LINTON, Ind. -- Scecina High School football coach Ott Hurrle couldn't see who made the game-saving stop in Friday night's semistate victory.
"But I have to give him a big kiss," Hurrle said.
Senior middle linebacker James Hadley stopped Zane Hayden on fourth down and less than a yard to give the Class A No. 7 Crusaders a 17-14 overtime victory over No. 2 Linton-Stockton.
Scecina (11-3) will play No. 1 Lafayette Central Catholic (13-1) in Friday's Class A state title game at Lucas Oil Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Linton-Stockton finished 13-1.
Scecina beat Linton-Stockton 17-0 in last year's semistate, but this time the game was tight throughout.
Luke Frain kicked a 25-yard field goal after Scecina lost the coin flip and had to go on offense first in overtime. Linton-Stockton picked up nine yards on three carries to set up the deciding play. Miners coach Steve Weber didn't hesitate to go for the win on fourth down instead of trying to go for the tying field goal.
"I don't think the kids would have let me walk off the field if I had kicked that," Weber said. "They wanted to go for the win. They believed they could do it and I believed we could do it. We were moving the ball well on the ground at the end. I want to look at the replay of the play, it had to be close."
Scecina's David Tarver scored on a 76-yard run to tie the game 14-14 late in the third quarter.
"Tarver is a very good runner and he breaks things," Hurrle said. "That's a big part of our offense. Thomas Allgood didn't have his typical game, but hopefully he's saving that for next week."
Tarver, who had 142 yards on 24 carries, also had a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for the Crusaders. Allgood was limited to 23 yards on eight carries.
Linton-Stockton tied it on 5-yard touchdown pass from 6-7 senior quarterback Austin Karazsia to Dane Rupska late in the second quarter.
The Miners went ahead 14-7 in the third quarter when Karazsia scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down. On the next possession, Tarver's big run tied it.
Scecina missed a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after a 5-yard penalty pushed back the attempt.
"We made some big mistakes on drives we have to correct," Hurrle said.
Senior linebacker Connor Tooley had 16 tackles, but was sidelined late in the fourth quarter when his knee popped out of the socket. Tooley said it has happened before and he will be ready to play against LCC.
"I was proud of my defense," Tooley said. "We worked hard together. They have a great offense, but we were hard-nosed. I think we hit harder I believe."
Karazsia, who had thrown for more than 3,000 yards this season, completed 22-of-31 passes with one interception.