11.3.12 FOOTBALL: Cavs Stunned on Hail Mary
(Lyndhurst, OH) Notre Dame’s (3-7, 2-7) Colton Wallace caught a 38-yard TD pass from Russ Ray with six seconds to play to give the Falcons a 31-28 come from behind win over the Cavaliers (3-7, 2-7) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. The loss denied Walsh Head Coach Jim Dennison his 200th collegiate win. The Cavs close the season at home next Saturday against the University of Findlay at Fawcett Stadium at 12 pm.
Walsh took the early lead when Darryl Gary (So., Fort Myers, FL/South Fort Myers) caught a 43-yard strike from Jack Dawson (Sr., Columbiana, OH/South Range) at 7:56 of the first quarter. Notre Dame would reach the Cavs three-yard line on the next possession but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal.
Walsh would score twice in the second quarter to take a 21-3 lead. Steve Smith (Jr., Norton, OH/HS) scored on a one-yard at the 10:12 mark to give the Cavs a 14-3 lead. Walsh would then block a punt, which Paul Kempe (So., Girard, OH/Ursuline) recovered in the end zone to extend the lead to 21-3.
Notre Dame scored twice in the third quarter to trim the Cavs lead to 21-16. At the start of the fourth the Falcons took their first lead of the game when Jean Karl scored on a two-yard run at 8:42 to put ND up 24-21.
Walsh would answer with a eight-play 45-yard drive to regain the lead. Toba Olarewaju (Sr., Youngstown, OH/Christian), playing with a broken hand, entered the game for the first time and scored on a one-yard run with 4:25 to play to give Walsh a 28-24 lead. Olarewaju rushed for 33 yards on the drive, which was aided by a pass interference penalty.
Notre Dame looked like they would regain the lead as they marched down the field, but a fumble on the Walsh three-yard line by Ray Brown gave the ball back to the Cavs with 1:51 to play. Tyler Bischof (Fr., Akron, OH/St. Vincent-St. Mary) forced the fumble and Nathan Filut (Jr., Strongsville, OH/HS) made the recovery.
Walsh advanced to the 10-yard, but Dawson’s bootleg was one-yard short and the Cavs were forced to punt with 46 seconds to play. After a 40-yard punt, Notre Dame took over with no timeouts on Walsh’s 49-yard line. On first down, Andrew Roy (Jr., Tallmadge, OH/HS) and Ryan Fehrenbach (Sr., Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) sacked Russ Ray on the Falcons’ 43-yard line. The Falcons were then faced with third and 18 after Ray stopped the clock with a incomplete pass. On third and long, Ray found Danny LaRosa on the Walsh 38-yard for a first down. After a spike to stop the clock, Wallace got behind the defense and made a lunging catch in the end zone for the game winner.
After a celebration penalty, Sir Taylor (Sr., Albany, NY/Lincoln Hall/YSU) returned the kick-off to the Notre Dame 48-yard line with one second to play. Dawson’s long pass to the 20-yard fell incomplete as time expired.
Smith led the Cavs with his second straight 100-yard day, finishing with 109 yards on 27 carries. Dawson completed 8-14 passes for 109 yards. Gary caught four passes for 89 yards.
Notre Dame outgained the Cavs 442 to 278 in total offense, with over 300 yards in the second half. Walsh could just muster five first downs in the second half, while the Falcons had 19 and 27 for the game.
Ray passed for 286 yards and Pedro Powell rushed for 133 yards. Mikhail Morgan caught eight passes for 82 yards.