The West missed a 22-yard field goal with 16 seconds to play and fell to the East 9-7 at Eastridge High School Sunday night.
It was a miracle the West even had a kick to win.
With under two minutes to play and the East team clinging to its two point lead, Newark's Phillip Tack grabbed an interception near midfield.
He held it for only a moment.
Tack had his legs taken out from under him while still in mid-air and lost control of the ball, but it fell right to Eastridge's Ricky Hagins. A 20 yard return after the interception appeared to have sealed a win, but Luch Pietropaolo from Aquinas stripped the ball from Hagins. Pietropaolo recovered the fumble and then went on a gallop that came within a tackle of reaching the end zone, but did get the West a first down at the East 21 yard line.
The West team had to convert a 4th and 1 to keep the drive alive, but could only get six yards on three plays following that first down and had to settle for the field goal try.
Churchville-Chili's John Iacucci hit Wilson's Akinlawon Robinson for a first half touchdown that gave the West team a 7-0 lead at the break. Notre Dame Batavia's Tim McCulley opened the second half with a 56-yard pass to Churchville's Jake Mortier, but the drive ended with a missed West field goal.
The East team had a long drive in the 3rd quarter snuffed by a fumble, but finally found the end zone in the 4th. Pal-Mac's Stephen Morrell swung a short pass to Clyde-Savannah's Joe Faniel and Faniel ran over a tackler en route to a 30-yard touchdown. However, Altron Webb from Aquinas blocked the ensuing PAT and the West team still led 7-6.
The lead didn't last long. The West team played the 4th quarter into an increasing wind, and a short punt gave the ball back to the East at the West 30 yard line. Schroeder's Bam Akinniyi had a couple nifty runs that allowed McQuaid's Will Mahar to bang in a 25 yard field goal. The East led 9-7 with under three minutes to play and held on, despite the eye-opening, mouth-agape finish.
It was only the second time in the 32 year history of the Eddie Meath Game that the winning team did not score ten points. The first was a 3-0 barnburner in 1984, in the senior all-star classic's 2nd season.
The East has won the last ten games, but this was the third in a row decided by two points or less. The West lost by a single point in 2012 and 2013. Two years ago, the East team made a late field goal to win. Last year, the West failed on a late two point conversion.
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