Salesianum's Andrew Watkins rushed for 3 touchdowns, and teammate Rasheed Caulk intercepted a 2-point conversion pass made more difficult by an excessive celebration foul, in a 20-18 win for the Sals over Hodgson in a DIAA Division 1 Semifinal.
Hodgson trailed 20-12 with just under three minutes to go, when quarterback C.J. Henry threw a jump ball that was caught by Kam'Ryn Thomas, who then outfought his defender to complete a 54-yard touchdown play.
Thomas then ran to the his bench's side of the end zone, where he was joined by several of his teammates. While this happened, a flag was thrown on the Silver Eagles for excessive celebration.
Video shown to WDEL shows one player in the celebration with his helmet off, and two players from the bench area starting to head towards the celebration, only to quickly turn around. It was not clear in the official's indication what brought about the Excessive Celebration or Unsportsmanlike Conduct foul.
What was clear, is that the 15-yard infraction, which is normally moved along to the kickoff, was enforced on the crucial 2-point conversation try, which meant to tie the game, Hodgson had one play from the 18-yard line instead of the 3.
Henry threw a pass that was intercepted by Caulk, keeping the Sals up 20-18.
Hodgson's defense forced one more 3-and-out to get the ball back, and their offense benefited from a Salesaianum personal foul to start their frantic final drive, but a sack from Colin Fowler short-circuited the Silver Eagles' undefeated dreams.
The ending came at the end of an expectedly close game, as each team scored 3 touchdowns in the contest.
Hodgson struck first, as Henry hit Daniel Douglas on a 34-yard screen pass to put the Silver Eagles up 6-0 after a missed conversion on the opening play of the second quarter.
Salesianum answered back 4:30 before halftime, as Watkins ran through a large fracture in the Hodgson defense for a 54-yard touchdown, and a 7-6 halftime lead after Patrick Duffy's extra-point kick.
The Sals looked to build their lead early in the third quarter, when Watkins ran a fake punt for 15 yards, setting him his own 2-yard touchdown, but after a blocked kick, the lead was 13-6.
It remained that way into the final quarter, when Henry escaped the pocket, put a shoulder fake on a defender at the 25 yard-line, and sprinted the rest of 37 yards to get within 13-12.
Salesianum's James Yelbert kept the lead when he sacked Henry on the potential go-ahead conversion try.
After the teams traded 3-and-outs, it was Salesianum getting on the board next, as Watkins ran in from 3 yards out with 3:01 to go, making the lead 20-12 after Duffy's extra point kick.
Hodgson got a nice kick return by Lester Coleman, which set up Henry's connection to Thomas, and the penalty flag Hodgson could not overcome.
Salesianum (10-2) advances to the DIAA Championship Game, where they will face Sussex Central Saturday at 1pm.
Hodgson's season ends at 10-1, having made the semifinals both years since jumping to Division 1.