Why not add a little more drama to the Battle of Hard Road?
Dublin Scioto pulled out one of the more remarkable victories Friday in the 19-year history of the series against Worthington Kilbourne, winning 22-21 on the first time the game was played in the first week of the high school football season.
Darius McDonald caught a pass, spun out of two tackles and darted down the sideline for a 42-yard gain with 36 seconds left. He then hooked up with quarterback Nathan Densel for an 8-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play with 23.2 seconds remaining that pulled the Irish within 21-20.
Defensive tackle Elijah Berry, who scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the first half in his only other carry of the game, was called upon for the two-point conversion run. He got outside the right end and scored to give Scioto its only lead of the game.
“We needed to decide it right there,” Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. “We had guys cramping up, and we knew it had to end right there one way or the other. We just willed this win out.”
“I asked the coach to put me in and go for two (points), and he trusted in me enough to get that important carry,” said Berry, one of many seniors who never lost the Battle of Hard Road, as Scioto won its fourth in a row. “The line did its job and this is just incredible.”
On McDonald’s skinny post for the touchdown, he beat the defensive back inside to give Densel a throwing lane.
“I was just doing everything I could,” McDonald said. “I tried not to panic and to just do the things we work on.”
But the most impressive play was the 42-yard connection that set up the score. McDonald worked his way back to Densel, who changed directions three times in the backfield to keep the play alive.
On the third-and-15 play from midfield, McDonald came back to the ball, caught it near the 35, spun away from two defenders to the sideline and finally was knocked out at the 8.
Densel was 13-for-25 for 141 yards and McDonald had eight catches for 86 yards.
Kilbourne dominated the line of scrimmage all game and led 14-0 after a 3-yard Justin Stoner run and a 31-yard run from Seth Hill. But two turnovers gave Scioto a short field and the Irish tied the game in the second quarter.
Kilbourne took its 21-14 lead when Griffin Dahn threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Keaton Reinhart just minutes before halftime.
“We gave them a gift,” Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. “We had four turnovers, and they beat us. We left our defense on the field way too long in the second half, and that hurt in the end.”
WK -- Stoner 3 run (Chesser kick)
WK -- Hill 31 run (Chesser kick)
DS -- Conner 1 run (Crosa kick)
DS -- Berry 3 run (Crosa kick)
WK -- Reinhart 72 pass from Dahn (Chesser kick)
DS – McDonald 8 pass from Nathan Densel (Berry run)