Springboro appeared to have a much-needed high school football win wrapped up in the fourth quarter Thursday night at Frank Zink Field.
Then the improbable happened.
Forced to play catch-up, Beavercreek scored twice in the final five minutes and was two yards away from scoring again when time apparently expired. That allowed Springboro to escape with a 31-28 victory. But it took a while for that final decision.
Beavercreek punched a first down on the Springboro 6 with 23 seconds left. The clock was incorrectly started at the placement of the ball. Beavercreek’s Nathan Corrigan, who had scored on a 57-yard run and 57-yard pass from Cody Hocker, was stopped at the 2. Time ran out and Springboro celebrated, but not for long.
Huddling at midfield with a rule book, referees took about 10 minutes before admitting the clock should not have started on the first down until the ball was snapped. When an incorrect call is made but the quarter ends, there is no do-over.
“We should have had time to probably run two plays,” Beavercreek coach Nic Black said. “They were trying to correct it. Based on the rules, they didn’t have the power to do it.”
Springboro quarterback Brody Mahle completed 10 of 15 passes and had touchdown passes of 15 and 9 yards to Tyler Tischler. Beavercreek’s Kaden Wenger ran for two scores and 78 yards.
Springboro (4-2) was coming off a crushing 28-21 setback to Centerville.
“There should have been at least 5-6 seconds left and whether they could have run a play or not, I don’t know,” said Springboro coach Ryan Wilhite after watching the Panthers surrender most of a 31-14 lead. “It was crazy. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a game like that.”
Beavercreek falls to 4-2.
Belmont 54, Ponitz 41: Bison running back Eli Malcolm rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns in a Southwestern Ohio Public League shootout at Welcome Stadium. Ponitz freshman running back Marquis Henry went for 154 yards and two scores on 10 carries and Golden Bears QB Xavier Henry rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Belmont improves to 4-2 and Ponitz is 3-3.
• There are many key Week 6 matchups today, starting with Wayne (4-0-1) at Centerville (2-3). The Warriors vaulted to No. 2 in the Division I state poll this week. The Elks have two last-minute losses but rebounded to sting Springboro 21-17 last week.
Another key GWOC American North game is Tippecanoe (4-1) at Troy (4-1). The Trojans are coming off their only loss, 21-17 to visiting Miamisburg in the final seconds. A couple of key Southwestern Buckeye League matchups feature Bellbrook (4-1) at Valley View (4-1) and Madison (4-1) at Milton-Union (4-1). Valley also is coming off its only setback, a 41-8 blowout at unbeaten Franklin.