COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove can call their win over rival Pandora-Gilboa a total team effort.
Bulldogs offense, defense and special teams all pitched in to get
Columbus Grove a season opening 30-28 win over the Rockets Friday night
at Clymer Stadium.
In a game that was back and forth all night, the Bulldogs scored twice in the final 2:30 of the game for the win.
the contest tied 22-22, the Rockets took a 28-22 lead as Jacob Basinger
scored on a 10 yard run with 3:33 left to play. A two-point conversion
pass fell incomplete giving the Rockets a 28-22 lead.
Grove started their next possession on their own 25 yard line and needed
just three plays to reach the endzone, with the aid of a persona foul
penalty on the Rockets.
Sophomore quarterback Reid Stechschulte
completed three straight passes for the Bulldogs with the final one
being a 39 yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Aidan Fortman on
the left sideline. On the touchdown pass, Fortman outjumped a Rocket
defensive back for the ball, then back peddled into the endzone to tie
the game at 28-28 with 2:30 left as the extra point attempt sailed wide
The Bulldogs defense came up big as they forced a three and
out by the P-G. On the ensuing punt, the snap from center sailed over
the head of the Rocket punter and into the endzone where he was tackled
for a safety and a 30-28 Grove lead with 1:09 left.
P-G elected to
kick the ball away to Grove as they had all three of their timeouts
remaining. The Rocket defense forced a punt after three three plays as
they got the ball back at their own38 with 39 seconds left. On the first
play from scrimmage senior cornerback David Bogart intercepted a pass
and the Bulldogs had to kneel down once to run out the clock.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter on an 11 yard run by Joey Warnecke.
Rockets answered right back as Jacob Basinger found a seam and went 71
yards to paydirt. With Basinger's extra point the Rockets were up 7-6
with 9:27 left in the first half.
Columbus Grove scored over just
two minutes later as Stechschulte hit Bogart with an 11 yard scoring
pass in the left corner of the endzone. The two point conversion pass
fell incomplete leaving the Bulldogs up 12-7.
pulled with 12-9 when Stechschulte was tackled in the endzone after
chasing down a bad snap from center as he was in the shotgun at the
seven yard line. Just before halftime, the Rockets went up 15-12 as
Jacob Miller hauled in a 50 yard scoring pass from Basinger. The extra
point was no good.
Late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs
regained the lead when Stechschulte and Bogart hooked up on a 46 yard
scoring pass. With the extra point it was 19-15 in favor of the
It didn't take long for the Rockets to regain the lead
as Basinger took the kickoff 84 yards for a score. With the extra point
it was 22-19 P-G with 1:57 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs tied
the game with 17 seconds left in the quarter as Warnecke kicked a 34
yard field goal.
“You can tell our off season program is pretty
good because our guys just didn't quit,” Grove coach Andy Schafer said.
“I'm not saying Pandora-Gilboa did by any means, those guys played their
hearts out. The fans definitely got their monies worth. I can't even
talk about the team unity we have this year. I've been coaching for 18
years and I never had this type of team unity like we have on this team.
I just had that feeling we could get through adversity and we did. It's
a credit to our kids. We just played.”
Stechschulte was 11-of-25
passing for the Bulldogs for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Warnecke
had 84 yards rushing for the Bulldogs, while Fortman caught three passes
for 111 yards and Bogart caught four passes for 78 yards.
The Bulldog defense forced six turnovers in the game, four interceptions and they recovered two fumbles. One of the fumble recoveries came in the endzone as the Rockets were trying to stretch their lead in the third quarter.
* * *
CG—JOEY WARNECKE 11 RUN (KICK FAILED) 11:40 2ND
PG—JACOB BASINGER 71 RUN (JACOB BASINGER KICK) 9:27 2ND
CG—DAVID BOGART 11 PASS FROM REID STECHSCHULTE (PASS FAILED) 7:16 2ND
PG—SAFETY BALL CARRIER TACKLED IN END ZONE 3:03 2ND
PG—JACOB MILLER 50 PASS FROM BASINGER (KICK FAILED) :51 2ND
CG—DAVID BOGART 46 PASS FROM STECHSCHULTE (WARNECKE KICK) 2:10 3RD
PG—BASINGER 84 KICKOFF RETURN (BASINGER KICK) 1:57 3RD
CG—JOEY WARNECKE 34 YARD FIELD GOAL :12 3RD
PG—BASINGER 10 RUN (PASS FAILED) 3:33 4TH
CG—AIDEN FORTMAN 39 PASS FROM STECHSCHULTE (KICK FAILED) 2:30 4TH
CG—-SAFETY TACKLED RUNNER IN ENDZONE