The Worthington Kilbourne High School football team leaned on its defense to upset host New Albany 14-12 in a showdown of OCC-Capital Division unbeatens Oct. 25, but it might be difficult to pinpoint one key play.
Kilbourne’s defense never let quarterback Tanner Cline get comfortable, recording one interception and breaking up a bevy of passes to hand New Albany — the state’s top-ranked team in Division II this week — its first loss and secure at least a tie for the league championship with one week to play.
“We’re talking about kids with a lot of experience,” said Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti, whose team improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the league and has all but officially clinched its first playoff berth since 2008. “Six of these guys have started since they were sophomores and have had to play a bunch of powerful teams. The experience they bring is phenomenal. It’s very exciting to be at Kilbourne right now.”
New Albany, which fell to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the league, was held to 168 total yards. Kilbourne had only 194 yards, but recorded the game’s biggest offensive play when junior quarterback Griffin Dahn connected with sophomore Keaton Reinhart on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
Dahn scored from a yard out in the final minute of the first half to give Kilbourne a 7-3 lead. He was 5-for-14 passing for 81 yards and rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries.
The Eagles finally got into the end zone in the final minute of the third quarter, when Cline connected with senior Ross Henze from 6 yards. It was Cline’s only completion in 13 attempts. The ensuing two-point conversion try failed.
“We watched film on those guys for hours at a time,” said Wolves junior cornerback Joe Davis, who intercepted Cline in the fourth quarter and broke up a fourth-down pass with 44 seconds left to seal the win.
“We knew what was coming. We knew every pass route. We studied them very hard. We had to play our game and play our responsibilities.”
New Albany got field goals of 33 and 22 yards from sophomore Joey Rolwing.
“Football comes down to who’s not going to make mistakes, and we made mistakes,” New Albany coach Pat Samanich said. “We’re not used to losing games around here. That’s a luxury. But we have to make sure we learn from it or it’s a wasted night.”
Senior running back Wyatt Johnston led the Eagles with 94 yards on nine carries.
NA—Rolwing 33 FG
WK—Dahn 1 run (Jo. Stoner kick)
NA—Rolwing 22 FG
WK—Reinhart 28 pass from Dahn (Jo. Stoner kick)