|Cougars give Recker 1st win at VW|
|Friday, November 01, 2013 8:41 PM|
By NICK JOHNSON
ST. MARYS - The Van Wert Cougar brought their collective talent to St. Marys Memorial High School on Friday for Week 10 Western Buckeye League gridiron action against the St. Marys Roughriders.
It took the Cougars 10 hard-fought weeks but Van Wert finally got a victory as the Cougars won 41-32.
The Cougars first drive was a quick one as on the second play of the drive, Colin Smith scrambled up the middle, which turned into a 63-yard run to put Van Wert in the red zone. Two plays later, Van Wert lined up in the goal-line formation and Smith went with the quarterback sneak to put the Cougars on the scoreboard with 10:52 left in the first quarter. Gavin Gardner added the extra point to make the score 7-0, Cougars.
After a Roughrider punt, the Cougars got a 20-yard run by Justice Tussing; three plays later, Tussing punch it in from three yards out to give Van Wert a 14-0 lead after a Gardner extra point.
Van Wert scored again on its third drive when Terrence Branson picked up 31 yards on a jet sweep. A couple plays later, Smith hooked with Tussing on a 20-yard shovel pass. So with 3:29 left in the first quarter, the Cougars had a 21-0 lead after Gardner's extra point.
The ensuing kickoff for Van Wert was returned 88 yards for a touchdown by Jared Knous to put St. Marys on the board. Clayton Trogdlon added the point-after to make the score 21-7, Cougars.
Van Wert was quick to respond when Smith connected with Branson on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Gardner connected on the point-after to make the score 28-7, Van Wert.
The Cougars went for and recovered the onside kick but couldn't convertn. Van Wert was also dealt a tough blow when Branson got hurt on the drive and was taken by a cart off the field.
After a Van Wert punt, Isaac Fitzgerald punched the ball in after a 16-yard run for a touchdown with 10:30 left in the second quarter. After Trogdlon added the point-after to make the score 28-14, Van Wert.
After another Van Wert punt, the Roughriders went on a long 10-play drive that was capped with a Fitzgerald 2-yard touchdown run with 3:17 left in the half. Trogdlon added the extra point to cut the Van Wert lead to 28-21.
Van Wert added a nice drive going to end the first half but a late pass over the middle was picked off by Knous. The Roughriders turned it into a field goal to go into the half down 28-24.
With 1:11 left in the third quarter, the Cougars finally ended the scoring drought in the third with a 31-yard jet sweep for a touchdown by Michael Smelser. After Gardner added the extra point, Van Wert increased the lead to 35-24.
After a three-and-out by St. Marys, with the ball just over the 50, Smith hooked up with Nick Krugh for a 40-yard TD pass with 7:35 left to make the score 41-24.
The Roughriders countered with a long 9-play drive that chewed up a lot of the fourth-quarter clock. Trent Wale broke some Van Wert tackles on his way to the end zone for a 12-yard run. St. Marys went for two as Chase Roop went over the left side to cut Van Wert’s lead to 41-32.
“We were rolling; with Terrence, we have that big-play ability all the time. I was telling the kids when we were up 28-7 — a lot of it was on the running game — we just need to continue to work hard on our blocking and we will be fine," Van Wert coach Keith recker. "We switched Michael to the 'Y' (receiver) so we could still run some of the same plays we would with Branson. That was big to open some stuff on the edge. We knew the run game was going to be there; it was a matter of blocking it. And we got a couple scores to put the game away.”
The Cougars had two rushers break the century mark as Smith rushed for 119 on 13 carries and Tussing went off for 218 on 25 carries. Smith also had a good showing throwing the ball as he connected on 10-13 for 127 yards (3 TDs, 1 pick).
The win gives the Cougars a 1-9 record on the year and allows them to stay out of the basement in the WBL.
VAN WERT 41, ST. MARYS 32
Score by Quarters
Van Wert 28 0 7 6 - 41
St. Marys 7 17 0 8 - 32
VW - Colin Smith 1 run (Gavin Gardner kick), 10:52
VW - Justice Tussing 2 run (Gardner kick), 5:11
VW - Tussing 14 pass from Smith (Gardner kick), 3:29
SM - Chase Roop 88 kickoff return (Clayton Trogdlon kick), 3:16
VW - Terrence Branson 31 pass from Smith (Gardner kick), 2:14
SM - Isaac Fitzgerald 15 run (Trogdlon kick), 10:30
SM - Fitzgerald 2 run (Trogdlon kick), 3:17
SM - Trogdlon 35 field goal, 2:08
VW - Michael Schmelzer 31 run (Gardner kick), 1:11
VW - Nick Krugh 40 pass from Smith (run failed), 7:33
SM - Fitzgerald 10 run (Jared Knous run), 7:33
Van Wert St. Marys
First Downs 20 23
Total yards 518 316
Rushes/Yards 43/391 50/272
Passing yards 127 74
Comps./Atts. 10/13 9/17
Intercepted by 1 0
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 0/0
Penalties/Yards 8/60 6/57
Punts/Aver. 2/23 3/38
RUSHING: Smith 13-119, Tussing 25-218
RECEIVING: Krugh 2-40, Branson 2-34
RUSHING: Roop 14-101
RECEIVING: Roop 3-19