SIDNEY — Wapakoneta’s first trip to the regional championship was a thriller.
However, the Redskins came up just short when Trotwood-Madison scored the game-winner in the fourth overtime for a 34-28 victory in the Division III, Region 10 final at Sidney Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Trotwood-Madison (12-1) will play Toledo Central Catholic in the state semifinals at a site to be determined at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Rams have reached the state finals the past four seasons.
Trotwood-Madison’s fifth berth in the state semifinals came when quarterback Messiah DeWeaver scored on a 7-yard touchdown to finish the fourth overtime.
Wapakoneta opened the fourth overtime with a turnover when Keaton Metz sprinted 14 yards but fumbled at the end of the play, giving the Rams the ball with the score tied 28-28.
It was Wapakoneta’s second lost fumble of the overtime, the first one coming in the second overtime. However, the Redskins’ defense held on the following series and forced a missed 34-yard field goal attempt.
“(The turnovers) put out backs against the wall,” Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer said. “We were able to survive the first one but not the second one. In situations like that you have to take care of the ball, and we weren’t able to do that.”
Despite the fumbles, Wapakoneta turned in an incredible effort against the perennial state power.
In the first and second overtimes, Jon Eaton scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards for Wapakoneta while DeWeaver also scored on a 16-yard run while Breland Cospy had the first Rams’ score from 6 yards out.
In regulation, Wapakoneta led twice. Kodi Morgan threw a pair of touchdown passes, a 51-yard strike to Cameron Lauck in the second quarter to put his team up 7-0 then a 10-yard pass to Adam Henderson in the third to put Wapak up 14-7.
While the Redskins’ defense continually came up with big stops deep in their territory, Trotwood-Madison scored on two passes: One a 20-yard score from DeWeaver to Dontay White and the second on a 28-yard pass from DeWeaver to Ryon Lucas to force the overtime.
“I’m extremely proud of our kids,” Moyer said. “A lot of people counted us out with their tradition but we played extremely well.”