By Kyle Seyfried
FRANKLIN, Ohio – What started out to be a slow game turned out to be a memorable one for McNicholas.
The three-play final drive in the final minute capped off by Rockets quarterback Luke Sulken’s 38-yard touchdown lifted McNicholas to a 35-28 win over Fenwick on at Krusling Field on Friday.
Fenwick scored right away on an 8-yard touchdown run by Jake Percy to make it 7-0 lead.
But the Falcons would be stopped every possession after that for the rest of the half.
McNicholas’ dominated the second quarter, thanks to a strong running attack. The Rockets’ opening drive of the second frame would be capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Adam Hisch.
A possession later, senior Dominic Gabrielle would speed around the box for a 69-yard TD.
McNicholas tried to bail out Fenwick’s stagnant offense when the Rockets muffed a punt, setting up prime field position for the Falcons.
But Fenwick would be stopped on fourth down, the first of several turnovers on downs for the Falcons.
McNicholas took advantage, driving down the field and scoring on a 20-yard touchdown run by star junior quarterback Luke Sulken to give the Rockets a 21-7 lead going into the half.
Fenwick’s offense was rejuvenated in the second half. Thomas Sheridan carried the load and was able to punch in a touchdown from a yard out to cut the McNicholas lead to seven.
Sheridan almost scored another touchdown on a 49-yard run, but it was called back on a penalty, squelching Fenwick’s scoring opportunity.
McNicholas was able to capitalize, compiling a scoring drive that was capped off by a 51-yard touchdown run by Sulken, giving McNicholas a 28-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Fenwick cut the lead to seven on a 13-yard run by senior quarterback Nick Fedders.
McNicholas drove into Falcons territory, but its possession was halted when Fenwick’s Luke Sennett intercepted a Sulken pass at the 5 yard line.
Fenwick running back Frank Cratine would go onto score a 4-yard touchdown that tied the score at 28 with a minute remaining.
Gabriele, who finished with over 100 ground yards, broke a critical run on the ensuing drive for the Rockets, setting up Sulken’s winning run.