Photo by Todd Thoenen
(CANTON, Ohio) – Overtime hasn't been kind to Walsh anytime in recent memory, but it gave the Cavaliers one of their most exciting wins in program history Saturday afternoon against Findlay. Electing to go for two, Reid Worstell found Matt Matuska alone in the left side of the end zone to give Walsh (1-5, 1-5) its first win of the season 39-38 over the visiting Oilers (3-3, 2-3).
It was the perfect way to cap off a game that had plenty of back-and-forth action. Almost lost in the shuffle was the fact that Walsh faced a 10-point deficit in the third quarter after Findlay's opening drive in the second half made the score 24-14.
The Cavs answered with a quarterback scamper by Worstell from six yards out to bring the Maroon and Gold within three points.
Findlay drove nearly the length of the field before it took a chance on fourth down from two yards out on the Walsh 5-yard line. Marcus Jones took the ball up the middle, but was stopped in the backfield by Trevor Smith and Hunter Reichenbach to change the momentum of the game.
The next drive was as impressive as any the Cavs have seen all season as they completed four third-down conversions on an 18-play drive that took 7:38 off the clock. The result was a Michael Dudics 26-yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24 with 5:56 left to go in regulation.
After an interception by C.J. Chatman appeared to put Walsh in control of its own destiny, Findlay returned the favor as Chiebuka Chukwuneke picked off Worstell and set up the Oilers on the Walsh 40.
The Oilers took the ball down to the seven with just over a minute left, but audibled out of a field goal formation and went for it on fourth and goal. Evan Rinke's to Dylan Hirzel fell incomplete and breathed new life into Walsh.
The first overtime appeared similar to the opening quarter where Walsh scored first before Findlay answered. Demetrius Walton scored the Cavs' first touchdown in overtime on a pass from Worstell from 16 yards out on fourth and one.
In the second overtime, Daiquone Ford scored from a yard out to put Findlay up seven after the PAT, but Aaron Male put Walsh in position for the win on the first play from scrimmage with a 25-yard screen pass.
Worstell finished the game 22-of-32 for 247 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Jeremy Willison was his favorite target with nine catches for 87 yards. Male had a big game on the ground with 124 yards on 15 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per clip.
Mack Coleman's performance was also a blessing for the Cavaliers. He was a part of Walsh's first two scores with a 3-yard run to put the Cavs up 7-0 before he tied the game at 14-14 with a jump pass to Zach Hill in the second quarter.
The Cavaliers now sets their sights on arch-rival Malone. Walsh is designated as the visitor in the game. Kickoff for the Bankert-Gallagher Memorial Trophy is set for 6 p.m.