Peter Cimino, Boylan Titans Football Player, Leads Illinois HS Team To 'Miracle' Comeback In Playoff Game (VIDEO)

11/07/2012 05:28 pm ET | Updated Feb 06, 2013
  • Kavitha A. Davidson The Huffington Post

A high school football team excited both fans and announcers when it staged an improbable comeback in the fourth quarter of a playoff game on Saturday.

During a second-round matchup of the Illinois High School Association Class 7A playoffs, the Boylan Titans (Rockford, Ill.) were trailing the Fenwick Friars (Oak Park, Ill.) 21-14 at the end of the fourth quarter, when Titans safety Peter Cimino fielded a punt from his own 10-yard line. After slipping momentarily, Cimino stayed on his feet, eluding a swarm of defenders that chased him all the way down to the end zone as time expired.

"I have one question for you: do you believe in miracles?" shouted one of the announcers. "My answer: Yes! Yes I do!" replied his partner.

The excitement didn't end there, however. With the score 21-20 and the chance to send the game to overtime on an extra point attempt, Boylan head coach John Cacciatore made a gutsy call in electing to go for the outright win on a two-point conversion. Cacciatore put the ball in the hands of his short-yard specialist, linebacker Zack Mathews, who pushed into the end zone on his only carry of the game.

"They are storming the field! This is the most amazing comeback I have ever seen!" exclaimed the announcer.

Friars head coach Gene Nudo was equally stunned as he watched a playoff victory slip away in mere seconds.

"I’ve been coaching since 1979, and I have never been involved in anything like that," Nudo told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I’ve never lost a game like that before."

After the exhilarating win, Cimino told the Rockford Register Star that he was just happy to get a shot at redemption after he fumbled a kickoff return that resulted in a Fenwick touchdown.

"I put a lot of that on myself," he said. "I wasn’t going to give up on my team."

Boylan will face Lake Zurich in the quarterfinals this on Nov. 10, a rematch of last year's semifinal in which the Titans beat the Bears 16-10.

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