It wasn't the game of the week. It was the game of the year.
Still, it was such a good matchup that we knew we had to cover the game regardless. We're glad we did.
After a sensational Skyline comeback late in the fourth quarter, Windsor held on in overtime for a thrilling 56-55 overtime victory. A huge defensive stop on the would-be game-winning 2-point conversion helped the Falcons edge their conference foe and clinch the Northern League title Friday night.
The showdown between two ranked 7-1 teams certainly did not disappoint.
Windsor was in control in front of its home fans practically the entire night. The Wizards led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter, and were on top of the Falcons 49-33 with just 5:47 to go, after an electrifying 87-yard touchdown run from Windsor junior Noah Montague that broke the game open.
The long score stretched the lead to 16 points, and it looked like the game was out of reach for Skyline.
But, for a team that averages a mind-boggling 52 points per game, no lead is ever safe.
In less than two and a half minutes, Falcons QB Nathan McGregor calmly drove his team down the field, capping off the efficient drive with a touchdown run and a two-point conversion to make it 49-41.
Then, it would be up to the Skyline defense to keep the game alive.
The unit gave up just one first down before forcing a Windsor punt. And, with 1:45 to go and no timeouts, the Falcons' offense would have its chance. It was almost too easy.
Once again, McGregor didn't let the pressure affect him one bit, completing one pass after another to get his team down the field in a hurry.
This time, he would score through the air--completing a touchdown pass to Jack Wathen and another successful 2-point conversion attempt to Kyle West to tie the game at 49 with just 15 seconds left to play.
The comeback was complete. And now, Skyline would just have to win in overtime.
Each team would have a possession, starting at the opponent's 10-yard line in extra time. The Wizards got the ball first. And, on third down, Windsor quarterback Connor Apodaca ran a bootleg and took it in himself to put the home team on top once again, 56-49.
With the way the teams were scoring though, everyone in attendance just knew it was now Skyline's turn to find the end zone.
The Falcons did that--on fourth down no less, to add to the drama--when McGregor faked a hand-off and found Austin Robison across the middle for the score to cut the deficit to just one point.
Now, it was decision time. The 2-point conversion had worked twice at the end of regulation. So, with one play from the 2-yard line, the Falcons decided to try it again and go for the win.
That's when Windsor cornerback Bryce Kellum made the play of his life. The senior broke up a pass at the goal line, and the game was over. After 111 combined points between the two teams, the Wizards prevailed, 56-55.
Just like that, the wild, high-scoring and high-adrenaline game had come to an end. And, the celebration would begin.
There aren't enough statistics to truly explain just how crazy this game was.
The two schools combined for six touchdowns of 40 yards or more on the night--four in the first half alone.
Star Skyline running back Jeremy Hollingsworth was sensational once again, but not even his dominance on the ground could overcome the now 8-1 Wizards.
The win improved Windsor to a perfect 4-0 in league play, as the program has now won its conference for the first time since 2013.
The Falcons now sit at 7-2 after the loss, and are 11th in the RPI standings with just one week to go in the regular season.
There's a chance these two teams could meet again in the postseason. If that happens, expect another great contest--just, maybe, not the game of the year.