OTTAWA — Turnovers can quickly swing the momentum of a football game. More often than not, turnovers will determine the outcome.
Friday’s Western Buckeye League opener between Ottawa-Glandorf and visiting St. Marys was a prime example.
St. Marys took advantage of a couple O-G turnovers down the stretch, en route to a hard-fought 21-13 victory over the Titans.
For the game, O-G had four turnovers, while St. Marys committed three.
Late in the fourth quarter, with St. Marys (1-1, 1-0 WBL) clinging to a 14-13 lead, O-G quarterback Jaden Siebeneck was picked off by St. Marys’ linebacker Ty Schlosser, who ran it back 55 yards for what proved to be the clinching touchdown.
Just moments before that interception by Schlosser, the Titans (0-2, 0-1) had cut a 14-7 deficit to 14-13 on a 10-yard TD pass from Siebeneck to Richie Knowlton (nine catches, 127 yards, two touchdowns). For the game, Siebeneck was 16-of-30 passing for 204 yards, but he threw three interceptions.
St. Marys took the 14-7 lead just seconds into the fourth quarter, on a 90-yard kickoff return by Braeden Dunlap.
The game was scoreless in the first half. However, in the second half, both offenses began to click.
“I think we did the little things a little bit better (in the second half),” St. Marys coach Doug Frye said. “In the first half, we just couldn’t finish things. We started to finish a little better in the second half.
“Give (O-G) coach (Ken) Schriner and his team a lot of credit. I thought they played hard. This was a classic Western Buckeye League game. We were kind of trading punches the whole first half.”
Sean Perry led the St. Marys rushing attack with 118 yards on 14 carries and a TD. Perry recorded 93 of his yards in the first half.
As a team, St. Marys rushed for 236 yards.
“He (Perry) gave a great, gutsy effort, and so did a lot of our other kids,” Frye said. “But the credit tonight, I think, goes to our defense. I thought our defense was much-improved and is on the right track. It’s something for us to build off of.”
O-G was held to 40 rushing yards on the night. Daniel Beemer led the Titans with 43 yards on 16 carries.
The St. Marys defense sacked Siebeneck three times on the night, chipping away at the total rushing yards.
“I have to give our kids credit,” Ottawa-Glandorf’s Schriner said. “We improved so much tonight from where we were last week. If we can continue to do that on a daily basis, every time we come onto the field, we’re going to be a good football team by the time this season is done.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.