BOWLING GREEN -- The underdog Clyde Fliers pulled off one the biggest upsets in this year's Ohio football playoffs Friday night, knocking off second-ranked Central Catholic 42-41 in a Division III regional final at Doyt Perry Stadium.
Fliers quarterback Tim Hoppe, who was 13 of 34 passing for 367 yards and five touchdowns, connected with Derek Gray on a 74-yard scoring pass with 3:27 remaining to tie the game, and Austin Baker’s extra-point kick proved to be the game-winning point.
That lead held up after Central (12-1) drove to the Fliers’ 4 yard line, where Irish standout quarterback DeShone Kizer lost a fumble with 52 seconds remaining after scrambling for a five-yard gain on third-and-7.
Irish running back Paul Moses carried 29 times for 153 yards and scored five TDs in the defeat, which snapped Central’s 17-game winning streak.
The loss ended Central’s bid for a second straight state championship. The Irish went 14-1 last season en route to a Division II state title.
Kizer was 21 of 38 passing for 217 yards, and rushed 15 times for 127 yards.
Central had gone ahead 41-35 on Moses’ fifth TD, a nine-yard run with 3:27 to play. But Irish placekicker Patrick Schommer missed wide left on the subsequent PAT kick to leave the Fliers an opening.
On the play before the game-winning TD catch by Gray, Hoppe was nearly intercepted. But Irish linebacker Chris Green was unable to hang onto the football.
BOWLING GREEN -- In a stunning first half, the unranked Clyde Fliers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on second-ranked Central Catholic, and have taken a 28-21 lead to halftime in a Division III regional football final at Doyt Perry Stadium.
Fliers quarterback Tim Hoppe has burned the Central secondary with big plays, completing just seven of his 16 passes, but throwing for 205 yards and four touchdowns.
The Irish tied the game at 21-21 with just 34 seconds left in the half on a three-yard TD pass from DeShone Kizer to Jermiah Braswell. But Clyde’s Blake Miller returned the ensuing kickoff to his 42, and then Hoppe hit Derek Gray on a 58-yard TD for a 28-21 Fliers lead with 16 seconds left in the half.
Central trails despite dominating the time of possession in the first two quarters, 18 minutes and 26 seconds to just 5:34 for Clyde.
Miller got the Fliers’ first score on a 31-yard TD catch, and Gray put them up 14-0 just 4:19 into the game on a 22-yard scoring catch.
After Central tied the game 14-14 on a TD runs of 9 and 3 yards by Paul Moses, Clyde running back Damien Coburn put the Fliers back up by taking a screen pass 66 yards for a TD with 8:04 left in the half.