In a game with 16 touchdowns and 1,100 yards of offense, a kick worth a single point was the deciding play in Elder's 59-58 overtime shootout win over Moeller.
The Panthers and the Crusaders were tied at the half and tied after regulation, neither team with a run of more than 14 points for the entire game.
Moeller struck first in overtime. After converting on fourth-and-1, the Crusaders set up a 3-yard run for Alec Weeder. On the extra point attempt, Elder's Drew Ramsey broke through the line and stuck his arm right in the ball's path for a block.
Elder quarterback Ben Hambleton was sacked on Elder's first play for a loss of six yards. After a quick scramble on the second play, Hambleton saw a mismatch to his left and passed to Andrew Harp. Harp caught his ninth pass of the night and David Maurer sent the point after undisturbed through the uprights for the extra point and the 59-58 win.
"(Blocking the kick) gives you a lot of momentum," Elder head coach Doug Ramsey said after the Panthers blocked two extra points. "Now all of a sudden we don't need to score and go for two or score and go for one and then play another overtime. Now we score and we can win the game."
Mauer was a perfect 8-for-8 on extra points and made a 24-yard field goal. Moeller kicker William Steele made a field goal that ended up forcing overtime but was 5-7 on extra points with both misses blocked.
Hambleton's game-winner to Harp was the receiver's third score of the night. Harp caught nine passes for 156 yards. Harp's first score came with 11 seconds left in the first half and tied the game 21-21, with the Panthers receiving the kick to open the third quarter.
"He stepped up big time today," Hambleton said about Harp. "He's been a huge player this whole season. I saw the matchup of him on a smaller guy. I just knew to get the ball on the air and he'd go and get it. He did a great job."
Hambleton lit up the field as well despite being on the receiving end of six sacks. The senior quarterback was 31-for-40 for 413 yards and four touchdowns with a pick.
"Ben was really good," Ramsey said. "Andrew Harp was outstanding. They doubled Drew (Ramsey) a lot and they left Andrew one-on-one and he took advantage of it. He made some unbelievable catches tonight. Ben and him that was a great combination tonight."
Moeller had its own combination working all night as well. Quarterback Noah Geselbracht was 24-for-37 for 426 yards and six touchdowns with a pair of interceptions. He found junior receiver Tennel Bryant 12 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns.
"In general our offense played well," Moeller head coach Mark Elder said. "We scored 58 points. We only have to get a couple stops; it's not like we needed a bunch of them."
Moeller struggled to stop the Elder special teams too, especially Luke Flowers. Flowers returned six kicks for 223 yards, including a 97-yard return for a touchdown to give Elder a 45-42 lead in the fourth quarter.
Flowers' returns gave the Panthers a short field and quick scoring chances. Chances, Elder had no issue with capitalizing on.
"They had 13 possessions and it felt like they scored on 14 of them," Elder said.
Moeller dropped to 5-2 with the loss, falling only to Elder and St. Xavier so far. The Crusaders hos Cleveland St. Ignatius on Saturday.
Elder improved to 3-4, breaking a streak of three losses that included a pair of running clocks and a blown fourth-quarter lead. The Panthers host undefeated Indianapolis Roncalli, led by former Moeller head coach John Rodenberg.
Moeller - 8 13 14 17 6 - 58
Elder - 14 7 10 21 7 - 59
M- Bryant 10 pass from Geselbracht (Thompson rush)
E- Hambleton 13 run (Maurer kick)
E- Ramsey 1 run (Maurer kick)
M- Marshall 4 run (Steele kick)
M- Merk 38 pass from Geselbracht (kick failed)
E- Harp 10 pass from Hambleton (Maurer kick)
E- Flowers 5 run (Maurer kick)
M- Marshall 51 pass from Geselbracht (Steele kick)
E- FG Maurer 24
M- Bryant 60 pass from Geselbracht (Steele kick)
E- Harp 13 pass from Hambleton (Maurer kick)
M- Thompson 9 pass from Geselbracht (Steele kick)
E- Flowers 97 kickoff return (Maurer kick)
M- Bryant 20 pass from Geselbracht (Steele kick)
E- Re 75 pass from Hambleton (Maurer kick)
M- FG Steele 32
M- Weeder 3 run (kick failed)
E- Harp 26 pass from Hambleton (Maurer kick)
Records: M 5-2 (1-2 GCL-S); E 3-4 (1-1 GCL-S).