Full slate of high-school football games on tap in Barrie area Wednesday
An Eastview Wildcats player carries the ball up the field during Simcoe County Athletic Association (SCAA) senior boys high-school football action last week. MARK WANZEL/PHOTO
After a disastrous first quarter, things looked bleak for the Orillia Secondary School Nighthawks senior boys football team who found themselves down 15-0 against a strong Innisdale Secondary School squad.
Everything went wrong early on. Innisdale took the opening kick-off and ran it into the OSS end zone for an electrifying first-play touchdown.
Then, after pinning OSS deep into their own end, a high snap went over punter Liam Wilson's head that the Invaders corralled in the end zone for a safety.
On their next possession, the Invaders once again found the end zone and it looked like the Nighthawks were over-matched.
But a sputtering offence started to find its stride in the second quarter when Nighthawks quarterback Scott Thompson found Pierson French for a touchdown.
It seemed to ignite the visitors against a tough foe.
In the second half, Josh Monkman intercepted an Invaders' pass and ran it in for a touchdown to narrow the gap to 15-12.
Late in the third, however, Innisdale padded its lead, capping a strong drive by running in a major score that gave them a 22-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
OSS owned the fourth quarter. Josh Buckindale returned a punt for a momentum-changing touchdown and on their next possession, the Nighthawks, on a well-designed sweep that saw Karl Winder rumble 60 yards for a touchdown, took their first lead, 26-22.
Innisdale had a chance late after a key interception, but their drive bogged down just 13 yards shy of the end zone as the Nighthawks defence stood tall, forcing the Invaders to turn over the ball on downs.
OSS was then able to run out the clock to preserve the dramatic come-from-behind victory.
With the win, the Nighthawks improved to 3-1 in Simcoe County Athletic Association action. In their four games, the Nighthawks have outscored their opposition 108-44.
OSS will clash with Barrie North Collegiate (2-2) on Wednesday at the West Orillia Sports Complex turf field.
In other SCAA senior boys regular-season football action on Wednesday, the Eastview Wildcats (1-3) will travel to Innisfil to face the undefeated Nantyr Shores Tritons (4-0). The Tritons have outscored their opponents, 88-17, this season.
There will also be a pair of games in Barrie, including the Collingwood Fighting Owls (1-3) battling the Invaders (2-2) at Innisdale, and the winless Nottawasaga Pines Timberwolves (0-4) facing the Kodiaks (3-1) at Bear Creek. The Kodiaks, who are coming off a 17-0 loss last week to Nantyr Shores, have outscored their opponents, 120-34.
All games are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.