Now that's a classic title game.
No. 2 Bishop Ford scored a touchdown with six seconds left to win the CHSFL Class "A" title as it defeated No. 1 St. Francis Prep 22-18 on Saturday night at Mitchel Field in Uniondale. The Falcons (5-5) overcame a 12-0 deficit in their win over the Terriers (5-5).
"Our kids don't quit and they just kept on playing," Bishop Ford coach Jim Esposito said. "If you keep on playing, good things can happen and that's what they did. They were fortunate to make a couple of plays at the end of the game to win the game."
Trailing 18-14 with about 10 seconds remaining, Bishop Ford faced a fourth-and-10 at the 11-yard line. Quarterback Xaviah Mattocks hit tight end Rodney Gonzales in the back of the endzone for the touchdown. The Falcons converted the two-point conversion to make the final score and win their first Class "A" title since 2004. It was their first Class "A" title game appearance since falling to Cardinal Hayes in 2005.
"It was like a dream come true for the kids, they really worked hard," Esposito said.
Bishop Ford fell behind 12-0 early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Two touchdown runs by running back Devon Mitchell gave the Falcons a 14-12 lead with about eight minutes to go. St. Francis Prep retook the lead and was forced to punt the ball with about 40 seconds left.
While the Falcons initially returned the punt for a touchdown, a holding call nullified the score and they instead took over at St. Francis Prep's 45-yard line. After a 34-yard pass, the Falcons had their opportunity to take the lead. After killing clock on the first play, the Falcons had three plays to try to win the game and finally did on the last play.
Bishop Ford avenged a 21-12 loss over St. Francis Prep in the final week of the regular season.
"It's an honor to play against St. Francis Prep and Coach (Vince) O'Connor, who is one of my idols. I've known him for a long time and he's always been great and he's a gentleman and his kids are just the nicest kids in the world," Esposito said. "It's an honor to be on the field against him and his guys. It was just a great game and their kids played really hard and we just had the ball last and were fortunate to score at the end and get a win."