byers at the Johnstown 3-yard line with 1 minute, 8 seconds remaining and returned it 42 yards, allowing the Johnnies to run out the clock.
Sadinsky had two scoring receptions in the first half from quarterback Tyler Thompson. On third-and-8 from the Johnstown 34, Thompson connected with Sadinsky for 20 yards and he raced the rest of the way for a 66-yard score.
He later caught a 70-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-16 play with 1:43 left in the second quarter for a 24-7 lead.
“Nick was out there to catch the throws and the linemen gave me time to pass,” Thompson said. “When we needed a first down, Nick was there for us.”
Charles Benton also kicked a 42-yard field goal for the Johnnies.
Indian Valley (6-5) had some long touchdown passes of its own. Byers connected with Brett Cox on a 76-yard score with 1:28 left in the first half. Later, Byers caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from running back Jake Davis with 7:13 left in the third.
Johnstown had 395 total yards, with 220 coming on the ground. Cody Farley had 146 yards rushing and one touchdown on 29 carries and Thompson added 39 yards on 15 carries, with a two-point conversion run. Adam Carter had 36 yards on nine carries.
Indian Valley had 401 total yards, with 151 coming on the ground. Davis had 81 yards on 17 carries and Byers run 12 times for 48 yards.
Byers was 4-for-12 passing for 144 yards with two interceptions, the other pickoff coming from Johnstown’s Brendan Barasch. Davis was 2-for-2 passing for 106 yards and one touchdown.
IV--Davis 2 run (Cool kick)
J--Sadinsky 66 pass from T. Thompson (Benton kick)
J--Farley 2 run (kick failed)
J--Benton 42 FG
J--Sadinsky 70 pass from T. Thompson (T. Thompson run)
IV--Cox 76 pass from Byers (Cool kick)
IV--Byers 64 pass from Davis (Cool kick)