MANSFIELD, Ohio — The Green Bulldogs were the underdogs under Friday night lights at Arlin Stadium in Mansfield as they took on the Massillon Washington Tigers in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Division II regional championship game.
The Tigers struck first with Darrius McElroy rushing for an 8-yard touchdown and Shane Rue nailing the extra point to put Massillon up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Green answered back with a touchdown of their own in the second quarter thanks to an 8-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Van Horn to Trey Martin. Eli Noirot made his extra point and tied the game up 7-7.
McElroy rushed for another Massillon touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the first half with Rue making the extra point and taking a 14-7 lead over the Bulldogs.
With just 10 seconds to go in the half, the Bulldogs closed the deficit with a 2-yard pass from Van Horn to Zach Baglia. Green's PAT was no good and they entered the second half down 14-13.
The Bulldog defense came out of the gates hot, forcing Massillon to punt on their first drive of the second half, getting the ball back in the offense's hand quickly.
Van Horn connected with Martin again, this time for a 70-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs went for two in an effort to make up for the missed PAT, but failed, giving them a 19-14 lead over the Tigers.
The lead bounced back and forth between the Tigers and Bulldogs all game, coming down to the wire in the fourth quarter. With nine minutes left in the game, after forcing the Bulldogs to punt following an interception by Jack Schaal, the Tigers found the end zone again on their first possession with a 40-yard touchdown run and completed a two-point conversion to give Massillon a 22-19 lead.
After the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs, the Tigers looked to be running away with things, hitting a 36-yard field goal to take their lead to 25-19 with four minutes to play. Van Horn threw a pick with just over two minutes left, but the Bulldogs refused to quit, recovering a fumble on Massillon's 49-yard line.
The chains were moved steadily after a facemask call and a pass interference call on the Tigers, pushing Green inside Massillon's 20-yard line.
Down six points with seconds left to play, Van Horn found Martin for a touchdown, tying things up. A successful PAT gave Green a 26-25 lead with they held on to for the final seconds.
With their win Friday, the Bulldogs move into the Final Four of the OSHAA Football Playoffs and take on Cincinnati Winton Woods fin the state semifinal matchup.
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