How wild was the finish of the game between Warren Central (Indianapolis) and St. Xavier (Cincinnati) on Friday?
The visiting Warriors’ winning touchdown started on a play with no time left on the clock.
Sophomore wide receiver David Bell outleaped several teammates and Bomber defenders to haul in senior quarterback Zach Summeier’s 42-yard “Hail Mary” pass in the end zone to give No. 19 Warren Central a 19-18 win.
The touchdown followed a play on which St. Xavier was called for illegal participation. Since games can’t end on defensive penalties, Warren Central had one more chance.
“It’s nice to get a win,” said Summeier, who finished 19-of-32 for 242 yards and the touchdown. “You can’t focus on the negative. You’ve got to focus on the positive.
The winning score outweighed St. Xavier junior quarterback Chase Wolf’s two touchdown passes in the final 1:30 that gave the Bombers an 18-13 lead. Both touchdowns came on drives that were extended by penalties on Warren Central that had the team and fans so frustrated that somebody from the Warren Central side of the field threw a water bottle on the field. Police had to come on to the field to clear it so the final play could be run, and Warren Central had to retrieve several players who had already started angrily heading toward the locker room.
“That was embarrassing,” said St. Xavier coach Steve Specht, whose team finished with eight penalties for 150 yards. “If our job is to teach these kids, we did a terrible job tonight.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Warren Central coach Jayson West, whose team racked 16 penalties for 160 yards. “It was a crazy game – so many penalties.”
Senior running back Tristen Tonte gained 126 yards and scored two touchdowns on 21 carries, including a 71-yard romp that gave the Warriors a 13-3 lead with 7:54 left in the third quarter.
Friday’s game was the first of a three-game homestand with which St. Xavier wraps up its regular season. The Bombers are scheduled to meet Cleveland St. Ignatius next Saturday at 2 p.m. and Louisville St. Xavier on October 28 at 7 p.m.
Warren Central gets next weekend off before hosting Franklin Central on October 28 at 7 p.m.
The Bombers grabbed a quick 3-0 lead on senior Kevin Rockwood’s 24-yard field goal, which capped an 11-play, 48-yard drive that consumed four minutes and 18 seconds.
The Warriors used a 43-yard pass from Summeier to Bell out of punt formation on fourth-and-17 from their own 49-yard line to keep alive a drive that ended with Tonte’s two-yard plunge with 10:19 left in the first half.