The Sycamore Aviators are becoming characterized by their ability to never give up; they established a come-from-behind victory last week against Withrow, and this week was no different. Despite being down 7-0 at halftime, the Aves fought back to win 28-21 in a thrilling second half victory over the Springboro Panthers.
Springboro (0-2) quarterback Josh Little made a statement in the game's opening drive by completing each of his passes, capping the drive off with a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jake Johnson to give the Panthers an early 7-0 lead.
Sycamore (2-0) responded with a run-dominated offensive drive, however, disaster struck in the form of a botched shotgun snap that handed the Aviators the ball on their own 30-yard line. The remainder of the first half was a defensive battle by both sides, with outstanding play by Springboro's Joe Kylin, who tallied up a total of eight tackles, and two unassisted sacks before halftime.
The second half began with Sycamore putting their first points on the scoreboard, by means of a 60-yard run by Sess. Springboro responded with an impressive drive that showcased the Panthers' passing attack yet again, which resulted in Little's second touchdown pass of the evening to Johnson.
--Postgame: Kyle Sess, Syacmore
--Postgame: Scott Dattillo, Sycamore
Sycamore took the ball back on the ensuing drive, and tied the score at 14 when junior tight end Mason Morgan caught a beautiful 14-yard pass from Sess in the end zone. Springboro was the victim of its second miscue on the quarterback – center exchange on the following drive, which turned the ball back over to Sycamore with 8:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Aviators were able to chew some time off of the clock before Sess found sophomore Greg Simpson for a 14-yard touchdown pass with a little under five minutes left in the game to put Sycamore up by 7.
Springboro was able to turn the tables around after an impressive kickoff return by Panther wide receiver Jack Schaaf, followed by an equally impressive reception by Schaff to put the Panthers in the red zone.
On a crucial 4th and goal play from the 6-yard line, Little was able to connect with Johnson in the end zone for the third time tonight, tying the score at 21.
The Aviators struck right back, with a big kickoff return by defensive back Larry Cook.
Big runs by Sess and junior running back Markus James set up Sess for an 8-yard touchdown scramble with 1:49 remaining on the clock to make the score 28 – 21 in favor of Sycamore.
An interception by Sycamore's Markus James on the following drive sealed the victory for Sycamore, as the Aviators offense took the field one last time, only to kneel twice to drain the clock.
The Aviators travel to Dayton to face the Springfield Wildcats. Springboro is set to face their first GWOC opponent as they play host to the Butler Aviators.
*Written by: Zak Bertram, TriStateFootball.com