The Westerville South High School football team dominated most of regulation but visiting Dublin Scioto staged a late comeback as the Irish defeated the Wildcats 31-24 in overtime in an OCC-Cardinal Division game Oct. 4.
"It was an unbelievable game," Scioto coach Karl Johnson said. "The only difference in the teams was one was going to feel like we do and the other was going to feel like (South does). Both teams played their hearts out for four quarters."
While ending a six-game losing streak against South, the Irish improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. The Wildcats fell to 3-3 and 1-2.
The Irish trailed 17-7 after three periods but fullback Elijah Berry scored two touchdowns in the fourth. The first came on a 9-yard run and the second on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Nate Densel. Sam Crosa booted a 42-yard field goal to tie the game at 24 with five minutes remaining.
From there, South drove 63 yards in 12 plays to set up Phil Wenziger with a 34-yard game-winning field-goal attempt but the kick was blocked as the clock ran out.
"It was a good game all the way to the end," Wildcats coach Rocky Pentello said. "We just didn't make plays at the end. What are you going to do?"
In overtime, Scioto’s Nick Conner came through on both sides of the ball. On the Irish’s possession, Conner scored from 2 yards. On the Wildcats' first play of their ensuing drive, Conner intercepted quarterback Timmy Bates to end the game.
The teams have a history of close games with South winning 42-35 last season and 45-42 in 2011. While this one also was close, it didn’t have the high scoring of the previous two.
"Both defenses played better than what they've done in the past," Pentello said.
"Any time people start talking about a score-fest, usually it turns into who makes the plays on defense," Johnson said.
The Irish were led by Densel, who was 23-for-37 passing for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Wide receiver Dan Carney had four catches for 122 yards.
Bates completed 18 of 29 passes for 295 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Receiver Torrodd Carter had 10 receptions for 224 yards, including touchdowns of 59, 68 and 39 yards.
WS--Carter 59 pass from Bates (Wenziger kick)
DS--Wallace 5 run (Crosa kick)
WS--Carter 68 pass from Bates (Wenziger kick)
WS--Wenziger 42 FG
DS--Berry 9 run (Crosa kick)
DS--Berry 12 pass from Densel (Crosa kick)
WS--Carter 39 pass from Bates (Wenziger kick)
DS--Crosa 42 FG
DS--Conner 2 run (Crosa kick)