In 39 years as coach of the Germantown football team, Phil Datka has seen his share of crazy games.
On Tuesday, he witnessed another one.
Germantown defeated third-seeded Sussex Hamilton, 14-10, in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs, after the Warhawks got the ball with less than 3 minutes left and drove 66 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
"This one's right up there at the top," Datka said. "It never gets old. The kids make it what it is."
Germantown (6-4), which has just one loss in 14 first-round playoff games under Datka, will play Brookfield Central on Saturday.
Sussex Hamilton (6-4), 3-6 last season, was hoping to get fourth-year coach John Damato his first playoff victory.
It looked like a strong possibility, especially after the Chargers blocked two tying field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
But Germantown had one last chance. The Warhawks got the ball at their 34-yard line with 2 minutes 56 seconds left.
Quarterback Nick Doedens completed two passes to Ben Starke for a total of 19 yards and then threw an incomplete pass with 1:57 left.
Doedens then lofted a deep pass over the middle that was hauled in for a 44-yard reception by senior Tony Sanicola.
"Nick threw that ball; it was the best pass he threw all year," Sanicola said. "I just ran underneath it as fast as I could. I barely got there. I prayed to God when I was running it came to me. I dove and caught it. I can't believe it."
After senior Austin Stadler rushed for 1 yard, he scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-10 lead with 1:14 left.
Hamilton drove to the 50-yard line but the game ended with senior Andy Neumann sacked Chargers quarterback Justin Rupnow.
"I can't look back at that last (pass) play," Damato said. "There were so many things that went on between the end zones here."
The most glaring happened after Hamilton's Coty Schmidt intercepted a pass with 56 seconds left in the second quarter.
Hamilton had a 7-0 lead at the time and was deep in its own territory, content to run out the clock.
But instead of taking a knee, Hamilton ran two running plays. The second was costly.
"If you're going to pick anything out of this conversation, that hurt our momentum," Damato said. "We were up, 7-0, with 30 seconds left on the clock, and our center slips with the ball. So whether we take a knee or run with the ball doesn't matter, our center never got the ball to the quarterback."
Germantown recovered and got the ball at the 6-yard line with 14 seconds left. After a 3-yard running play, Doedens hit Starke for a 3-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 7-7 with 2 seconds left.
Courtesy of Dave Boehler from today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Had to post this from my old high school football team......Go Warhawks!!!!