Thursday, May 23, 2013
YORK - One thought kept going through Ben Lawlor's mind: "Third time's a charm."
Turned out he was right.
After missing two field-goal attempts in the first half, Lawlor kicked a 33-yard field goal with 39 seconds remaining to lift York High to a wild 24-21 victory over previously unbeaten Greely in a Western Class B football game Friday night.
Lawlor's winning kick capped a back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw each team score two touchdowns.
"That's football," said Randy Small, coach of the Wildcats, who won their third straight. "Like I told Dave (Higgins, Greely's coach) after, this game is going to help both of us down the line. Both teams fought to the end."
Both teams are 3-1.
Greely, which had four turnovers in the first half, twice rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter, the final time on a 46-yard pass from Drew Hodge to Nick Maynard, a play in which three York defenders collided. Pat Finnegan's PAT kick made it 21-21 with 5:53 left.
Then York went to work with the power running of Sean Kelly (96 yards rushing, one touchdown) and Thomas Kinton (84 yards rushing, one touchdown). It drove to the Greely 15. On fourth-and-2 there, Small opted to send out Lawlor.
"We were joking in the huddle that the first two were just warmups," said Small.
Even though this was a situation he had often dreamed of, Lawlor couldn't calm down.
"The whole game depended on me," he said.
"Everything was going through my mind. It was crazy. My heart was pounding."
Not able to calm down, he simply did what he does every day in practice.
"I just kick," he said, getting hugs and congratulations from people leaving the stadium.
"It's what I aim to do every game. I just hope I can come through at a time like that."
Well, he did.
Lining up at the 33, he booted an end-over-end kick that just made it inside the left goalpost and just over the crossbar, setting off a wild celebration with the York fans behind the end zone.
Greely got the ball back at its 10, but a sack and three incompletions ended the game.
"It was a great game," said Higgins. "The first half, we were just happy to be in it after the three fumbles.
"Hey, the kids played well. That's a great football team and they beat us."
York tried to control the tempo with its power running game, but once Greely had to pass, the Rangers were unstoppable. Hodge completed 8 of 12 passes in the second half for 154 yards and two touchdowns, the second one a 13-yarder to Connor Hanley.
But York responded every time.
When it was tied at 7 following a Svenn Jacobson 24-yard touchdown run, York put together a drive to score on an 8-yard run by Kinton.
When Hanley tied it, York's Wes Warner returned the kick-off 85 yards for a touchdown.
After Maynard's long touchdown reception, the Wildcats came back to their power game to set up the winning score.
"We had a lot of heart and we took it right at them," said Kinton.
Asked if he had confidence that Lawlor would make his third kick, Kinton said, "I have confidence in everyone on this team.
"No matter what."
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: