Photo courtesy of Laurie Timmer

 

One of the greatest sports cliches involves a player who suffers through some tough times, but when the team needs him the most, he pulls through. Tonight, West Catholic kicker Liam Putz embodied this story, and his 32 yard field goal gave the Falcons a district championship over top-ranked Portland.

West Catholic fell behind near the end of the first quarter as Portland’s running game put them up seven. Just less than two minutes left however, Sam Neville hauled in a pass to tie the game up at seven.

This game would remain tied as the defenses held strong, and both teams suffered kicking woes. There were five combined missed field goals throughout this contest, keeping the score gridlocked.

On the final drive of the game, the Falcons drove down the field and reached the fifteen yard line. West Catholic trotted Putz out for a game-winning try with just four seconds left. The kicker nailed it through the uprights, giving West Catholic the 10-7 victory.

The leader offensively for the Falcons was quarterback Gaetano Vallone, who was 27 of 36 for 251 yards and a touchdown. With the victory, the Falcons will advance to next week’s regional final, where they will take on Berrien Springs, who won 14-7 tonight over Dowagiac.

SCORING SUMMARY

TimeScoreScoring Play
1Q 0:57PORT 7-0Lefke 1yd run.
2Q 11:03Tied 7-7Neville 35yd catch.
4Q 0:04WC 10-7Putz 32yd FG