WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ursuline Irish are used to this at this point.
So it should come as no surprise that their Friday night matchup with Warren Harding was another thriller, with Jakylan Irving playing the hero in a 50-49 Irish victory.
Irving’s kickoff return for a touchdown with two minutes remaining turned out to be a crushing blow for the Raiders who had just taken their first lead since 7-0 moments prior.
DeMarcus McElroy shouldered the load for the Irish again this week with five touchdowns on the ground.
Warren Harding quarterback Dalys Jett was impressive in a losing effort with six total touchdowns on the night. Three passing and three rushing scores including a 48-yard scamper that appeared for a moment to potentially be the game-winner.
Jett got the game started off quickly with a 66-yard touchdown pass to Dom Foster to put the Raiders on the board in their first possession, 7-0.
McElroy plunged in for a one-yard score to cap the ensuing Irish possession to tie the game at 7-7.
Another short McElroy TD on the next Ursuline drive gave the Irish their first lead, 14-7, with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
That lead was short-lived as Foster returned the kickoff all the way to the endzone for a score to tie the game at 14-14.
A third short touchdown run for McElroy with 7:10 left in the second quarter kept the scoring run going to give them back the lead, 20-14, following a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Brady Shannon tossed a touchdown pass to Marc Manning to extend the Irish’s lead to 27-14 with just over three minutes left in the first half. Watch the highlight below.
A Jett quarterback keeper from a yard out chipped away at the Irish’s lead to 27-21 just before the half.
McElroy’s fourth touchdown run came from a yard out in the third quarter and gave the Irish a 33-21 lead. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
A Jett touchdown pass to Tyriq Ivory split two defenders in the endzone for a score late in the third to close the gap again, this time to 33-28.
With just under two minutes left in the third quarter, the Irish lead grew by three when James McGlone connected on a field goal.
Seconds later, the Harding connection of Jett and Ivory struck again with a long touchdown pass and catch. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Raiders trailed by two, 36-34.
Early in the fourth quarter, McElroy struck again. The fifth touchdown run of the night was a long one and created a two-score lead for the Irish, 43-34.
Jett found the endzone again on another QB keeper (five yards), this time from five yards out with just over five minutes to go. After a successful PAT, the Raiders trailed by two once more.
The Raiders’ defense forced an Irish punt and on the first play of the following drive, Jett struck again. Another QB keeper for a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Raiders their first lead since it was 7-0 in the first quarter with just over two minutes remaining in the game. After Ivory converted a two-point conversion, the Raiders led 49-43.
But that lead was short-lived. Ursuline’s Irving returned the ensuing kickoff right back for a score and after a successful PAT retook the lead, 50-49.
The Ursuline defense forced a turnover on downs to seal the game.
Ursuline (4-1) will host Chaney next week. Warren Harding (1-4) will visit St.-Vincent St.-Mary.
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