Drew Patterson fumbled on the Wildcats’ 7-yard line with 32 seconds left to preserve a 35-28 come-from-behind win over the Chargers in a WIAA Division 1 second-round playoff football game on a cool night at Curtis Jones Field.
Senior halfback Dom Wise rushed for 279 yards and four touchdowns leading Verona (9-1) into the state quarterfinals against Big Eight Conference rival Sun Prairie (10-0) next weekend.
The Cardinals beat Verona in week one of the regular season 27-7 Verona's only loss of the season.
The Chargers scored on the game’s opening drive and answered every Wildcats touchdown the rest of the first half. After the Wildcats tied the game at 14 on a 1-yard run by Wise, Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a score.
Verona answered on a 73-yard TD pass from John Tackett to Sam Sharer. But the Chargers scored on Patterson’s 4-yard run with 10 seconds left until halftime to take a 28-21 advantage.
Patterson led the charge for Hamilton in the firs half with 126 yards rushing to go with his kickoff return touchdown. But in the second half Verona limited him to 46 yards on just 14 carries.