PANDORA — Backyard rivalry games are supposed to be close.
And for most of the game, Columbus Grove and Pandora-Gilboa went back-and-for and were as close as the four-mile stretch on Route 12 between the two schools.
But down the stretch, Columbus Grove quarterback Blake Reynolds made a few key plays and helped the Bulldogs pull away with a 32-18 victory over Pandora-Gilboa on Friday night at Pandora-Gilboa.
It snapped P-G’s three-game winning streak in the series.
Reynolds completed 12 of 23 for 163 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 47 yards on 12 carries, including a 32-yard TD.
Grove running back Colin Metzger ran for 58 yards on 24 carries with two TDs.
P-G was led by quarterback Silas Schmenk, who completed 22 of 38 for 246 yards. He threw three TDs, but had three interceptions.
P-G led 18-13 entering the final quarter.
But Columbus Grove took the lead to stay on a 14-yard screen pass TD to Metzger with 9:40 to go.
That gave the Bulldogs a 19-18 lead.
P-G lost a fumble on the very next series and Columbus Grove wasted no time in taking full advantage.
Reynolds ran a quarterback draw up the middle on the next play for a 32-yard TD run.
That gave the Bulldogs a 25-18 lead with 8:46 to go.
Columbus Grove’s Ezra Jones then picked off a P-G pass and took it back 40 yards for a TD.
That gave Grove a 32-18 lead with 2:57 to go.
Columbus Grove led Pandora-Gilboa 13-12 at the half on the first Friday night of high school football season at Pandora-Gilboa.
The Bulldogs pulled out to a 13-12 lead with 2:11 left in the second quarter on a 33-yard TD pass from Reynolds to Alex Schneider.
The ball was tipped near the goal line by P-G defender Bryce Basinger. It fluttered into the end zone where Schneider pulled it in with one hand for the score.
That capped a five-play, 61-yard drive.
The entire half was fairly even.
P-G went 64 yards in six plays the first time it touched the ball.
P-G quarterback Schmenk, who took over for graduated all-everything Jared Breece, fired a 5-yard TD jump pass to Blake Steiner.
Schmenk took the snap, head-faked forward, stopped and fired the jump pass to Steiner in the heart of the end zone.
That gave the Rockets a 6-0 lead with 8:42 left in the first quarter.
Grove then put together an impressive 15-play, 69-yard drive.
It was capped off by a 3-yard TD run by Reynolds to tie the game at 6 with 4:09 left in the first quarter.
The Rockets took a 12-6 lead with 9:25 left in the second quarter when Schmenk found Reid Liechty out of the backfield for a 5-yard TD pass.
By halftime, Schmenk completed 9 of 13 passes for the Rockets for 111 yards. He threw two TDs. His top receiver, Steiner, had five catches for 85 yards.
For Grove at the half, Reynolds completed 8 of 13 for 96 yards. He threw one TD.
The game was dominated by penalty flags.
Grove was called for 13 penalties for 134 yards.
P-G was called for 11 penalties for 120 yards.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.