• Dr. Herpy

Hilltoppers hand No. 1 Bombers first loss in walk-off fashion

Published in The News-Herald
October 20, 2018
Nate Barnes

Three yards and four seconds remained between Chardon and an upset of undefeated, No. 1-ranked Kenston Oct. 19.

Hilltoppers coach Mitch Hewitt called timeout and, trailing by three points, sent his offense back to the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Max Vujaklija sent senior Jon McKnight in motion, snapped the ball then handed it to McKnight. He swept off right tackle, cut upfield and galloped over a Kenston defender as time expired.

Chardon’s sideline swarmed the field, mobbed McKnight and celebrated a 27-24 win on the Bombers’ home field.

“I never had a moment like this in my life,” McKnight said. “It’s one of the greatest nights of my life.”

At the outset of the Hilltoppers’ 98-yard, near seven-minute drive to end the game, Hewitt’s desired outcome was singular. If his team appeared to falter near the end zone, Hewitt wouldn’t consider kicking a game-tying field goal.

If one play would decide a winner at Kenston Stadium, Hewitt didn’t know what play he’d call. Yet, he was certain who he’d trust with the ball.

“You’re going to call a player’s number before you call a play,” Hewitt said, “and that’s what we do with No. 7.”

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