The Tallmadge football team's stellar season came to an abrupt end.
The top-seeded Blue Devils lost a 26-23 decision to eighth-seeded Chagrin Falls Kenston Nov. 2 at Rossiaky Stadium.
With the win, the Bombers improved to 7-4. Tallmadge finished 8-3.
The Blue Devils got on the board when Kody Edwards kicked a 27-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 40 seconds left in the first half.
It took 17 seconds for Kenston to answer.
Six-foot-3 quarterback Darryl Richards, who gave Tallmadge all kinds of trouble with his arm and his feet, gave the Bombers a 6-3 lead when he scored on a 74-yard run. The point after try was wide right.
The Blue Devils regained the lead, thanks to a four-play, 65-yard drive. Bobby Clark's 34-yard TD run and Edwards' first of two extra points gave Tallmadge a 10-6 advantage with 5:35 left in the half.
Once again, Kenston responded.
The Bombers recovered a fumble and Richards threw a perfect strike to wide receiver Joe Tomcufcik for a 61-yard TD pass to give Kenston a 12-10 lead. The run failed on the two-point conversion.
The Bombers never trailed again.
Kenston put together a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive to open the third quarter. Richards scored on a 10-yard run and TJ Kestranek added the first of his two extra points to give the Bombers a 19-10 advantage.
It took the Blue Devils 10 seconds to trim their deficit to three.
Tallmadge quarterback Anthony Gotto completed a 65-yard TD pass to Zach Cleary. The snap was bobbled on the extra point, but Kenston's advantage was just 19-16.
The Blue Devils had a chnace to take the lead late in the third quarter.
Tallmadge had first and goal at the Bombers' two-yard line after a 19-yard gain by Johnny Linn.
And then disaster struck for the Blue Devils.
On the very next play, Tallmadge fumbled and Kenston recovered at its own three.
The Bombers, who utilzed a no-huddle attack, promptly marched down the field in less than five minutes to take a 26-16 lead.
Richards concluded the possession with a 16-yard TD run on third down.
Tallmadge put together an 80-yard drive to cut its deficit to 26-23 with 1:57 left in the game. The Blue Devils reached the end zone when Gotto completed a nine-yard TD pass to Bryon Cook.
Tallmadge tried an onside kick, but it was recovered by Kenston.
Nevertheless, the Blue Devils defense forced a three-and-out and Tallmadge's offense had the ball at its own 15 with about 90 seconds left.
The Blue Devils picked up three first downs and got to the Bombers' 30. The game ended when a Kenston player knocked the ball out of Gotto's hand as he was about to throw on fourth down.
For more, see the Nov. 11 edition of the Tallmadge Express.