Sophomore kicker Garrett Mead knocked down a 20-yard field goal in overtime as Ryle (6-1, 3-0) beat Simon Kenton (5-2, 2-1) in arguably the best game Northern Kentucky has seen this season so far.
Simon Kenton, who had the ball first in overtime, elected to go for it on fourth down and quarterback Chad Lawrence was intercepted. The Raiders turned around and capitalized on the Pioneers' miscue for the victory.
The game started off inauspiciously with both teams punting on their first two possessions. Then sloppy play came into effect as Ryle muffed a punt. Simon Kenton would return the favor on their possession.
Ryle quarterback Conner Hempel was then picked off by Pioneer defensive back Zach Carroll who took the ball to the end zone. That made the score 7-0 a minute and a half into the second quarter.
The Pioneers recovered an onside kick and made a field goal to put them up 10-0 less than two minutes later. That's when Hempel went to work scoring on touchdown runs of 2 and 41 yards the next two times Ryle had the ball giving them a 14-10 lead. Simon Kenton would pull to within one at 14-13 on a 30-yard field goal to end the half.
Simon Kenton started the third quarter with an 80-yard touchdown drive in 4:40 to give them back the lead at 21-14. Chad Lawrence hit Cody Welte on fourth down and 11 for a 30-yard scoring strike and the two-point conversion was successful.
Hempel wasn't finished as he marched Ryle back down the field scoring his third rushing touchdown from 36 yards out. That knotted up the score just 1:19 later. That's how the third quarter would end.
The Pioneers took the lead back as Danny Wetter scored on a run from five-yards just 40 seconds into the final stanza. Again Ryle wasted little time in answering the bell as Travis Elliott broke off an 81-yard touchdown scamper 0:50 after the Raiders had just fallen behind.
Lawrence was back in his bag of tricks as Simon Kenton put up six more points when he hit Matt Reilly for a touchdown from nine yards giving the Pioneers a 35-28 cushion with 6:05 left in the contest.
The Raiders fought back and finally hit paydirt as Elliott registered his second touchdown of the half on a six yard run with just 1:09 left in regulation to tie it all up. From there the rest is history that Mead made with his foot.
Ryle takes a five-game winning streak to Conner (4-4, 1-2) next Friday. Simon Kenton finishes up its season with three home games and Boone County (3-4, 1-2) is up next.
Written by: Greg Shoemaker, TriStateFootball.com