With the game on the line after squandering a 21-point lead in the third quarter, Girard stayed calm and collected.
The patience was rewarded when Indians quarterback looked to his second option — wideout Jimmy Jones — on a screen pass. Jones caught the ball, broke a tackle and ran 24 yards for the go-ahead touchdown for a 34-30 Division IV, Region 13 playoff win. The winning score came with 1:31 left to play.
“We were calm. We were cracking jokes in the huddle. We knew we were going to get it done,” Waid said. “We had that confidence and it showed.”
Jones’ TD put an end to an impressive rally from East (7-4), which scored four straight touchdowns in the third quarter.
“They had some grit and they fought. I’m disappointed that we came up short,” East coach Brian Marrow said. “It’s a shame someone had to lose the game. Girard has a great team and a great program and I wish them the best.”
Sophomore quarterback Delshawn Petrosky drove the Golden Bears down the field on the opening drive of the second half and capped it with an 18-yard touchdown run. Girard’s Nick Malito fumbled on the ensuing kickoff to put the Golden Bears in Indians territory and Petrosky scored again on a QB sneak. Girard (10-1) later botched a snap on a punt and and East’s Terrance Yeboah recovered to put his team at Girard’s 10. One play later, Gei’Vonni Washington found the end zone.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.