They won! They won! They actually won!

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Several weeks into the 2014 OUA football season, after rough starts, it became apparent to many that the best chance at a University of Waterloo Warriors or York University Lions win would come down to the last game of the season, in which both teams would inevitably face off against each other at York.


On Oct. 25, both teams took to the field looking to avoid a season shutout and while neither team played glamorously during the regular season they put on a show for the ages.


Waterloo took the decision 32–31, ending the season on a winning note, in an incredibly close bout after a comedy of errors committed by the Lions in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter.


The first quarter was relatively quiet, the only points coming from a Caleb Girard field goal and a safety conceded by York to end the quarter with a 5–0 Warriors lead — their first of the season.


The second quarter was a seesaw battle between the Warriors and Lions. Waterloo running back Ryan Di Risio made a 17-yard reception for a touchdown improving the Warriors lead to 12. York answered back just under four minutes later to make the score 12–7. Waterloo answered back on a Christian Lewis touchdown before adding another safety and field goal to round out the first half with a 24–7 lead.


York earned the lone score of the third quarter on a two-yard Connor Anderson run to make the score 24–14. But the most exciting quarter had yet to come.


York tacked on a field goal to bring themselves within a score of the Waterloo lead. Waterloo added a single rouge point, which proved to be crucial in the victory, only edging York by one for the win. York quarterback Jahmari Bennett would tie the game at 25 on a run followed by a successful two-point convert.


Jamie Cook proved Bennett wasn’t the only QB on the field capable of scoring, deciding to call his own number and find the endzone on a 26-yard run to put Waterloo back in the lead.


On the ensuing kickoff, York returned the ball 95 yards to Waterloo’s second yard line only to be called all the way back on a penalty, a temporary relief for the Warriors’ sideline. The Lions later put together a drive to find the endzone and bring themselves within one point.


“At this point, I was talking to one of the team captains, explaining what it was that I wanted to see in overtime,” said head coach Marshall Bingeman. “I was fully expecting overtime, it’s rare that you see an extra point missed.”


And that’s exactly what happened; York fumbled the snap on the point after attempt, allowing Waterloo to preserve their one point lead.


“When I saw the ball on the ground and [saw] the holder reach out for it, I knew at that point in time that we were in good shape,” Bingeman said.


York attempted, and successfully recovered a short kick in order to give themselves possession with nine seconds remaining. A long pass attempt fell, and with no time-outs left and only five seconds on the clock, Nick Naylor came on to attempt a 56-yard field goal, his previous longest field goal during the season was only 38 yards.


Naylor’s kick fell well short of the uprights and into the arms of Christian Mahler, who was quickly engulfed by an excited Warriors bench.


“I was glad to get that win; it taught the guys what it was like to tough out a long hard season and overcome and win through adversity,” Bingeman said. “Especially for our six graduating seniors.”
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