Class AAA: Westminster 38, Blessed Trinity 31 (OT)

By Lauren Goldstein

Westminster snapped its 37-year state championship drought, with a thrilling 38-31 overtime win against region-rival Blessed Trinity. The Wildcats had a remarkable comeback that saw the team overcome two double-digit deficits in the final frame. After a Week 7 loss (24-10) to the Titans at home, the Wildcats came back for redemption and got just that.

“It’s been a long time… since 1978. We were hoping someday we would get to this point. And just to win it now is absolutely incredible and the way we won, the way we fought back is just the microcosm of how our season went,” said Westminster head coach Gerry Romberg. “Just incredible effort by everybody…coaches and players…I just can’t say enough of our team.”

After back-to-back field goals of 32 and 53 yards from Westminster kicker Blake Gillikin, Blessed Trinity got on the board early in the second quarter when Brooks Hosea notched a 29-yard field goal. Milton Shelton gave the Titans their first lead of the game when he scored from two yards out late in the second quarter. They took a 10-6 lead into halftime.

Westminster opened up the third quarter driving down the field, but they had to settle for another Gillian field, this time from 21 yards to close the gap at 10-9. The next drive saw Blessed Trinity scamper down the field. They continued to pound the ball, and Garrett Dupuis ran it in from 10 yards away to stretch the lead to 17-9. After stopping Westminster cold, the Titans offense found the end zone again when Davis sneaked it in from two yards out. The lead grew to 24-9 heading into the fourth quarter.

Rankin Woley gave Westminster life when he raced 33 yards on a quarterback keeper with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. He then found a wide-open receiver for the two-point conversion and the Cats pulled to within a touchdown at 24-17. The Titans then took over and converted on a clutch third and inches. Then, on fourth and goal from the one, coach McFarlin elected to go for the touchdown instead of kick the field goal to make it a 10-point game. Davis barely reached the ball over the line for a Titans touchdown to give them a 31-17 lead.

Like they had before, Westminster got the ball back and went on a methodical drive. With 3:52 left in the game, Woley threw a strike to Joe Egan who made a circus catch for an 11-yard touchdown. Egan was moving right and reached back over his left shoulder to make the grab. The extra point made the score 31-24 in favor of Blessed Trinity. Then, Westminster lined up for an onside kick in what was the most bizarre play of the entire game. The kick rocketed off the ground and off of a Titans player, and then proceeded to roll twenty-five yards towards the Cats end zone. Two Titans had a beat on it but Westminster somehow came up with the ball and started at the Titans 21 yard line. On the next play Isaiah Malcome ran it in for a 21-yard touchdown and the game was tied. The scored remained 31-31 at the end of regulation.


In overtime, Westminster received the ball first and in three plays found the end zone thanks to a three-yard run by Malcome.

“It’s the first overtime we ever played and it came in the state championship. We had to explain to kids how to play in overtime they hadn’t done it in so long. They played with poise like we always tell them,” said Romberg.


After a false-start penalty started the Blessed Trinity drive, they faced a first down and 15. Then, Shelton ran through a few defenders and was being tackled at the one-yard line, when we he reached for the end zone but fumbled. Westminster defender Egan fell on the ball in the end zone to seal the 38-31 victory for the Wildcats.












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