Oak Glen - October 9, 2015
It was homecoming at Patterson Field on this overcast evening in more ways than one as Coach Josh Ludwig and his team stirred memories of the past with a victory that was reminiscent of years gone by as his team rushed and passed for 372 yards in a convincing 28-7 win over Oak Glen.
Led by the rushing of senior Austyn Dozier, who rushed for 233 yards on 23 carries and scored twice on the night, the Blue and White never looked back after the burly senior scored his first TD on a 56-yard gallop at the 8:22 mark in the opening quarter.
Following exchanged punts late in the quarter, the big running back appeared to have put his team in jeopardy, fumbling on a third-and-three at the Golden Bears 40, however, an alert Ryan Lilly picked up the loose ball and scooted 38 yards to pay dirt, and it was 14-0 after Dylan Kidder booted his second extra point of the evening.
Success was short-lived for the Potters, however, as with 4:51showing on the first period clock Kidder’s kick off landed in the hands of Chase Crago. Fourteen seconds later, the junior wide receiver landed in the end zone with an 80-yard return to his credit, and it was 14-7 following the conversion kick by Collin Williams.
At this juncture, what seemed to be the longest quarter in the history of American football (there were seven penalties and five timeouts called along with an inadvertent whistle that left everyone in a state of bewilderment with 13.8 seconds remaining before the intermission) the teams headed to the locker rooms without further scoring.
Returning to the field following homecoming ceremonies that saw Sutton Stacey crowned queen, the Potters added to their totals, scoring in both the third and fourth quarters. For the locals, it would be Dozier for his second TD on a two-yard plunge at 3:83 in the third. The icing was then put on the cake with 11:52 remaining in the game as Zach Gill hauled in a 17-yard strike from Austin Mayfield at the conclusion of a six-play-59-yard drive ignited by a Jake Cornell fumble recovery late in the third.
Kidder was perfect on both scores to make it 28-7, the final.
“No one could have been happier than Coach Josh Ludwig as he chatted with reporters in a crowded locker room following the game stating, “Any time you win, it’s a great feeling. I’ll admit, we came into this game extremely well prepared. We were ready defensively and the kids were able to call things out, and we were right there”
Sophomore Payton Adkins with a key interception in the game has really come along as a defensive back, after showing up well in the Martins Ferry game. His pick came at a critical time with the visitors in the midst of a ten-play drive that started late in the first quarter, carrying over into the second, when with 10:34 on the clock, Adkins stepped in front of a Lance Collins pass setting his team up on their own 17.
Senior Ryan Bombich made the other interception just before the half, after the Bears had worked the ball to the 37 on a successful hook and lateral play.
It was nice to see former ELHS Coach Bob Thayer in the crowd. The popular Thayer, who headed the program from 1995 to 2004, by far the most in school history, compiled an over-all record of 67-38 including 27 wins between 1996-1998 – tops in any three-year period.
In spite of the forecast, there was only about one drop of rain, and homecoming ceremonies were carried out without a hitch.