Trailing by four in the final minutes Friday against North Olmsted, it was touchdown time or nothing for Amherst.
A comeback didn’t materialize.
Instead, crushed against their own nine yard line on fourth and 24, the Comets tossed a desperate long bomb that only barely avoided interception. Taking over, the Eagles went to Josh Hufstetler, who had a diving, twisting catch for the put-away touchdown and 27-16 final.
North Olmsted quarterback Christian Ammons stuck to the air and had three TD passes on the night — the first to Kyle Wapshott just six minutes in on a roll-out to the corner.
Amherst evened the score with a 40-yard spiral from Nick DeJesus to a wide-open Alec Platz, who charged the remaining 15 yards to the goal line.
In the second quarter, the Comets defense made a stand at the one yard line, repelling four attempted strikes to deny another Eagles touchdown.
After an Amherst three-and-out, North Olmsted tore apart the Comets secondary as with a 38-yard run down the visitors sideline to score. This time, though, Todd Hastings leaped in to block the point after.
Amherst staged a march to the 10 in the final two minutes of the half.
With 30 seconds on the clock, DeJesus dropped back, waited, then scrambled to the corner with Eagles defenders a step behind. Comets kicker Ryan Sturgeon’s PAT was also blocked, making it 13-13.
DeJesus emerged from the locker room with a hot arm and again took Amherst to the red zone. This time, the Comets were rebuffed and settled for a field goal and an ever-so-brief lead.
It proved short-lived as three minutes later the Eagles were again in the end zone on an Ammons air attack.
Now at 0-7 on the season (0-4 in the Southwestern Conference), the Steele High boys have a tough matchup next against the 6-1 Avon Eagles on the road.
The final two games of the 2015 season could still net a win, though — Amherst will face Westlake (1-6, 1-5) and Lakewood (0-7, 0-6).
Those teams faced off against each other Friday, with the Demons topping the Rangers 35-17.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Reno Kruman and Jaret Mead exchange a five for good luck at the start of Friday’s game against the North Olmsted Eagles. The score was even at 13-13 at the half, but the Eagles pulled ahead in the fourth quarter for the win.