LOCKLAND, Ohio -- The La Salle Lancers saved the best for last in their GCL South opener against the Moeller Crusaders.
Quarterback Nick Watson raced around the left side 19 yards for a game-winning touchdown in overtime, giving the Lancers a 13-7 road victory at Roettger Stadium.
The win marks the first time in program history that La Salle (6-0, 1-0) has beaten Moeller in back-to-back seasons. La Salle, which has now won 14 straight games dating back to last season, trailed for most of the game and never led until the final play.
“That’s why you do the stuff in the offseason,” first-year head coach Jim Hilvert told his players after the game. “You never ended the fight. You never end the battle, and that’s what Lancer football is all about.”
Junior running back Jarell White scored for La Salle on a 1-yard dive into the end zone to tie the score 7-7 with 9:44 in the fourth quarter.
Moeller (2-4, 0-2) controlled the clock for most of the game, and with 7:31 left, began another long, time-consuming offensive possession. The drive stalled with 12 seconds left in regulation. Michigan State-bound senior Matt Coghlin missed a 34-yard field goal wide to the left that could have given the Crusaders the win.
The two teams went to overtime; La Salle won the coin toss and deferred, electing to play defense on the first possession.
The Crusaders were driving and had the ball third-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Moeller quarterback Thomas MacVitte scrambled toward the goal line, reaching for the left pylon, but he was marked out of bounds inside the 1-yard line. This made it fourth-and-goal, and the Crusaders handed off to running back Hunter Hughes, who lead the team in rushing with 118 yards. La Salle linebacker Hayden Jester made a game-saving tackle when he stopped Hughes behind the line of scrimmage.
That’s when Watson had his chance to be a hero on the second play of the overtime possession. The senior quarterback faked the handoff and went around the left side of his offense line, where he had enough room to sprint to the end zone for the game-winning score.
“To have the winning touchdown, that’s a dream come true -- it's every kid's dream to win a game like that,” Watson said. “The defense played well in overtime and gave the offense another chance to do what we had to do to win it.”
Moeller, who outgained the Lancers 293-148 in total offense, scored its only touchdown in the second quarter when MacVitte connected over the middle with tight end Matt Dotson for a 19-yard score.
Both teams continue play in the GCL South next week. La Salle plays its second consecutive road game in the league at St. Xavier. Moeller also takes a road trip, heading to The Pit for a battle with the Elder Panthers.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1 2 3 4 5 T
La Salle – 0 0 0 7 6 13
Moeller – 0 7 0 0 0 7
MOE – Thomas MacVitte 19-yard TD pass to Matt Dotson (Matt Coughlin
kick) – 2:10.
LaS – Jarell White 1-yard TD run (Drew Chrisman kick) – 9:44
LaS – Nick Watson 19-yard TD run