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Both teams answered the bell on the Island Saturday night

December 2, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor , The Herald-Star

WHEELING - It was Ali-Frazier on the Island.

Haymaker here. Uppercut there.

Straight left jab to end the round and an overhand right to start the next.

In the end, Wahama quarterback Trenton Gibbs covered the final 4 feet to find the end zone on a two-point conversion in the first overtime period for a 43-42 victory over Weirton Madonna Saturday evening in the West Virginia Class A state championship game.

"I've not seen a game like this to this extent," said second-year Blue Dons coach Doug Taylor. "That was a good one. We just came out on the short end of it.

"We just kept telling our kids that every time they (the White Falcons) scored, that good teams have to answer and we did that, for the most part.

"It was one of those games.

"I feel badly for our seniors. I really wanted to send them (Garrett Hypes, Quinton Hukill, Charlie Kotten and James Fulciniti) out winning a state title."

The teams combined to score the most points in a Class A state championship game.

It was the first overtime game in the Super Six since 2005 and the first in Class A since 2002.

Madonna quarterback Ross Comis found Marcello Biondillo on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 47.6 seconds left in the game to close the gap to 35-34.

There was then a discussion on the Madonna sideline whether to have Matthew Green kick his fifth extra point of the game, or go for two to end it.

"We talked about it," said Taylor. "Half our coaching staff was saying 'kick it,' half our coaching staff was saying 'end it.' We decided to kick it, then I said, 'the heck with it, let's go for it.' By that time, we had two receivers who had already gone up to the kick coverage team. That's on me. We decided to kick it for the tie."

Comis scored from the 9 on the first overtime possession and Green's PAT made it 42-35.

And, like it had done all evening, Wahama answered the knock on the door.

"I felt good in the overtime after we scored," sayd Taylor. "Our defense hadn't come up with a stop yet in the second half, one to hang their hat on. I thought that this is the one that's going to be.

"We thought we had that strip (on first down) and didn't get it. Then they got that little swing-hitch on us and got it inside the 5."

The White Falcons' Zack Wamsley scored from the 1 and they called a timeout to discuss their options.

"I wanted to go for it," said Gibbs. "If we were going to lose, I wanted to go down fighting."

"We were in an argument actually, whether to go for two or go for one," said Wamsley. "I wanted to win it."

"Personally, I wanted the ball," said Kane Roush, who was named Wahama's game MVP. "But, it's alright. I trust Gibbs. I trust Wamsley. I trust everybody on this team."

"That's a gusty move on their part," said Taylor.

Madonna held a 14-12 lead at halftime.

Roush scored from the 17 and a two-point convertion made it 20-14.

Madonna recovered an onside kick and Comis ran in from the 12 for a 21-20 advantage.

Roush scored from the 2 and another two-pointer made it 28-21.

A Comis-to-Garrett Hypes 41-yarder on third-and-19 from the 49 put the ball at first and goal from the 8 and Comis scored on third-and-goal from the 6 and it was 28-all.

Roush answered by going 42 to paydirt and Wamsley's PAT made it 35-28 with 6:45 left in the contest.

The Blue Dons had a foruth-and-3 from the 26 and an out pattern to Hypes was caught for a first down at the 21, setting up the touchdown pass to Biondillo.

Comis' six touchdowns (five rushing, one throwing) ties an all-class state championship game record, set last year by Wheeling Central's Geno Bianconi.

"He's a great athlete," Wamsley said of Comis. "We went back and forth at it all night long. We had some real good ones (hits). A couple cleared my sinuses up.

"It was a great game. One of the best I've ever played in."

"Madonna is a great team and Comis is a great player," said Roush. "This was an amazing game. I figured both defenses would be a lot better than they were tonight. The offenses just had things going. I know we were clicking all night."

"He's just so tough," Gibbs said of Comis. "You can't hardly stop him. You're lucky if you get a stop on him. He can run, throw. He can do anything. I especially noticed how well he can read the defense. I give him his props and wish him well in the future."

Madonna scored 10 touchdowns in the semfinal and final contests. Comis ran for seven and passed for three.

Comis was named the Blue Dons' game MVP.

"They did smack me a couple of times." Comis said of Wahama's defense. "They're definitely one of the hardest hitting teams we've played. They played hard until the end. They kept fighting. They got the last crack at it in the second overtime and scored.

"We kept fighting, too.

"I didn't think this game would have over 30 points scored. I never had this in my mind. I thought our defense was going to play well.

"They have a good offense. They kept getting a push on us.

"We just kept answering."

Wahama finsihed with 338 yards on 56 carries and 416 yards ot total offense on 65 plays. Rouch had 23 carries for 170 yards and Wamsley 21 attempts for 113 yards. Both scored three times.

Comis led Madonna's offense with 145 yards on 27 chances and was 8 for 9 for 131 yards through the air. The Blue Dons had 357 yards on 50 plays.

The White Falcons held the ball almost 18 minutes more than the Blue Dons.

"I think both offenses played well, I also thought both defenses played poorly at times," said Comis. "I know we didn't do what we usually do."