Geneva, OH- In an exciting but ultimately heartbreaking ending, the St. John Heralds clashed with the Mathews Mustangs, providing fans with a nail-biting contest that went down to the wire. The final score read St. John Heralds 28, Mathews Mustangs 30, but this game will be remembered for its dramatic twists and explosive plays.
The first quarter set the stage with both teams failing to put points on the board, but the second quarter quickly picked up the pace. St. John’s quarterback, Vin Narducci, connected with Donald Crawford for a 5-yard touchdown pass, followed by a successful 2-point conversion to Sully Twining, putting the Heralds ahead 8-0. Narducci struck again with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Will Anderson, though the extra point attempt was unsuccessful, extending their lead to 14-0.
Mathews wasn’t about to let the game slip away, as Dom Spagnoletta found Connor Thompson with a 12-yard touchdown pass, closing the gap to 14-7 just before halftime.
The third quarter proved to be another thrilling chapter in this contest, with Spagnoletta showcasing his versatility, scoring a 15-yard rushing touchdown and securing the extra point to tie the game at 14-14. However, Narducci and Anderson once again proved to be a lethal duo, connecting on a 47-yard touchdown pass, followed by a successful 2-point conversion, reclaiming the lead for the Heralds at 22-14.
The fourth quarter unleashed more fireworks, as Mathews’ Trenton Hyde delivered a 45-yard touchdown pass to Spagnoletta, and a successful 2-point conversion knotted the score at 22-22. Then, with just over two minutes remaining, Spagnoletta powered through for a 2-yard rushing touchdown, and the Mustangs converted another 2-point attempt, taking a 30-22 lead.
But the Heralds weren’t finished yet. In a stunning turn of events, Narducci unleashed an 80-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Severino, electrifying the crowd. Although the 2-point conversion failed, the Heralds were back within striking distance at 28-30.
As the clock wound down, Mathews had a chance to seal the game, but St. John’s defense held strong, stopping them on a crucial 4th down turnover on downs at the 30-yard line with just 55 seconds remaining.
Narducci once again displayed his arm strength, connecting on a 40-yard pass igniting the crowd. The Heralds comeback would fall short at the 17-yard line with 33 seconds left when Mathews’ defense held firm, denying St. John on a 4th down attempt with just seconds remaining, securing a heart-pounding 30-28 victory.
In a game defined by explosive plays, Narducci shined brightly with an impressive 340 passing yards and four touchdowns. Anthony Severino, Ryan Williams, and Will Anderson were standout receivers, each amassing over 100 yards in receptions.
With this thrilling contest in the books, the St. John Heralds (2-4) will look to carry their offensive momentum into their upcoming clash with NAC opponent Windham Bombers (2-3) in week 7, while the Mathews Mustangs (1-5) will travel to face the Mineral Ridge Rams (4-1) in what promises to be another exciting matchup. Football fans can’t wait to see what these teams have in store for the rest of the season.