Thomas Worthington football coach Matt Zingery felt like he had been on a roller coaster following his team’s 20-13 win over Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 20.
The teams sat through an almost two-hour weather delay that started just one series into the game.
Once play resumed, there were two missed extra points, a pair of key fourth-down penalties and a combined six turnovers — with four of those in the fourth quarter alone.
“That’s why they call them rivalry games,” Zingery said. “Both teams had opportunities to win it and both teams made some mistakes to not win it. Eventually, we were lucky enough to get the win.”
Aramis Welch sealed the victory for the host Cardinals when he intercepted a pass by Mitchell Tomasek near the goal line with 10 seconds left.
Thomas improved to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division, while Kilbourne fell to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the league.
The win gave the Cardinals two consecutive victories in the series for the first time, and also marked the first time that Thomas had defeated the Wolves on its own field.
Kilbourne got within striking distance when Paul Jarvis recovered the ball in the end zone following a bad snap on a Thomas punt attempt to make the score 20-13 with 10:38 left in the game.
Kilbourne had three chances to drive for the tying score in the fourth quarter, including one drive that ended with a fumble on a quarterback sneak from the 1 that was recovered by Thomas in the end zone.
A Thomas drive deep into Kilbourne territory ended when Harrison Kline intercepted Nathan Borghese inside the Kilbourne 1 after James Mitchell had carried six times on the previous eight plays for 48 yards to get the Cardinals inside the 10.
Mitchell finished with 90 yards rushing on 16 carries to lead Thomas.
Borghese was forced to sit out of last year’s Kilbourne game because of a shoulder injury. He started the season as a wide receiver, but returned to quarterback after teammate James Gaiters suffered a shoulder injury of his own.
“He got a whole half in last week’s game and I think that helped,” Zingery said. “(Kilbourne) threw a lot at him. … They changed their defenses up. We had to go very vanilla.”
Zingery said Gaiters could have played against Kilbourne.
“The one week of rest is going to help us for the rest of the season,” he said. “(Gaiters) probably could have played, but we thought it would be pushing it. So we thought with this rivalry game to let him rest for a week and he can be fully healthy for the next five.”
Borghese finished with 73 yards rushing and a touchdown on 16 carries and was 6-for-13 passing for 98 yards with one interception.
“I was hurt during this game last year,” Borghese said. “So it really feels nice to come out here (and play). I’m proud of my teammates and they helped me out a lot. I’m proud to play with them.”
Sheron Phipps intercepted two passes, returning one 21 yards for a touchdown, and also had a 2-yard scoring run.
“We didn’t come out very well before (the delay) and we didn’t come out very well after it,” Zingery said. “But our guys were able to settle down and we were able to get a lead at halftime.”
Terrique Gray carried 12 times for 60 yards to lead the Kilbourne, and Tomasek added 42 yards on 11 carries and was 13-for-26 passing for 127 yards.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WORTHINGTON KILBOURNE 7 0 0 6 13 THOMAS WORTHINGTON
13 7 0 0 20
WK—Hodge 25 pass from Tomasek (Laudermilch kick)
TW—Borghese 2 run (Graham kick)
TW—Phipps 2 run (kick blocked)
TW— Phipps 21 interception return (Graham kick)
WK—Jarvis fumble recovery in end zone (kick blocked)