CHILLICOTHE — Wilmington’s bid for a post season playoff game came up short as Chillicothe handed Wilmington a stinging 26-22 defeat Friday night in South Central Ohio League action.
The Hurricane ends the season at 7-3 overall, and 5-2 in the SCOL. WHS finishes third behind champion Clinton-Massie and Chillicothe.
With the win, Chillicothe has apparently clinched a playoff game. The Cavaliers finish at 7-3 overall, 6-1 in the SCOL.
“We made some crucial mistakes and too many turnovers (four total) and you just can’t do that against a good team like Chillicothe,” said WHS coach Scott Killen following the game.
“We emptied everything we had and left nothing on the table. I’m proud of the kids that they fought right until the very end and gave everything we had right until the final play. The breakdowns were crucial and they took advantage of our miscues.”
Nate Rosenbauer was the star for Chillicothe as he scored four touchdowns — two rushing, one passing and one 80-yard kickoff return. The kick return came immediately following a Wilmington touchdown which had cut the deficit 20-16 midway through the fourth quarter.
Wilmington took an 8-0 on a 45-yard touchdown run by Dylan Beaugard at the 4:27 mark of the first quarter and the ’Cane capitalized on the two-point conversion. The snap went to Marlyn Frisco who passed to Beaugard who found Matt Creditt in the right corner of the end zone.
Chillicothe cut the lead to 8-7 when Rosenbauer ran it in from 27 yards out and the PAT was good, closing out the first quarter scoring. The teams battled for field position throughout the second quarter with no scoring.
Things heated up in the third when Chillicothe took the lead as Rosenbauer connected with Boltenhouse on a 20-yard strike and Jason Johansen PAT kick gave the Cavaliers a 14-8 lead. Rosenbauer found the end zone on a 18-yard run at the 11:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter after Wilmington fumbled the ball. Johansen’s PAT kick extended the lead to 20-8.
Wilmington didn’t give up and worked the ball downfield, scoring on a 1-yard run by Frisco and Creditt connected with Beaugard on the two-point conversion at the 8:05 mark.
However, Rosenbauer electrified the crowd with his 80-yard kickoff return to take the wind out of the Hurricane sails.
Wilmington’s final touchdown came on a dramatic fourth down play, when Creditt eluded several Cavalier defenders and scored with 6:44 remaining in regulation. His bid for the two-point conversion came up short, leaving it 26-22 Chillicothe.
Wilmington had one last chance for the go-ahead score, working the ball down to the Chillicothe 37, but could not complete the fourth down pass. Chillicothe then ran out the clock.
Follow Bill on Twitter @lierjet.