It was a night for the improbable, but for a second consecutive week, Chillicothe finished on top with a 21-14 win at Big Walnut.
Nate Rosenbauer scored on a 44 yard hook and ladder play to give Chillicothe its first lead of the game with 6.6 seconds remaining.
The Cavs reached the red zone only once in the first 24 minutes and came up empty. It would seem improbable for a Cavalier comeback.
Coming out of the half, the Cavs’ Ryan Mathis intercepted an Eagles pass at the Big Walnut 41. Eleven plays later, Mathis pitched right on a halfback pass to Rosnebauer who delivered a strike to Austin Elliott for the Cavs first score of the game. Jacob Weber hit the PAT to cut the deficit to 14-7 at the 6:53 mark in the 3rd quarter.
On Big Walnut’s next possession, a tipped pass at the line was grabbed by Ryan Milliken and returned to the Eagles’ 18. On the next play, Mathis found Eddy Wells in the far corner of the end zone. A Weber PAT tied the game at 14-14 just 38 seconds later.
Chillicothe forced the Eagles into four consecutive punts and got the ball on their own 16 yard line with 1:36 left in regulation. Best chance, overtime, right?
Mathis slipped through the line on a quarterback keeper and erased half of the distance to the goal line by reaching the Eagles 43. With time running out, the Cavs appeared to mismanage the clock, allowing the clock to reach 19 seconds on a third down spike.
But Big Walnut gave Chillicothe another opportunity with an encroachment penalty. Coach Ron Hinton pulled out the hook and ladder. Mathis rolled left to hit Austin Elliott in the flat, Elliott pitched the ball to Rosenbauer who tight roped the far sideline for 25 yards and the winning score.
After yielding 134 yards on two scoring drives, the Chillicothe defense allowed 63 total yards the rest of the game.
The Cavs’ Rosenbauer had 69 yards on 19 carries, Daiquan Hall 41 yards on 7 lugs and Mathis rushed for 46 yards and completed 5 of 18 passes for 98 yards.
Chillicothe improved to 2-0 heading into their home opener with Teays Valley (2-0) next Friday. The Vikings were 26-13 winners at Logan.
Hear Jim Day's post game interview with Coach Hinton: