Battling for the title of Central Catholic League champion, football hosted Cardinal Spellman Saturday in a match between undefeated teams.
The Cougars struck first, scoring a touchdown from a 16-yard run by senior Bernard Lynch. A successful two-point conversion gave Arlington Catholic a lead of 8-0 in just more than two minutes into the game.
The Cardinals came back with a 17-yard touchdown run by senior Dan Kustka with 5:42 left in the first quarter, and the extra point left Arlington with a one-point lead.
Arlington's next drive was quickly squashed, when Spellman senior Dan Barry sacked AC's Pat O'Donnell for a 3-yard loss. Attempting to make up for lost yardage after the sack, O'Donnell's next pass was intercepted by Spellman. However, multiple false start penalties resulted in a Spellman 2nd and 30. A long pass from quarterback Tim Burke was intercepted by none other than O'Donnell, who on the very next play completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to senior Alec Mattys. A successful extra point put AC up 15-7 with three minutes to play in the first quarter.
Late in the second quarter Spellman responded, scoring off of a 2-yard run by senior Pat Hinkley with 21 seconds left in the half. A two-point conversion tied the game at 15 going into halftime.
A defense-laden third quarter was broken up when, with 2:57 left in the quarter, Hinkley took off for a 45-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave Spellman a 22-15 lead.
Arlington wasn't done yet.
After a 68-yard, 15-play drive, O'Donnell drove in the ball 1 yard to bring Arlington within 1 point, at 21-22. With the extra point, the game would be tied.
Spellman, however, tipped the extra point, which bounced off the crossbar and left Arlington trailing by one with 4:50 left to go in the game.
With the season on the line, it was up to AC's defense to stop Spellman's offense to give Arlington another chance to score before time ran out. This proved to be too much for AC, and Spellman scored another touchdown with 1:40 left in the game, bringing the score to 29-21.
Arlington's offense couldn't produce either, losing possession in 41 seconds and giving Spellman the ball back with 0:59 to go. A few quick spikes and Arlington Catholic's season was over.