Findlay's Tyler Curtis, right, sends Springfield South's Jerrod Gaines flying out of bounds.
MARION, Ohio - Findlay's 12th victory of the season was truly special.
Findlay's special teams played a prominent role as the Trojans knocked off Springfield South 31-28 in a Division I regional final last night at Harding Stadium.
Findlay's James Addington nailed a 28-yard field goal with 2:52 left in the game to decide the outcome. Findlay trailed 28-14 midway through the third quarter before scoring 17-unanswered points capped by Addington's school-record 12th field goal of the season.
Addington's winning kick took place only a few plays after the Trojans' punt-return team came through for the second time in the game by tackling the Wildcats punter behind the line of scrimmage after a bobbled snap. The second key play pulled off by the Findlay punt-return team came with less than five minutes left in the game and the Wildcats (9-4) inside their own 30.
“It's my job to just go out there and kick it,” said Addington, following his first game-winning field goal of the season.
The Trojans (12-1) have earned a trip to the state semifinal-round for the first time in school history. Findlay quarterback Kyle Johann completed 18 of 32 passes for 207 yards, including one touchdown. He also rushed for three touchdowns in the team's most meaningful win.
Johann said he knew they would pull out the come-from-behind win once it was left up to Addington.
“We just kept our composure and just tried to stay focused,” Johann said. “And Addington, I've always felt he's the most accurate kicker in the state.”
The Trojans rode a 10-game win streak heading into the regional final with the Wildcats. A disappointing loss to Dublin Coffman in their second game represented the Trojans' only loss up to this point in the season.
It was clear by halftime Springfield South had intentions on making it difficult for the Great Lakes League champions.
After Findlay opened the second quarter with a 49-yard, 11-play scoring drive, the Wildcats put together two scoring drives to finish out the half with a 14-7 advantage.
The Trojans, who had averaged 38 points in their previous two playoff games, struggled moving the ball against the Wildcats in the first half. Findlay was held to 13 rushing yards and 50 passing yards during the first 30 minutes. More significantly, the Trojans were limited to just one scoring drive before halftime for the first time this season.
The Trojans actually took a 7-0 lead when Johann finished off Findlay's only scoring drive with a two-yard dive into the end zone with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Springfield South didn't allow the Trojans to lead for long. The Wildcats took their next possession and marched 75 yards to tie the score when halfback Nathan Miller finished off the drive with a two-yard run with 6:43 left in the half.
Springfield South used its last possession of the half to take the lead. Wildcats quarterback Christopher Clark led his team on a 10-play drive that covered 64 yards in just over two minutes. He found Jerrod Gaines open for a 10-yard touchdown pass to complete the drive with only 15 seconds left in the half.
Findlay opened the second half with a 60-yard scoring drive to tie the score. Again, once the Trojans were inside the Wildcats' 5-yard line they called on their senior quarterback to finish off the drive. He scored on a two-yard run to even the score at 14 with 10:35 left in the quarter.