CRESSON - Central Cambria kicker Colby Crimmins doesn't believe in bad luck. Even on Friday the 13th, he simply believes in second chances.
After an extra-point attempt clanged off the right upright and kept Friday night's game with Laurel Highlands rival Penn Cambria tied, Crimmins was sent out to attempt a 37-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.
The kick split the uprights with five seconds left, and the Red Devils not only won the game, 16-13, but also won back the rivalry's Goal Post Trophy for the first time since 2007.
"I was just hoping and praying that it goes in," Crimmins said. "You've got to shake off [the missed extra point], clear your head and get ready for the next one."
"When he missed the extra point, we told him, 'We need you because you're going to kick the game-winning field goal,'" Devils coach Bill Corrente said. "When he came off, he was still smiling."
The game-winning drive started at the Panthers' 49-yard line and was commanded by Central Cambria quarterback Will Seymour, who ran for 22 yards and threw for 13 on the final drive. He also scored the touchdown that evened the game at 13 with just over four minutes to play.
Penn Cambria took a 13-6 lead early in the fourth when Panther cornerback Jake Hurley stripped Seymour on a rushing attempt and returned it 74 yards for a score.
"It's tough to come out on the losing end of that," PC coach Jason Grassi said. "But they made a couple more plays than we did. In the second half, we couldn't get the ball out of our end. It's a field-position game. Hat's off to those guys. They played hard, and they earned it."
Despite only gaining 97 of its total 266 yards in the second half, Central Cambria still earned 44 more yards than Penn Cambria in the final two quarters. The Panthers finished with just 75 yards of total offense, 53 in the second half.
Seymour led the Red Devils in both the passing game and the ground game, finishing 12-of-19 through the air with 141 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, and with 19 carries for 111 yards and another touchdown.
The majority of Seymour's passes went to Tanner Ambrisco, who hauled in nine catches for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Tyler Strasser led Penn Cambria with 66 rushing yards on 18 carries. Quarterback Chad Tsikalas completed 3-of-7 passes for 5 yards. Mark Mardula scored the other touchdown for PC on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
The win for Central Cambria (2-1) snapped a five-game losing streak to Penn Cambria (0-3). The Goal Post Trophy series, which began in 1993, still belongs to the Panthers, however, 12-9.
"It's for those kids; it's so awesome," Corrente said. "Trophy or not, they played a heck of a football game. Hat's off to both teams. That was a super football game to watch."
Central Cambria looks to extend its winning streak to three games next week in Ebensburg against Cambria Heights, while Penn Cambria will search for its first win on the road against Bishop Carroll.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central Cambria7 0 0 9 - 16
Penn Cambria0 0 7 6 - 13
CC-Ambrisco 35 pass from Seymour (Crimmins kick), 7:05.
PC-Mardula 1 run (Colin Shable kick), 3:25.
PC-Hurley 74 yard fumble return (kick failed), 10:57.
CC-Seymour 5 run (kick failed), 4:20.
CC-Crimmins 37 FG, 0:05.
RUSHING: Central Cambria- Bauer 11-20, Seymour 19-111, Young 5-(-7), Pennington 2-6, Kirsch 4-2, Team 2-(-7). Penn Cambria-Strasser 18-66, Hurley 2-(-6), Mardula 3-6, Kost 4-5, Tsikalas 4-(-1).
RECEIVING: Central Cambria-Ambrisco 9-128, Leary 1-9, Davis 1-1, Pennington 1-3. Penn Cambria- Delerme 1-7, Mardula 1-2, Hurley 1-(-4).
PASSING: Central Cambria-Seymour 12-19-1-141. Penn Cambria-Tsikalas 3-7-0-5, Mardula 0-1-0-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Penn Cambria-Mardula 1-10.