LUCAS — Scott Spitler may want to add a new page to his playbook -- and the veteran Lucas coach ought to let Riley Mounts name it.
How about Mounts' Miracle?
The Richland Bank Athlete of the Week, Mounts caught the dramatic, game-winning touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Division VII state semifinal game, sending the Cubs to a 15-12 win over Harvest Prep at Columbus DeSales Alumni Stadium and propelling Lucas to the state final for the first time in program history.
The play didn’t exist until Spitler drew it up during a timeout moments earlier. It called for quarterback Logan Niswander to take the shotgun snap and roll to his left then throw back across to Mounts, who got off his block on the left side of the formation and moved back to the right — against the grain of the play.
“We never pass, so that’s insane,” said Mounts, who had only one touchdown reception in the Cubs’ first 13 games. “Then ‘Spit’ believing in me to do it is just another level. And then Logan had a great ball and I went up and got it.”
Niswander, who set up the touchdown pass with a 45-yard run, attempted just six passes before tossing the game-winner to Mounts. He was 4 for 7 for 31 yards.
“I saw Riley slip out and I thought, ‘There’s no way he’s going to be open,’ ” Niswander said. “I throw the ball and he catches it. … It’s the craziest feeling in the world I’m so excited.
“That was backyard football.”
After a scoreless first half, Lucas took a 7-0 lead midway through the third quarter on Ethan Sauder’s 75-yard touchdown run. Harvest Prep cut it to 7-6 later in the third and took a 12-7 lead on a 76-yard touchdown pass from Josiah Carroll to Rashaun Goines with 7:35 remaining in the fourth.
The game-winning drive covered 80 yards in 13 plays and took 6:48 off the fourth-quarter clock.
“It’s semifinal football. It was going to be a tight one. It was going to be physical,” Spitler said. “We knew every inch was going to be a fight.
“We kind of drew the (game-winning play) up in the dirt to be honest with you. It was just two kids making a play and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
That the duo executed a timing pass play, when the Cubs threw the ball so infrequently all season long, and to do it to reach the state finals? Mounts' Miracle.