WAPAKONETA — Lima Central Catholic had a grasp on the game most of the night. Then, in the final seconds, Coldwater came up big and snatched it away.
Coldwater scored two TDs in the final 33 seconds to post a 24-17 victory over LCC on Friday in the Division VI, Region 24 football semifinals Friday at Harmon Stadium.
Coldwater (9-3) advances to the regional finals against Marion Local at 7:30 p.m. Friday at a site to be determined.
LCC ended the year 10-2.
“I’m so proud of our guys. We played so hard and put in great effort and great intensity,” LCC coach Scott Palte said. “We went toe to toe with Coldwater for four quarters. Coldwater made the plays when they needed to make them. … And their quarterback made some plays. He’s just a really good football player.’’
LCC led 17-7 at the half and 17-10 after three quarters. Still down by seven, Coldwater took the ball at its own 24 with 5:12 to go.
Coldwater quarterback Sam Broering took the team 76 yards down the field for a score in 14 plays.
“We don’t quit,” Broering said. “That’s the bottom line. We never panicked. We trusted the process and didn’t quit.’’
The key was Broering scrambling for 9 yards on a fourth-and-8 from the Coldwater 44.
On the drive, he completed 5 of 8 passes.
“I told them to make a play,’’ Broering said of the drive.
Ben Wenning scored on a 2-yard run to tie the game at 17 with 33 seconds to play.
Coldwater then hit a high pooch kickoff. LCC fumbled the kickoff, and Coldwater recovered at the LCC 33.
On the next offensive play, Broering fired a strike and hit his brother, Will Broering, in the right corner of the end zone for a 33-yard TD.
“I looked at him (Will) and said, ‘Make a play,’” Sam Broering said. “He went up and got it, just like backyard football.’’
That gave Coldwater the lead 24-17 with 23 seconds to go.
“We could have caved, as poorly as we were playing in the first half,” Coldwater coach Chip Otten said. “… Eventually, players have to make plays, and we felt (on the game-tying drive) routes that had worked earlier, and Sammy threw them in there.’’
Broering completed 18 of 27 for 184 yards. He threw two TDs and had two picked off.
LCC’s defense played well most of the night and held Broering to 35 yards rushing on 18 carries. The T-Birds sacked Broering six times. Coldwater had only 116 yards rushing.
But in the end, it was Broering’s accuracy and poise in the pocket on laser-like throws on the game-tying drive which made the difference.
LCC ran for 135 yards. Logan Shultz had 73 yards on 19 carries. Shaun Thomas had 44 yards on 13 carries. Brendan Stolly completed 5 of 11 passes for 115 yards.
LCC’s offensive line had carved up opponents all year long. It came out and dominated early, leading 14-0 after one quarter.
Midway through the first quarter, LCC went 69 yards in seven plays for its first score. The TD was set up on a 36-yard pass from Stolly to a diving Thomas. Shultz bulled it over from the 1 to give the T-Birds a 7-0 lead with 5:09 left in the first quarter.
The first score was set up off a Coldwater fumble, which was recovered by LCC.
Coldwater’s second turnover, an interception by LCC’s Nikiya Williams, set the T-Birds up at the LCC 48. LCC then went 52 yards in seven plays for a score. Thomas took the jet sweep and went for a 4-yard TD. That pushed the LCC lead to 14-0 with 1:05 in the first.
Coldwater got within 14-7 on a 5-yard TD pass from Broering to Brad Giere. That came with 9:06 before halftime.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.