The Chillicothe High School Football team picked up a huge upset win on Friday night when they took down St. Pius X 29-20.
Javon Kille took the opening kickoff back to the house for an 89-yard kickoff return touchdown. This was Kille’s second time doing so this year, after taking back the opening kickoff of the season against Marshall. Kille’s touchdown gave Chillicothe a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game, and it gave the Hornets all the belief they needed.
St. Pius scored the next on a long touchdown pass from senior quarterback Braydon McPhee to Grant Redd from 47 yards out. McPhee dropped it into a tight window between double coverage. This knotted the game up at 7.
Chillicothe responded with a hard-nosed drive of their own, capped off by an 18-yard touchdown run from senior running back Cayden Potter. This gave Chillicothe a 14-7 lead.
McPhee connected with Max Ervie from 40-yards out, for another St. Pius touchdown to tie up the game at 14.
Two St. Pius drives got inside the 15-yard line of Chillicothe late in the first half, but the Hornets defense came up with some huge stops to force field goals. The junior kicker for St. Pius, Julian Abella, knocked in a 32-yarder and a 20-yarder before the half to give St. Pius a 20-14 lead at half.
Late in the third quarter Chillicothe drove down the field, and a long pass to Max Wagers from senior quarterback Griff Bonderer got the Hornets to a first and goal inside the five yard line. Bonderer punched it in on a QB-sneak from one yard out to tie up the game at 20.
The ensuing PAT would have given Chillicothe the lead, but a low snap forced some improvisation from the holder/quarterback, Bonderer. He picked up the low snap, rolled out right, and while in the grasp of two defenders chucked the ball into the end zone. Freshman Jaishon White made a diving catch in the end zone to convert an impromptu two-point conversion to give Chillicothe a 22-20 lead.
St. Pius had a drive midway through the fourth quarter that got deep into Chillicothe territory. Max Wagers, in at safety, made an enormous play on the ball to come away with an interception at the goal line for the Hornets. Chillicothe ended up having to punt on their next drive, but got the ball back after forcing a Warriors punt.
On that following drive, the Hornets drove all the way down the field and punched in an 8-yard touchdown on a Silas Midgyett run. The extra point from Wagers was true and extended Chillicothe’s lead to two possesions, 29-20, with three minutes remaining.
The Warriors threatened on their next drive getting inside the Hornets’ 25-yard line quickly, but Griff Bonderer intercepted Braydon McPhee’s pass in the end zone for some quarterback on quarterback crime.
That essentially sealed the game for Chillicothe, giving the Hornets their first win over St. Pius since 2019.
CHS Football is back in action next Friday at Lafayette at 7 pm.