WAPAKONETA – A little trickery, some outstanding defense and a whole lot of Evan Kaeck in the second half helped Wapakoneta oust St. Marys 19-13 in overtime in a key Western Buckeye League contest in front of an overflowing crowd at Harmon Field on Friday night.
With the win Wapakoneta improves to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the WBL. St. Marys slips to 1-1 and 0-1.
It was only fitting that Kaeck scored the clinching touchdown in overtime when he plunged in from 3 yards out because it capped off a sensational second half for the senior standout who helped pave the way for the win.
Kaeck finished with 120 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Kaeck’s first score helped Wapakoneta tie the game at 7-7 on the Redskins’ opening drive of the second half after he scored from five yards out to knot the game after the successful extra point
The game remained tied until the fourth quarter and it was St. Marys who grabbed the lead after Ty Howell scored on a spectacular 75 yard punt return where he tip-toed his way down the right sidelines and then broke free for the score.
Wapakoneta made a key block on the point after attempt and the score was 13-7 in favor of St. Marys with 7:44 remaining in the game.
On the ensuing drive, the Redskins went to Mr. fourth quarter, Kaeck, to gain yards. Behind the burly back, the Redskins marched down to the 15 yard line on 12 plays with Kaeck caring the ball eight times for 56 yards.
However, after a Rider sack the Redskins faced a 2 and 17 from their own 20 yard lines.
Here came the trickery. Wapakoneta went to the halfback option pass and it was executed for a touchdown when Braeden Goulet found Noah Ambos in the back of the end zone for six points with only the extra point left to secure the victory with a 1:23 left in the game
However, it was the Riders who came up with their own block on the extra point attempt and it delayed the Redskins’ victory celebration.
In overtime, the Riders got the ball first. On second down, the Wapakoneta defense, which had done a tremendous job of shutting down the Rider offense in the second half, came up with an interception by Devin Huelskamp to stop St. Marys and give the Redskins the opportunity for the win.
On the first play in overtime Kaeck rammed his way for 20 yards and moved it the 5 yard line and three players later Kaeck was celebrating the win with his teammates.
Credit the Wapakoneta defense for clamping down in the second half and did not allow St. Marys to sustain any major drives for scores and Schlosser, who finished with
St. Marys scored the lone touchdown against Wapakoneta and owned a 7-0 in a game dominated by defense in the first half.
The Roughriders’ finally hit paydirt late in the second quarter on a fourth and goal from the 1 yard line when quarterback Gavin Reineke snuck it in to record the touchdown with 39 seconds left in the first half.
Excellent punting by both squads in the early going prevented either team from garnering excellent field position until St. Marys’ scoring drive that began at its own 40 yard line.
Behind the legs of Schlosser, who had had a 21-yard drive on his first carry on the drive, enabled the Riders to move the ball down to the 1-yard line. Three times the Riders were turned back by the stalwart Redskins but on the fourth try Reineke squeezed in for the score.
St. Marys had an opportunity to put points on the scoreboard on its opening drive when the Roughriders marched to the Wapakoneta 15 yard line but a penalty and two runs put the Riders at the 20. St. Marys attempted the 38 yard field goal but the Redskins blocked the attempt to prevent the points.
After taking over at their own 20 yard line, Wapakoneta’s offense, on the strength of its running game, moved the ball into Rider territory but the drive stalled. Penalties also played a role in Wapakoneta’s drive stalling.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.