Most folks (and the Madonna defense) probably expected Gibbs to hand off to the 200-pound Wamsley from just outside the 1, but instead he took the snap and headed around left end and met up with little resistance for the winning score.
An elated Gibbs wheeled around in the end zone, spiked the ball to the ground and headed toward midfield and a raucous celebration with his White Falcons teammates as the Wahama partisans in the crowd of about 4,000 let out the night's loudest roar.
"We ran [Wamsley] one way and we had our guys on the left side block for me,'' Gibbs said moments later. "There was a hole there, but I couldn't have done it without them. I thought it was a great job, and our team was great the whole game.''
Gibbs said he wasn't surprised when Wahama's coaching staff decided to go for the win instead of kicking for one point.
"With their offense clicking the way it was,'' Gibbs said, "I figured it was going to come down to something gutsy like that, anyway. I didn't mind it. I really didn't want to throw in that situation. After they had the encroachment and we had 11/2 yards to get in, I knew I could punch it in. I figured this was all I'd dreamed of, and I knew I wasn't going to let nothing stop me.''
Interestingly, the game nearly didn't come down to Wahama's fateful decision to go for 2. Madonna nearly beat the White Falcons to the trick when it scored on a 21-yard pass from a scrambling Comis to Marcello Biondillo with 47 seconds remaining in regulation to lower its deficit to 35-34.
The Blue Dons came out and lined up as if they were going to run an offensive play from the 3 on the conversion, but the play clock ran out, they were hit with a delay-of-game penalty and had to settle for a Green extra point to tie it. They had no timeouts left at that stage.
"We thought about it, then changed our mind back and forth,'' said Madonna coach Doug Taylor. "We ended up kicking the point and got the tie for overtime.''
Madonna then lost the coin flip to start OT and Wahama elected to play defense first.
"I thought we got a strip on their first [offensive] play, but we didn't get it,'' Taylor said. "We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times, but we can't hang our head. That's a good football team and we played well.
"It is what it is. When they went for 2, we ended up offside and they moved it up halfway. That's pretty tough to keep them out of there with that running game.''
Madonna led 14-12 at halftime, but neither side was ahead by more than seven points the entire game. It was the highest-scoring Class A title game ever.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.