In a game that promised and delivered smash-mouth football at its best, it was the twists and tricks that made the difference.
Class 4A No. 3 Roncalli used a school-record 99-yard kickoff return and a touchdown pass from a reserve running back to pull away from host No. 5 Greenwood 35-14 in a sectional semifinal Friday night.
With the victory, the Rebels (9-2) will play at Cathedral (6-5) next Friday for the sectional title.
Roncalli effectively contained the Woodmen’s high-scoring offense and moved the ball consistently on the ground itself, but it was an unexpected turn that switched momentum for good.
After Greenwood launched a 74-yard drive to tie the score 7-all on a 30-yard run by quarterback Ben Heller with just over a minute left in the first half, the capacity crowd was on its feet in celebration.
Before they had a chance to sit down, the Rebels answered.
Senior Danny Ferry took Griffin Oakes’ kickoff inside the 1, found a wedge at the 25 and raced untouched 99 yards down the left sideline to make it 14-7 at halftime.