"I don't know what to say" said Ron Hinton following his team's 14-13 victory over Teays Valley Friday. "What do you say after a game like this?"
Chillicothe got what it needed at the right time. A Teays Valley turnover, followed by the go ahead score on a one yard run by McKellen Lee with 14.6 seconds in regulation.
"There was a difference in the last minute and 48 seconds... when our offense ran on the field, there was a different mood" said Hinton following a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter.
Teays Valley's Reily Weiss had just returned a punt into Chillicothe territory. The next play, the Cavs stripped the ball loose and Lee recovered it for Chillicothe.
"There was a confidence, a belief that 'We can do this'" said Hinton.
Once Chillicothe took the ball, they first went backward with a penalty. Adrian Beverly managed to get the offense on track at the most crucial point of the game on a night in which the Cavaliers struggled to move the ball.
Beverly rushed for 86 yards on the night, but most of the work came on the winning drive. The senior signal caller got the Cavs into Teays Valley territory on a pass to Zack Coats, then rushed out of bounds at the one yard line with 15 seconds remaining. A handoff to Lee put the Cavs ahead 14-13 for their first lead of the game.
"We got two tremendous blocks on that pass to Coats down here" said Hinton.
Meanwhile, the Vikings didn't do themselves any favors. TV was penalized eleven times. One series had them with a punt return to their 40. A penalty on the run back pushed them back to their 20. That was followed by three consecutive penalties to put the Vikings 4 yards from their own goal line.
"Yep, you can't beat yourself. That's the bottom line" said Vikings Coach Mark Weber. "You can't have turnovers and you can't have penalties... or you will lose. That's what happened."
Teays Valley lost two of three fumbles and when there was laundry on the field, it was hampering their effort.
Both offenses struggled in the first half. The only scoring came after a Viking punt hit the Cavs' Joey Wright who was blocking, catching him on the left ankle. Taylor Robinson recovered for Teays Valley and on the next play, Tristan McDanel hit Dale Hubbard on a 29 yard touchdown strike. JJ Harris blocked the PAT for a 6-0 TV lead.
The Cavaliers got on the board in the third quarter when punter Brian James mishandled the snap in the end zone. The Chillicothe front swarmed James for a safety.
Teays Valley appeared to have the momentum in the fourth when McDanel scampered left on a 6-yard run to put his team ahead 13-2.
On the ensuing kickoff, Harris scooped up the pigskin at the Cavalier 8 and streaked through defenders 92 yards for a touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, but Chillicothe pulled back to within five at 13-8.
Teays Valley gained 198 yards total offense to Chillicothe's 157. Sam Fabbro led the Vikings with 70 yards on 15 carries.
It was Chillicothe's fourth consecutive win over the Vikings, the last three coming in the final moments of the games.
The Cavs (1-0) head to Mifflin August 31st for the first gridiron meeting between the schools. Teays Valley (0-1) will host Logan.
Listen to Dan Ramey and Dana Cousins to hear the exciting play-by-play call as heard on News Radio WBEX. (At the beginning of the podcast audio playback, fast forward to 1:30 to hear start of broadcast)