With 1:09 left in the game, Clyde-Savannah needed just one point to tie the game, but in high school football, PATs are not automatic.
Eagles Head Coach Nick Dercola decided to roll the dice on a running play. A two-point conversion would all but guarantee a win for the Eagles in the Class D semi-final playoff game.
Derrick Wright took the hand-off and sprinted to the far side corner of the end zone, but Andrew Mullen and Nick Taylor beat Wright to the goal line.
Final score, Notre Dame 27, Clyde-Savannah 26.
Through nearly three quarters of football, the Fighting Irish appeared dominant, using a ball-control running game and a well-executed defense to keep the Eagles on the ropes.
But defensive lapses in the fourth quarter by Notre Dame and a key fumble with less than three minutes to go turned a 27-13 lead into a nail-biter for the Irish.
"They’re a good team," said Coach Rick Mancuso. "When you make mistakes in a big game, good teams are going to capitalize and that’s what they did."
Mistakes by the Eagles -- particularly interceptions -- helped Notre Dame's cause.
Nate Woods helped set up ND's first TD when he picked off a pass early in the first quarter.
Tim McCulley added two more interceptions, including one with less than a minute in the first half and Clyde-Savannah threatening to tie the game at 14. McCulley pulled down a Tom Molisani pass on the three-yard line.
On offense, Nick Taylor led the way with 120 yards on 30 carries. He crossed the goal line three times.
Andrew Mullen added another TD on a 15-yard reception. Mullen also carried the ball 12 times for 68 yards and had six tackles and half a sack on defense.
McCulley was 5-7 for 33 yards and no interceptions.
Notre Dame turned by ball over twice on fumbles, including the key fourth-quarter fumble on the 43 yard line that allowed Clyde-Savannah to pull into a point.
Taylor also had six tackles and half a sack. Also with half-sack credits were Doane McCulley and Aaron McDonald.
Nate Woods returned three punts for 107 yards.
Eagle's QB Molisani was 15-30 for 249 yards.
"They throw ball over yard," said Mancuso. "But that works to our advantage to get a team like that because one of the teams that’s playing now (in the other Class D semi-final game) is also going to be a team that’s going to throw the ball, so this was good experience for our young kids."
Those other teams were Geneseo and Dundee. Geneseo won 64-16.
Notre Dame will face Geneseo on Friday in Rochester.
If you're unable to view the slide show, click here.