When the teams came back onto the field from the locker rooms to start the second half, a passer-by on the street yelled to Walnut Hills head coach George Kontsis and told him to, “Air it out, coach, air it out.” The coach apparently got the memo.
After trailing 28-7 at half, the Eagles (1-1) staged a miraculous 37-34 win over Western Hills (0-2), by outscoring the Mustangs 30-6 in the second half.
“We just dug in,” said Kontsis following the win. “The defense bent but did not break and the offense finally moved the ball down field without making a whole heck of a lot of mistakes.”
In the first half the Mustangs looked as though they would put up a clinic against the Eagles, moving the chains with both passing and running efficiency. Led by senior quarterback Cameron Washington, West High continued to dominate and show off his abilities, which according to the Mustang’s athletic department, have gotten him looks from Kent State and Wisconsin.
Whether it was an impressive run to the outside, an incredible reception, or just a run right up the gut, Western Hills had no problem dictating the way the game was going to be played. But then came the second half.
Rather than the non-effective rushes to the outside, Walnut started running right up the gut and quickly drove down the field and scored off of a four yard run by senior Johnathan Avant. For the first time this season, the Eagles appeared to take advantage of their running behind their offensive line.
The reincarnated offense that Walnut fans were so used to seeing last year made another appearance as the Eagles found their way into the end zone twice in two minutes, after a keeper by sophomore quarterback Kevin Blount and then his 64 yd pass to Kendal Fitzgerald to tie the game up at 28 apiece, with seven minutes remaining.
But the drama continued, as Walnut Hills gave up another touchdown to Washington with just over two minutes left, making the score 34-28 (extra point attempt hit the left upright).
The Eagles took over from their own 34 and needed to get down the field and score quickly. After a couple of passes thrown from Blount, they got down to the Western Hills’ 13, and fumbled. It left with the Mustangs having the ball with 1:37 to play.
If you had to write the script to the craziest ending to a football game, not even then would you expect the following conclusion to the game.
With the ball and the game in their control, West High did the unthinkable. Lined up in shotgun formation, there was a bad snap and the ball went into the endzone where it was recovered by the offense, resulting in a safety. Walnut received two points and would get the ball one last time.
So onto the field, a sophomore quarterback led his team for one final drive, and a chance to pull out a comeback victory. With 55.8 seconds left, Blount lived up to that dream with a touchdown pass to Fitzgerald in the deep right corner of the endzone. Making the score 37-34 in favor of Walnut Hills.
Needless to say, the Eagles ultimately went on to get the win, and can hold their heads high as they go into next Thursday’s game vs. Hughes.
“We felt victorious,” said senior Kevin DeWalt Jr. “We went into the locker room and said it’s not over yet, and we believed that...and we came out with the win.”
“Tonight means alot,” senior Eric Haas told TriStateFootball.com. “We had multiple guys step up and play very well. It shows everyone that when we actually execute and play like we did in the second half, we can be a very good team.”
Friday’s victory for the Eagles might just go down as a tally in the win column, but after last week’s disappointing loss to Oak Hills, a comeback win like this exactly what this football program needed.
The next game for Western Hills is next Friday night at Roger Bacon. Walnut Hills plays Hughes Thursday night at Stargel Stadium.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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