Wilson short-circuits Penncrest comeback

RADNOR >> After handing over numerous extra lives to Penncrest, Radnor was handed a second chance. It didn’t waste the opportunity.

The Raiders blew a late two-touchdown lead, survived a missed field goal at the buzzer and walked it off on Jack Wilson’s 10-yard run for a thrilling, confusing, entertaining 34-31 overtime victory Friday night over the Lions in Central League action.

Radnor (4-2, 2-2) ended a two-game losing skid, but barely. It led 28-14 with 2:56 to play before Penncrest scored twice in roughly 90 seconds to tie it. With the Raiders driving for the win, Mike Wilson picked off Pat McDermott to miraculously give Penncrest (2-4, 2-2) an opportunity for the win.

However, normally reliable kicker Patrick Hughes missed a 20-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. He hit a 27-yard kick on the Lions’ overtime possession, but Wilson, ever the clutch player, took the Raiders’ first snap to the house. It was thrilling for the hosts, but also a relief.

“I think we relaxed, and Penncrest is a good football team, but I think we all relaxed when we went up by 14 and you can’t do that, not in this league,” Radnor coach Tom Ryan said. “There’s no easy weeks. They competed to the end, and luckily we were able to pull it out in the end.”

Wilson, back after a missing a week due to a shoulder injury, rushed for 50 yards and caught four passes for 92 yards. On Penncrest’s OT possession, he made a huge tackle on third down for a four-yard loss to force the Lions to kick.

Shortly thereafter, he won it.

“It was unreal,” Wilson summarized.

On top of that, Wilson loved how his team didn’t pout after all that went wrong. Blowing a late two-score lead, the onside kick, the interception — the emotions of this game were plentiful. Radnor dominated offensive plays run (70 to 31) and total offensive yards (383 to 231).

But the Raiders didn’t dominate the scoreboard.

“You’re always going to hit speed bumps throughout a game,” Wilson said. “It just depends how you respond.”

The reason for all of this drama? That would be Penncrest’s Zack Kaut.

He took the opening kickoff of the second half back for an 85-yard score to tie it at 7. After Radnor went up 21-7, he brought another kick back 80 yards. After Radnor went up 28-14, he took a simple slant pass 84 yards to the one-yard line. It was his 262nd yard of the night.

Joe Quintilliano finished that drive off, which set up the onside kick. Two plays later, Manny Ruffin hit Zane Horne for a seven-yard touchdown to even the count at 28. On the ensuing play from scrimmage, Mike Wilson had his interception. At that point, it was all set up for a Lions victory.

They couldn’t finish the job.

“The kids kept fighting,” Penncrest coach Rick Stroup said. “They were fighting, they kept playing. They couldn’t give up.”

McDermott’s one-yard run in the second quarter put Radnor on the board. Naair Williams and Jack Horvath added short touchdown runs to make it 21-7. Horvath, who had 159 yards on 31 carries, seemingly iced it with a one-yard burst late in the fourth quarter.

Penncrest had other ideas. Eventually, so did Wilson.

“I knew Jack was going to score, he’s just that talented,” Ryan said. “The offensive line did a heck of a job. … Jack’s unbelievable. I wish he was a junior.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply