An emotional Worthington Kilbourne High School football coach Vince Trombetti couldn't help but think about the significance of the Wolves' first playoff victory in five seasons.
Making the 38-3 victory Nov. 8 even more satisfying was that it came against Hard Road-rival Dublin Scioto, which had edged the Wolves 22-21 in the final seconds of their regular-season matchup to hand Kilbourne its only loss.
"You hear from the alumni and they talk about how they're just so proud to have this program back where it's supposed to be," said Trombetti whose second-seeded Wolves improved to 10-1 and will face top-seeded Zanesville in a Division II regional semifinal Nov. 15 at a site to be determined. Scioto finished 6-5.
Zanesville blanked St. Charles 38-0 in the opening round to improve to 11-0, as senior quarterback Thomas Wibbeler completed 16 of 20 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns
Kilbourne put up a strong defensive effort against Scioto junior quarterback Nathan Densel, who threw for 1,951 yards during the regular season but finished 5-for-23 passing for 19 yards. He also was intercepted five times and tackled for losses just as many times as the seventh-seeded Irish were limited to 73 yards of offense.
Senior defensive back Taylor Wilson had two of the interceptions and returned one 31 yards for a touchdown to put the Wolves ahead 28-3 with 1 minute, 28 seconds left in the third quarter.
"We came out with a vengeance this week and we just wanted to beat them," Taylor said. "It's a huge win for us. This year we came back and knew we were going to be good. We just didn't know how good. I think we're proving it right now."
Kilbourne senior Daniel Stricker turned in one of the biggest plays of the game when the defensive back blitzed from the corner and intercepted a pass that Densel barely got away. Stricker returned it 10 yards for a touchdown with 6:09 left in the second quarter as Kilbourne took a 7-3 lead.
Kilbourne went up 14-3 at halftime when quarterback Griffin Dahn hit Chandler Bridges on a 5-yard pass with 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Dahn finished with 57 yards rushing on 18 carries to lead the Wolves, and he completed 4 of 12 passes for 73 yards.
DS -- Crosa 44 FG
WK -- Stricker 10 interception return (Chesser kick)
WK -- Bridges 5 pass from Dahn (Chesser kick)
WK -- Stoner 3 run (Chesser kick)
WK -- Wilson 31 interception return (Chesser kick)
WK -- Chesser 34 FG
WK -- Reinhart 40 run (Chesser kick)