With five minutes left in the first quarter, there was still a long line of cars on Route 161 waiting to get into the parking lots surrounding Hamilton Field on the campus of Thomas Worthington High School.
At that point, the only option was to find a spot on the grass or take a gamble and park illegally.
The 10th meeting between the football teams of sister schools Worthington Kilbourne and Thomas Worthington was that big of a deal, and it was largely because the Cardinals had shown a strong heartbeat after losing 29 of 30 games coming into this season.
The game lived up to its billing. In the end, three Kilbourne defenders, led by senior linebacker Thomas Wilson, stopped 217-pound running back DiJahn Davis at the 2-yard line on a two-point conversion attempt in overtime, giving the visitors a 26-25 victory Sept. 15 before a standing-room-only crowd.
It was the ninth time the Wolves (2-2) had defeated the Cardinals (3-1) in the series.
In the overtime, first-year Thomas Worthington coach Matt Zingery called timeout and boldly pulled his extra-point team off the field to go for the win.
“Yes, I was kind of shocked they went for it,’’ Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. “When I saw that, we immediately go to our man goal-line defense. I wasn’t surprised they ran Davis out of the wildcat because that’s how they scored one of their TDs.’’
Wilson knew his man would be Davis when the Cardinals broke the huddle, and he had a good feeling when the ball was snapped.
“The hole opened up and three of our guys stepped right up and were right on him,’’ Wilson said. “I had no doubts at all that we were going to tackle him — no doubts. At halftime, the guys just said they were going to bring it and keep bringing it.’’
Kilbourne scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run over the right side by Michael McQuade on third-and-goal. His 7-yard run on second down had set up the scoring opportunity.
“Coach T described it best when he said sometimes you hit the rock and nothing happens, and you hit it again and again and still nothing happens,’’ McQuade said. “But you hit it one more time and it cracks. We had 11 guys working hard every single play. I think (our experience) had a pretty big impact.’’
Kilbourne forced overtime when sophomore Joey Laudermilch kicked a 32-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to tie the game at 19.
The Cardinals had taken a 19-16 lead on a 40-yard touchdown run by Davis with 3:54 remaining. The extra point was wide.
Before the game, Chris Bradley, a meteorologist for WBNS-TV (Channel 10), was honored at midfield. He is fighting leukemia.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 OT Final WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE 0 9 0 10 7 26 THOMAS WORTHINGTON
0 13 0 6 6 25