KENTON – Kenton quarterback Jaron Sharp led his team down the field when the Wildcats needed it the most.
But when Kenton reached the Wapak 1, he had to come out when his helmet was ripped off.
Jacob Eversole took it over from the 1 to lift Kenton to a 15-10 victory over Wapakoneta in a Western Buckeye League football game Friday at Robinson Field.
Wapakoneta’s Luke Beach gave the Redskins a 10-9 lead with 5:27 to go with a 29-yard field goal.
Kenton took over at its own 35 with 5:27 to play.
The Wildcats went 65 yards in 11 plays before Eversole scored on a quarterback draw with 1:41 to go.
On the game-winning drive, Sharp completed 5 of 5 for 66 yards to a variety of receivers.
“The last drive, we just knew we had to take it down there,” Sharp said. “We had to go at them up front.’’
But when Sharp reached the 13, his helmet popped off, and Eversole ran for 1 yard.
“Everyone’s helmet kept coming off,” Sharp said. “We couldn’t do anything about it.’’
After Sharp ran for 6 to take the ball to the 1, again his helmet was yanked off.
In came Eversole on fourth-and-goal at the 1, and he ran it over for the 15-10 lead.
“Jake has been an understudy the last two years, and Jake is good,” Kenton coach Brent Fackler said. “We played against Coldwater, and it was third-and-12, and Jake ran for 20 yards. Jake’s a good quarterback; he just has Jaron in front of him.’’
Kenton is 3-1, 3-0 in the WBL. Wapakoneta is 3-1, 2-1 in the WBL.
Fackler had plenty of praise for his defense.
“There’s a team (Wapak) that has run over everyone,” Fackler said. ‘’I think we have some stout guys up front who know how to play big, physical, too. I was really proud of the defense.’’
Sharp finished the night completing 17 of 35 passes for 246 yards. He threw one TD.
Landon Rush had five catches for 128 yards, including a a 31-yard TD reception.
Trent Lawrence had five catches for 57 yards.
“He’s (Lawrence) a linebacker making all kinds of plays for us,” Fackler said. “We had to have him in. He made some big catches for us.’’
Jayden Cornell had four catches for 26 yards.
For Wapak, Evan Kaeck pounded straight ahead for 153 yards on 24 carries. He had a 22-yard TD. Riley Gibson ran for 61 yards on 13 carries for Wapak.
Wapak led 9-7 early in the fourth quarter when the Redskins pounded out a ground attack which took the ball from its own 31 to the Kenton 10.
Most of the damage on the drive was done by Kaeck’s blasting straight ahead.
But Wapak lost a fumble at the Kenton 10, and Sharp had the recovery for Kenton.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Wapak led 7-6 at the half.
Both teams slugged their way from 30 to 30 in the first half, but were constantly slowed by penalties.
Kenton scored first on a 76-yard drive over six plays. To get the drive rolling, Sharp hit Rush for 31, to the Kenton 46. Three plays later, Sharp hit Rush for a 31-yard TD on a post. That gave Kenton a 6-0 lead with 6:03 left before halftime.
Wapak answered with six-play, 41-yard drive. The big play was Aaron Chambers run for 31 around the end to take the ball to the Kenton 21. Four plays later, Kaeck turned the right corner from the 22 and appeared stopped by three Kenton defenders at the 10. Somehow, he popped out of the pack and plowed his way for a 22-yard TD. That gave Wapak a 7-6 lead with 3:29 left in the half.
By the half, Kaeck had 93 yards on 13 carries.
For the game, Wapak had nine penalties for 85 yards. Kenton had 12 for 103 yards.
“We’ll have to clean that up,” Fackler said of his team’s many holding penalties.