In a game which was billed as ?The Game of the Century? and one of the top 10 high school football games to watch in the nation according to Maxpreps.com, the No.3 Hand Tigers secured a 40-20 win versus No. 1-ranked Xavier on Oct. 12 at Palmer Field in Middletown.
The Tigers (5-0) got on the board first with an 11-yard run from Matt Walsh with 3:14 left in the first quarter. Xavier responded with a touchdown of their own to end the quarter, but the extra point was blocked to keep the Tigers ahead by one.
The Falcons found the end zone again to make it 12-7 after a failed two-point conversion. Following another Walsh score and with 4:34 left in the half, Xavier again scored and connected on the two-point try to put the Falcons up 20-14 heading into the locker room.
Hand got itself back into the game in the second half when Walsh earned himself a hat trick for the night with his third score on a run to cap off a 95-yard drive by Hand and tie the game after a missed extra point. With 1:31 remaining in the period, Caleb Ewald found pay dirt for the Tigers with a 30-yard run after a screen pass to put Hand up by seven.
In the fourth, Hand went fourth down at the Falcons? 8-yard line when Walsh got his fourth score of the evening to put the Tigers up 13 with 7:09 remaining in the fourth after a missed point-after. Walsh helped put the game on ice with his fifth score of the night with 4:40 to go, putting Hand up by 20 as that would be the final score of the momentous win by the Tigers in ending Xavier?s 30-game win streak.
Tigers? quarterback Brendan Bilcheck finished 22-for-30 with 271 yards through the air and one touchdown passing. Receiver Kyle Anderson had 163 yard receiving, Walsh finished with only 34 yards on six runs, but five touchdowns in the win.