Left for dead trailing by six points with 1:10 left, Peter Westbrooks looked at his Cleveland Hill teammates in the huddle and liked what he saw.
"There were a lot of leaders in there," he said. "They helped us a lot on that last touchdown drive."
The Eagles drove 70 yards in five plays before Westbrooks took an option pitch from Rhakeem Wiggins and scored the game-winner on a 7-yard run. The score, and Wiggins' two-point conversion, gave Cleveland Hill a heartstopping 16-14 win over Falconer in the Class C title game before an estimated 1,000 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The winning drive was set up by a 33-yard completion from Wiggins to Darius Stallworth. A roughing the quarterback penalty moved the ball to the Falconer 7.
"Way to finish! Way to finish," Cleveland Hill coach Glen Graham yelled while his players were shaking hands with Falconer. "I'm not going to tell you that I didn't have any doubts, but I thought we could get it done."
Falconer appeared as though it was going to successfully defend its Class C title when it scored on its last drive. Starting at its own 34, Falconer put together a nine-play drive, picking up two fourth downs along the way. Austin Spicer capped it with a 19-yard run. Spicer led all rushers with 86 yards on 10 carries.
But it wasn't enough. In the second half Falconer (7-3) had three drive starts inside Cleveland Hill territory and failed to score on two of them.
"We made some mistakes throughout," said Falconer coach Dan Krenzer. "It's definitely not one play or one drive. It wasn't that type of game. It's very disappointing, but you can't change plays and we just didn't make them on that [last] drive."
Joe Sanders had a big game for Cleveland Hill. He caught a 37-yard pass, intercepted a pass and had a sack.
"He's one of our senior captains. He's a leader. We don't have a lot of seniors, but our seniors have been great all year," said Graham.
The title was the Eagles' third at RWS and their first since 2000. Cleveland Hill (8-2) advances to Saturday's Far West Regional game at PAETEC Park in Rochester. The Eagles will play LeRoy (10-0), a 14-9 winner over Pembroke on Friday night.