Four hours, 30 minutes long.
Two lightning delays.
One classic finish.
On Sept. 26, 2009, Edinboro pulled out 22-20 victory at Gannon on a last second, 17-yard field goal by senior Alex Romanias to cap one of the wildest college football games in recent memory.
“I thought we were fortunate to win the football game,” Edinboro coach Scott Browning said. “Very fortunate.”
Below are three stories from the Erie Times-News about the game.
Earlier this week, ETN sports reporter Duane Rankin asked players and coaches from both teams their memories of the game.
The first thing they remember is the weather.
The second? Trevor Harris.
First the weather.
Edinboro senior defensive end Keir Jeter: “It was rainy. It was a delay. It got everyone off track. The rain affected it two years ago.”
Edinboro coach Scott Browning: “Don’t ever want to be in a game like that again. It was a long day. It was a long, tiring day. It was not a lot of fun.”
There were two lightning delays that lasted a combined one hour, 30 minutes according to the final stat sheet. The game started at noon and ended at 4:30 p.m.
Gannon coach Jim Kiernan: “I’ve never been through something like that in my life.”
Each delay impacted the game.
The first one delay (40 minutes) came before the start of the second half and the second one (50 minutes) came with 12 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.
Edinboro was up 13-10 at the half, but Gannon had a 20-13 lead before the second weather delay.
Browning: “The first lightning delay, I thought, maybe favored (Gannon) a little. The second lightning delay, I thought, definitely favored us for whatever reason.”
Gannon senior defensive tackle Randy Colling: “It was going very well and we hit that (second) rain delay. Never got it back going.”
In defeat, Gannon second guessed itself, but in reflection realized it played one of Edinboro’s best teams ever to the wire.
The Scots reached the NCAA Division II playoffs, won their opening postseason game and their record-setting senior quarterback – Harris – wound up in an NFL training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kiernan: “I think for me, there are two (memories) that jump out. One, is that gut-wrenching loss feeling that you lost it right there at the end and you start replaying all the things that maybe could have went different for you that you could have done different.
“But then the other one that jumps back at me is that I think that was the time when as a team, we played our best game against a really good team. And the weird thing was we were set back for two weeks because it took us two weeks as a team to regroup and realize we just played a really good football team.”
When Gannon looks back at the game, it will always remember how Harris drove the Scots down the field for the game-winning field goal.
The Scots started the drive at their 18-yard line with 3 minutes, 8 seconds left.
On the drive, Harris completed 3-of-6 passes for 35 yards and ran for 47 yards on six carries. He either ran or threw the ball on 12 consecutive plays before Romanias made the short field goal.
Gannon senior tight end Evan Twombly: “The defense was trying to hold tight on that final drive.”
Browning: “We had a guy named Trevor Harris that was probably the difference to be quite honest.”
The Scots had seen Harris do this before.
Jeter: “Trevor just did what he always did. Just come through in the clutch. Lead us all the way down the field.”
Edinboro senior linebacker Ryan Skelton: “Trevor was a phenomenal player. He actually performed better in those moments of ‘we need you, the team is on your back, let’s go.’ He became a better player when he had those moments.”
As good as Harris was, Romanias still had to make the field goal in bad weather and put the memory of having a PAT blocked earlier in the fourth. Gannon was called for a penalty on the PAT.
So Edinboro, down 20-19, decided to go two to take the lead, but Gannon stuffed Junior Jabbie short of the end zone. Thanks to Harris, though, Romanias got another chance to boot an oh so meaningful kick.
Skelton: “To have pouring rain and for the snap and everything to go that perfect under those kind of conditions? You’d walk and water would be splashing up. There were puddles on the field from it raining so hard.
“So to be able to have that snap, hold and our kicker to put that through for the win, that was huge. That was a big moment. Coach always says practice field goals everyday because you don’t know when that can happen. ”
To the victors go the spoils.
Jeter: “It felt real good. We charged the field. It felt real good going up there and getting the win.”
Colling: “Watching that field goal sail through. We know we let that one slip away. It shouldn’t have happened like that at all.”
And that outcome is serving as motivation for Gannon entering Saturday’s game against the Scots on the same field it fell short to them two years ago.
Gannon junior linebacker Jon Petrigac: “I remember after the game how disappointed we were because we definitely thought they shouldn’t have come out on top. They just happened to squeeze it out at the end and that’s definitely going to be in the back of our minds this week as we prepare.”