Windham, OH- Ed Liddle Field was the scene on Friday night as the Windham Bombers welcomed in the St. John Fighting Heralds of Ashtabula for a Northeastern Athletic Conference matchup on homecoming night. Both teams came into the game at 2-4 with the Bombers having won two of their last three.
Windham would receive the opening kickoff and start at the Heralds 47 yard line. They moved 53 yards in 5 plays to score the games first touchdown on a Jack Eye 22 yard scamper into the end zone. The PAT was converted and the Bombers jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. Eye accounted for 38 of the 53 yards on the opening drive.
The Bomber defense would come up big on the Heralds first possession after a Matt Kolaczek sack dropped St. John QB Vin Narducci for a 7 yard loss. Two plays later the Heralds would punt it away. This time Windham would put together an 11 play, 80 yard scoring drive that would eat the balance of the 1st quarter clock. The first play of the 2nd quarter was an Anthony Paolella 3 yard touchdown plunge. The two point try was unsuccessful and Windham jumped out to a 13-0 lead.
St. John would put their first scoring drive together on their next possession. Narducci took to the air completing 6 of 7 passes to get down to the Bomber 11 yard line. From there Will Anderson ran it in for the score. The two point try was no good making it a 13-6 game with 6:26 to play in the half.
Windham would answer right back in less than a minutes time as Carlos Bruton ripped off a pair of 20 yard runs, the last of which went for a touchdown. The 2 point try was once again no good and the Bombers held a 19-6 lead with 5:28 to play in the half. That would end the scoring as Eye picked off a Narducci pass ending their scoring threat before halftime.
St. John opened the third quarter with a 60 yard drive that was capped off by another Anderson touchdown run, this one from 3 yards out making it a one score game at 19-13. The Heralds defense then held Windham and got the ball back with 2:48 to play in the 3rd quarter. After moving into Bomber territory it appeared Windham had the Heralds stopped on 4th and 10, but a personal foul penalty against the Bombers have St. John new life at the Windham 12 yard line. Four plays later Narducci took a keeper in from 2 yards out. The successful two point try gave the Heralds their first lead at 20-19 with 56 seconds to play in the 3rd quarter.
After the kickoff there was a scary moment in the game as Windham's Zack Porter suffered an undisclosed injury and had to be taken by ambulance from Ed Liddle Stadium. Once the game resumed the Bombers scored quick. Runs of 16, 29 & 1 yard resulted in a Bombers touchdown to end the 3rd quarter. The two point try was no good and Windham had regained the lead 25-20.
Windham's defense would then force a Heralds 3 and out to start the 4th quarter. They then put together what appeared to be a game clinching 10 play, 80 yard drive capped off by a 4 yard touchdown run by Eye after a nice 21 yard Anthony Wiley run. This time they were able to convert the two point try as Dylan McCune completed a pass to Eye for the conversion. Windham took a 33-20 lead with 4:25 to play.
St. John went into their bag of tricks to get a quick score on their next drive. on the 3rd play, Narducci hit Will Anderson with a screen pass, who in turn completed a long pass to Anthony Severino for a 56 yard scoring strike in under a minute. They converted the two point try and suddenly it was a 33-28 game with 3:34 to play.
Next came one of the big turning points as the Heralds hit a short kickoff to and open area of the field and were able to recover it at the Bomber 30 yard line. After moving the ball to the Bomber 10 yard line, Windham LB Jordan Ridenbaugh sacked Narducci for a 13 yard loss back to the 23 yard line. But on the next play Narducci completed a 25 yard pass to Anderson. Windham held firm forcing a 4th and goal from the 2 yard line with under 20 seconds to play. With the game on the line, Anderson was able to punch in his 3rd touchdown of the night. The two point attempt was good and St. John led 36-33 with 15 seconds left in the game.
The Bombers were unable to move the ball in two plays before the clock hit zero and the Heralds pulled off the comeback win 36-33.
Windham will look to rebound next week when they head to Southington to face Chalker while the Heralds head home to face Fairport Harding.
Jack Eye: 19 rush, 174 yds, 3 TD
Carlos Bruton: 10 rush, 85 yds, TD
Will Anderson: 10 rush, 44 yds, 3 TD / 6 rec, 93 yds
Vin Narducci: 13/27, 165 yds, INT
Anthony Severino: 2 rec, 68 yds, TD