FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- After handling the Fort Wayne Snider High School football most of the game, everything went wrong for Fishers in the final two minutes.
Unbeaten Snider rallied from a 28-14 deficit with 1:57 left to beat Fishers 36-35 in overtime in a Class 5A regional championship at Wayne High School on Friday night. The No. 4 Panthers (13-0) will host Merrillville next week.
Fishers scored first in overtime on a 4-yard touchdown run by Maurice Campbell. Snider answered with a 5-yard touchdown run and then Je'Noire Smith scored on a 2-point conversion to win it.
"Usually at home, you don't go there," Fishers coach Rick Wimmer said of the 2-point conversion. "But they obviously felt they could make it and they did. We stopped the run most of the night. But our defense was a little tired and the momentum had obviously shifted.
The Panthers tied it 28-28 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Phelps to Quinton Daniels. Snider had made it 28-21 on a 1-yard run by Phelps with 1:20 left. The Panthers had scored quickly as Fishers (9-4) missed a 25-yard field goal with 1:57 left in the game. That would have effectively sealed the victory.
Trailing 28-21, Snider tried an onside kick but Fishers recovered. The Panthers still had all three timeouts and pushed Fishers back from the 50. A blocked punt gave Snider the ball on the Fishers 28.
"We had a pretty good punt and they got us on a holding call," Wimmer said. "We had to punt it again and that didn't work out.
"When you play on the road you're going to have some things go against you. We fought through most of them. I'm not saying it wasn't a hold, but that was a tough one to overcome."
Snider closed the deficit to 21-14 on a 1-yard run by Nicolas Reese with 1:31 left in the first half. Just before Snider kicked, the officials spotted lightning in the distance and stopped play for a little more than 30 minutes.
The Tigers scored first on 1-yard touchdown run by Connor Christiansen. Snider quickly answered with a 69-yard touchdown pass from Phelps to Daniels. The Tigers scored the next two touchdowns with a 16-yard pass from Christiansen to Forrest Schneider and a 4-yard touchdown run by Campbell.
Each team missed a field goal in the first half. Snider had a 48-yard field goal attempt blocked. Fishers missed a 44-yard attempt as time expired at halftime.
"We had some opportunities if we made some plays there," Wimmer said.
The Tigers beat Snider 47-34 in the regional en route to the Class 5A state title in 2010.