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Nordonia holds off Benedictine 23-20 in regular season's final WKYC.com High School Football Game of the Week

Andrew Lastovka's 20-yard field goal with just minutes to go provided the difference and gave the Knights a shot at the No. 1 seed in their region.
Credit: 3News

MACEDONIA, Ohio — WKYC.com's High School Football Game of the Week began and ended the regular season with classic battles. Both matchups involved Benedictine, but the end result was decidedly different each time.

This matchup did not go the Bengals' way, as Nordonia held on late for a huge 23-20 victory. The Knights overcame an early 13-0 deficit to keep themselves in the running for Division II's Region 5.

RELATED: More high school sports coverage from 3News

Andrew Lastovka, one of the area's best kickers, missed two field goals on the night but finally made one from 20 yards out with just 2:31 remaining. Benedictine had a chance to either tie it up or take the lead, but Antonio Patterson dropped a pass beyond midfield before Ceejay Yarboro overshot a wide-open Brandon Boyd Jr. on fourth down, and Nordonia was able to take over and run out the clock.

The Knights (8-2) were able to spread the wealth on offense, with quarterback Mark Wilson hitting Cooper Rusk for a 34-yard touchdown before Bryan Russ gave his team the lead with a 6-yard score. The defense also picked off Yarboro twice in the second quarter, and Lastovka surprised everybody in Boliantz Stadium by recovering his own onside kick after the Russ TD that set up an 11-yard scamper by Zach Zender, giving the Knights a 20-13 halftime advantage.

Duane Jackson got things going early with two touchdowns (including one from 45 yards away on the opening drive), but the Bengals (6-2) struggled on offense for most of the evening until Yarboro found Boyd for a 30-yard score midway through the third. The defense also had to endure the loss of stud linebacker and Toledo commit Derell Bedingfield Jr., who left early with an injury and did not return.

With the OHSAA playoffs only a week away, Nordonia's win throws the Region 5 standings into flux: The Knights could be the top seed, but Benedictine could also hang onto that spot depending on how the computer points work out (the Bengals could've clinched No. 1 with a win). No. 2 Archbishop Hoban and No. 4 Hudson were also in the running to be first in the bracket, but both teams lost to St. Edward and Stow-Munroe Falls, respectively.

We'll bring you updates on the standings as they come in. In the meantime, you can re-listen to Dave "Dino" DeNatale's call of the game in the player below, or scroll down to view more scores from across Northeast Ohio.