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Canfield outlasts Niles in double-OT thriller

October 5, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

NILES - Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams were known as the "Greatest Show on Turf" more than a decade ago.

That had nothing on what transpired Friday inside the confines of Bo Rein Stadium.

Niles quarterback Kyle Paden took a three-step drop, then he found Chris Parry on a 5-yard slant. As the 5-foot-10, 165-pound receiver weaved his way through the Canfield defense, he quickly found the rest of the 62 yards en route to the end zone. It started the scoring on the first play from scrimmage in Friday's game.

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It started a game that was more symbolic of an old-school video game like Tecmo Bowl, where touchdowns and scoring drives were fast and furious.

Welcome to the highest scoring game in Trumbull County history as Canfield outlasted Niles in double overtime, 70-62. The previous high game was Sept. 10, 2004, at Arrowhead Stadium, as Girard handed John F. Kennedy a 64-62 defeat. That JFK-Girard game ended in regulation.

Friday's game was dominated by two players - Canfield's Kimu Kim and Niles' Kyle Paden, who both had career nights.

Kim had 52 carries for 497 yards and nine touchdowns.

Paden was 27 of 42 for 505 yards and six touchdowns. More than half of his passing statistics went to Parry, who had 15 receptions for 274 yards and two scores - also a career night for him as well.

Both offenses combined for 1,188 yards.

"I will remember this for the rest of my life," Kim said. "If I had to come back to one night for 10 years after this, it would be this night for how much emotion we had after the game, picking up our first win, especially in this fashion was great."

Kim ran behind his offensive line - opening holes a full-sized Hummer would've had no trouble sneaking through.

His line helped him during the first drive of double overtime - plow through the Niles defense one last time to take a 68-62 lead on a 6-yard run. After a penalty on Niles, the Cardinals (1-5) opted to not go for the extra point. Instead, they handed it to their workhorse once again for a 70-62 lead.

"Honestly, my linemen did everything," Kim said. "Come (today), we're going to see holes anyone could've gone through."

Niles had the ball at the Canfield 20 to start its possession. After Paden rushed for a yard on first down, the Red Dragons (3-3) were looking at second and 9. Paden found Hill on a 19-yard route for the score.

But, it went for naught as Niles was called for holding - backing the Red Dragons up 10 yards.

Niles didn't get it offensive mojo back as it went for minus-5 yards and two incompletions on its next two plays.

Niles coach Brian Shaner said he was impressed with Kim's performance.

"He's a really good football player," he said. "He's thick. He runs hard. He reads their offense great. He was definitely the difference maker in the game tonight. Hats off to our kids. Our kids played and left it out all on the line. I don't know final numbers, but I'm sure there's some records broke tonight."

In the first overtime, Niles' spirit wouldn't be broken. The Red Dragons took two plays and scored on a 10-yard Paden run. The ensuing pass on the two-point conversion failed.

Then, Kim rumbled three times for 20 yards - scoring on a 1-yard plunge.

Canfield amassed 583 yards rushing on 68 carries.

"Our offensive line and wideouts have blocked their butts off all night long," Canfield coach Mike Pavlansky said. "Certainly we have a pass game, but there was no reason to go to it tonight how our guys were blocking up front, how confident they were running the ball. We laid our hat on the run and it certainly worked out for us."

All Canfield needed was an extra point to win. Niles, which stacked the line, was called for encroachment. The Cardinals couldn't refuse the penalty even though the point went through the uprights. They had to attempt the play again. This time, Marcus Hill came from the left side and blocked Bryan Kristan's extra point attempt - sending the game to double overtime, tied a 62.

Once again, Niles had to rally to force the first overtime. The Red Dragons had 2 minutes, 44 seconds left and started at their own 38.

Staring at a fourth-and-13 at their own 35, Paden found Parry once again on a 16-yard gain - keeping the drive alive with 1:59 left.

"They work well together. They see what the defense is giving us and they exploit that," Shaner said.

Parry then had catches of 20 and 17 yards eventually pull the Red Dragons to the Canfield 6. From there, Paden took two plays to run in from 1-yard out with 30.2 seconds remaining.

It pulled Niles to within two at 56-54 with the two-point conversion upcoming.

Paden then found an open Parry in the back of the end zone for the game-tying score.

"I told him if he gets in trouble, I'll be in the back of the end zone," Parry said. "Just throw back there. He was scrambling for his life. He got me the ball and I caught it. It was intense."

And, it was a game no one on either sideline will not soon forget.

"After the pain wears off of the loss, they'll appreciate it," Shaner said. "No one in this locker room and the coaches office really realizes what went on that field. That's a lot of points in a high school football game. Hats off to both teams. This has turned into a Niles-Canfield tradition with overtime. Somebody's celebrating and somebody's suffering a tough loss."