Caden Chapman couldn't convert his first chance to boot a game-winner.
But he was part of the Columbian defense that corralled elusive quarterback Ronald Tanner one more time, giving him and Tornadoes one more opportunity to win Saturday's Division III first-round playoff game against Columbus Eastmoor.
After a 25-yard field goal attempt that had plenty of leg but was wide right with 1:42 remaining, Chapman redeemed himself 10 times over by nailing a 37-yarder from between the hashes with 10 seconds left. Only Tanner's deep incompletion remained to complete Columbian's 17-14 win at Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
The Tornadoes now will face Clyde, a 21-6 winner over TC's Northern Ohio League rival Shelby, in next week's regional semifinals at a site to be determined today.
"First one, I was just mad at myself, because I make those easy in practice all the time," said Chapman, a two-way starter on the line for the Tornadoes. "I kept looking at the clock and kept looking at the distance and I was like, 'I'm gonna get another shot,' so I figured I'd suck it up, and if I got another chance I was gonna make it."
After Chapman's miss, Columbian (10-1) forced a fourth-straight punt by Eastmoor (6-4), the last three of which were three-and-outs. David Valdez's punt rolled dead at the Columbian 48 with 51 seconds remaining.
|Division III at Frost-Kalnow Stadium|
|Columbian 17, Eastmoor 14|
|Cols. Eastmoor Acad.||7||7||0||0 — 14|
|Columbian||6||0||8||3 — 17|
|TC — Jesse Hernandez 3 pass from Ryan Tittle (Caden Chapman kick blocked), 3:06|
|EA — Ronald Tanner 25 run (Trey Taylor kick), :08|
|EA — Tanner 3 run (Taylor kick), 5:17|
|TC — Derrick Goliday 51 pass from Tittle (Austin Bentz from Tittle), 5:55|
|TC — Chapman 37 field goal, :10|
|RUSHING: Eastmoor — Tanner 11-57; Derick Rudolph 11-14; Julian Frierson 4-12; Tevion Page 4-12; David Valdez 1-16. Columbian — Goliday 17-82; Tittle 14-62; Vince Kurtz 2-8; Mike Lee 1-3.|
|PASSING: Eastmoor — Tanner 6-18-0-79. Columbian — Tittle 12-24-2-144.|
|RECEIVING: Eastmoor — Jordan Bodell 2-25; Kevin Tucker 1-19; Devon Edwards 1-15; Page 1-10; Terrell Hudson 1-10. Columbian — Jesse Hernandez 6-46; Bentz 3-23; Lee 2-23; Goliday 2-23.|
Eastmoor cornerback Khalil Hairston got flagged for pass interference on second down. Ryan Tittle's 11-yard pass to Mike Lee along the sideline came two plays later, and Derrick Goliday's 6-yard run on third-and-10 set up Chapman.
Starting at its 48 actually marked Columbian's worst field position of the fourth quarter, as Tittle scrambled 15 yards to Eastmoor's 37 to end the third but then got picked by Tanner to start the fourth. Later TC drives that started from the Warrior 31 and 45 yard lines ended in a turnover on downs at the 15 and Chapman's miss. Tanner then got stopped for no gain on a scramble and fired incomplete twice.
In Eastmoor coach Jim Miranda's mind, it was a case of simply giving the opposition one too many chances.
"The kids, they played a tough game," he said. "But when you give a good football team that many opportunities, eventually it could bite you in the behind.
"I think (the Tornadoes) came in and did a good job covering our three-level routes; they're just well-coached in that regard. But we had opportunities. We have a couple non-dropped balls, and [it could be] a different story. If it was meant to be, it would've been [different]."
Columbian held Eastmoor to just 64 yards in the second half (199 overall), largely stuffing the ground game and bringing a pass rush that kept Tanner, who's bound for Ohio State as a defensive back, hemmed in more and more throughout the night.
Tanner rushed for 57 yards, but he was just 6-of-18 passing for 79 yards.
"Our D-line did a great job containing him and making him a thrower in the second half, and that was the difference in the game," Columbian coach Brian Colatruglio said. "We wanted to make him a thrower, not a runner. He's a great athlete, and we wanted him to stay in there. A lot of things come into play. They had some drops, we made some plays. When he's running, there's not a lot that can go wrong [for Eastmoor].
"Our defense manned up the second half. We got the big turnover, and we pretty much dominated defensively."
That turnover - Jack Jacoby poked the ball from Tevion Page on a reverse and Shane Hossler scooped and returned it just across midfield - came after Eastmoor had taken a 14-6 lead and gained three first downs to start the third quarter.
Two plays later, Goliday slipped out behind the secondary and Tittle found him for a 51-yard touchdown at the 5:55 mark. Chapman had a PAT blocked in the first quarter, so Columbian went for the conversion to tie and got it when Tittle zipped a slant to Austin Bentz.
Columbian also forced a pair of three-and-outs to start the game, and Tittle's 3-yard receiver screen to Jesse Hernandez capped a short 33-yard possession and gave the Tornadoes the game's first lead.
Tanner responded with a 25-yard scoring scramble, after a pair of TC pass interference penalties aided the drive.
The Tornadoes quickly drove down to Eastmoor's 5, but on second down Goliday got stripped of the ball on his way to the end zone and Shawn Jackson recovered in the end zone for the Warriors.
Tanner then completed four passes and scrambled for another first down during an 11-play drive, capped with his own easy bootleg from the 3.
Dalvon Barrow's last-minute interception of Tittle's fourth-down pass from the Eastmoor 28 assured Columbian its first halftime deficit since Whitmer in the season opener - also a 14-6 margin.
"We haven't faced much adversity this year, and we haven't faced adversity in a long time," Colatruglio said. "We kinda came unglued there for a possession or two on defense. We went into half, we didn't make adjustments, we just re-inforced what they needed to do."
Goliday's point-blank fumble was his second of the night, he did manage 82 yards on 17 carries. Tittle was 12-of-24 passing for 144 yards, and just as important he added 62 yards rushing on 14 carries.
"The turnovers hurt, and they had a good combination on defense, because they were, they were fast and they were physical," Colatruglio said. "You put those together on defense, you know, it makes it tough. Our offensive line was outweighed considerably in there, and they just battled. We kept fighting; we did a great job in protection. That was a really good football team there. They had a lot of pieces that you need to be successful.
"That's a great win for our team, for our program and for our seniors. Last game in the stadium, getting to go up and ring that bell one more time."