|Knights oust T-Birds for 1st-ever playoff grid win|
|Friday, November 08, 2013 9:07 PM|
By SEAN LaFONTAINE
LIMA — A half hour after the game, the football field was flooded with Crestview players, coaches, family and supporters.
It was that kind of game Friday night in Lima Stadium. The Knights went on the road and made Crestview football history, defeating the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds 48-35 for their first-ever playoff football victory.
Both offenses came out firing on all cylinders. The two teams traded blows back-and-fourth through the first quarter and a half before Crestview came up with a key play.
With the game tied at 28-28 late in the second quarter, the Knights got the break they had been looking for that changed the game. The Thunderbirds fumbled the ball on the Crestview 35 and the Knights recovered. Crestview took over with 2:42 left to play in the half and took advantage of the opportunity.
The Knights went on a 9-play drive that covered 65 yards and finished on a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Preston Zaleski. Cameron Grubaugh added the extra point to give the Knights the 35-28 lead with only four seconds to play in the half.
Crestview carried that momentum over to the opening possession of the second half. The Knights sustained an 11-play drive that covered 62 yards and chewed up over five minutes of playing time. This time, the drive concluded on a Malcolm Oliver 5-yard run. The point-after was good, giving Crestview the 42-28 lead.
“It was huge for momentum,” said Crestview coach Jared Owens about the fumble recovery. “And just as big of an impact was being able to go down after the kickoff (to begin the second half) and score again. From there, they weren’t able to run the ball as willingly because the clock became a factor. We put them in predictable passing situations and once we did that, we felt like we could defend them a little better.”
Just when it looked like the Knights may take over the game, LCC answered immediately. Kalito Lasenby received the kickoff from roughly his own 11 and took it all the way back for a touchdown. The point-after brought LCC within seven, 42-35.
But like they did all night, Crestview had an answer when they needed it. The Knights faced only one third down on a 10-play drive that covered 55 yards. Justin Overmeyer ran in the score from six yards out that gave Crestview the 48-35 lead with 2:06 left to play in the third quarter.
LCC had multiple opportunities to close the gap on the Knights but the Crestview defense answered every call and held the speedy Thunderbird attack at bay. The teams played a scoreless fourth quarter, finishing the Knights' playoff road victory.
Owens expressed about what he felt was the difference in the game: “As we talked about earlier in the week, our physical play was huge. It was our five linemen and our tight end doing a great job and Malcolm running downhill.”
The Knights had 515 yards of total offense on the night — compared to just 283 for LCC — with 407 coming on the ground
Oliver ran the ball 30 times for 207 yards with three touchdowns.
Owens talked about how the Knights and Oliver were so successful on the ground throughout the game: “I felt like we had some size and strength on them up front because they were banged up. Our guys have been physical all year and we take pride in running the football. No matter who we are playing, that is what we are going to hang our hat on.”
Zaleski was 4-6 passing on the night for 108 yards and one touchdown. The one touchdown came on a 56-yard pass to Isaiah Simerman for the Knights’ first score of the game.
Simerman led the Knights in receiving with three catches for 99 yards.
An overwhelmed Owens spoke about what this victory means to him and the Crestview program: “It’s a program-builder. It’s hard to think about right now because we are just living in the moment but looking back this group of seniors and the kids that are out here playing tonight definitely put their stamp on the program.”
CRESTVIEW 48, LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 35
Score by Quarters:
Crestview 14 21 13 0 – 48
Lima CC 14 14 7 0 - 35
LCC–Kalito Lasenby 4 run (Colin Stolly kick)
C–Isaiah Simerman 56 pass from Preston Zaleski (Kameron Grubaugh kick)
C–Malcolm Oliver 15 run (Grubaugh kick)
LCC-Mykale Rogers 75 pass from Stolly (Stolly kick)
C-Jake Lippi 3 run (Grubaugh kick)
LCC-Cameron White 68 pass from Stolly (Stolly kick)
LCC-Stolly 53 punt return (Stolly kick)
C-Oliver 10 run (Grubaugh kick)
C-Zaleski 2 run (Grubaugh kick)
C-Oliver 5 run (Grubaugh kick)
LCC-Lasenby 89 kickoff return (Stolly kick)
C-Justin Overmyer 6 run (Grubaugh kick)
Crestview Lima Central Catholic
25 First downs 8
515 Total yardage 283
407 Rushing yardage 73
108 Passing yardage 210
4-6-0 Passing (Com-Att-Int) 10-20-0
2-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-1
2-35.0 Punts-Average 2-38.5
3-25 Penalties-Yards 3-35
Passing: Crestview-Preston Zaleski 4-6-108; Lima Central Catholic-Colin Stolly 10-20-210.
Rushing: Crestview-Malcolm Oliver 30-208; Lima Central Catholic-Mykale Rogers 7-35.
Receiving: Crestview-Isaiah Simerman 3-99; Lima Central Catholic-Cameron White 5-102.