FOSTORIA - On a field replete with freshmen, seniors led the final push.
Cole Williams fell on a loose ball on a kick return, and Brad Buhrow capped that drive with a 23-yard sprint and halted Hardin Northern's ensuing possession with an interception Saturday as St. Wendelin battled to a 26-24 win.
The Mohawks (12) and Hardin Northern (9) combined for 21 freshmen and a combined 37 players, with teams trading the lead all night long.
Hardin Northern had the momentum after Wesley Schlatter crashed in from 3 yards out for a 22-20 lead with 4:39 left in the game.
St. Wendelin had a miscue on the kickoff return, and started their ensuing drive at their 9.
Hardin Northern's Andrew Stump wrapped up Brady Rutter in the end zone two snaps later to give the Polar Bears a safety and 24-20 lead with 4:20 to play.
Then the momentum changed.
Schlatter lost the handle on the ensuing free kick return and Williams pounced on the ball at midfield.
Buhrow's 23-yard sprint with 51 seconds left capped a seven-play drive and put the Mohawks up 26-24.
Fifty seconds later, Buhrow picked off a Blake Obenour pass to seal the victory.
The teams entered halftime knotted at 8. Williams ran in from 25 yards out and Rutter had the conversion run for St. Wendelin in the first quarter, and the Polar Bears got a 3-yard plunge and conversion run from Coltan Spearman in the second.
Buhrow raced in from 22 yards out in the third, but the Polar Bears took 16-14 advantage later in the period when Stump bounced in from 5 yards out and Spearman added the conversion run.
St. Wendelin took a lead 20-16 lead on Buhrow's 11-yard run with 9:02 left in the fourth quarter before Schlatter's score later in the period. Buhrow finished with 14 carries for 124 yards for the Mohawks.
Spearman (14-80) and Stump (13-90) combined for 27 carries and 170 rushing yards, but the Polar Bears lost three of their 10 fumbles.