OTTAWA – Defense took center stage in the first half of Friday’s Western Buckeye League football clash between Ottawa-Glandorf and visiting St. Marys.
Along with solid defensive play, St. Marys’ passing game made a rare appearance, as the Roughriders caught the O-G defense off guard a couple times in the second quarter, en route to a 14-9 halftime score.
St. Marys quarterback Kurt Bubp threw two touchdown passes to lead the Roughriders.
However, O-G battled back in the second half, and held off the Roughriders down the stretch for a hard-fought 30-27 victory.
St. Marys had a chance on its final drive of the game, as place-kicker Henry Spencer missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, which sealed the win for O-G.
“It was back and forth, back and forth,” longtime O-G head coach Ken Schriner said. “It was a war; and that’s what you expect every time you play these guys. It was a tough, physical game. We had guys tired, playing both ways – and it’s a hot, humid night. I’m really proud of our kids.”
St. Marys had the football to start the game.
O-G’s defense forced the Roughriders to punt on their first possession.
After a bad snap on a St. Marys punt, O-G got the ball on St. Marys’ 22-yard line. The Titans eventually had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Ethan Alt, that gave them an early 3-0 lead. O-G’s slim 3-point lead held up until the end of the first quarter.
However, St. Marys’ offense finally struck.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, Bubp found Carson Fischbach wide open for a 55-yard touchdown pass. With the extra point by Spencer, the Roughriders led 7-3.
Bubp showcased his passing ability one more time before the break, when he connected with Ethan Wedding for a 7-yard scoring strike, that gave his team a 14-3 lead.
In the first half, Bubp was 3-of-6 passing for 65 yards and two scores. On the ground, St. Marys rushed for 72 yards. Ty Schlosser led the Roughriders with 38 of those yards on 11 carries.
O-G had -3 rushing yards in the first half. Quarterback Jacob Balbaugh was 7-of-13 passing for 78 yards.
For the game, Bubp was 6-of-12 passing for 106 yards. Balbaugh was 11-of-22 passing for 215 yards.
O-G came out strong in the second half.
On the first possession of the half, O-G marched down the field and Balbaugh capped off the drive with a 43-yard TD pass to Jarrod Beach. With the two-point conversion, the Titans quickly had a 17-14 lead, just a little more than two minutes into the third quarter.
However, St. Marys quickly responded.
The Roughriders promptly drove 43 yards on five plays, capped off with a 31-yard TD pass from Bubp to Ty Howell. St. Marys missed the extra point, but had a 20-17 lead with 8:22 left to play in the third quarter.
Right before the end of the third quarter, Balbaugh connected with Brennan Blevins for a 62-yard pass play, which set the Titans up at the St. Marys’ 2-yard line.
Two plays later, Jarrod Beach ran it in from 2 yards out for the O-G touchdown. The ensuing extra point attempt by Alt was blocked. The Titans now led 23-20 with 11:23 left to play in regulation.
O-G was not done.
With 6:48 left to play, the Titans extended their lead to 30-20.
The Titans marched 53 yards on seven plays, capped off with a 7-yard TD run by Clayton Recker. With the extra point by Alt, O-G led by 10.
However, St. Marys answered quickly on its next possession.
Fischbach broke loose for a 57-yard TD run to cut the O-G lead to 3, 30-27.
The Roughriders got the ball back with 5:38 left to play, when Balbaugh was intercepted by Dylan Trogdlon.
St. Marys had another chance.
However, on the ensuing St. Marys possession, O-G pressured Bubp and forced the signal-caller to fumble the football at the St. Marys 18-yard line.
O-G’s kicker, Alt, would later miss a 34-yard field goal attempt, giving the ball back to the Roughriders.
St. Marys now had the football with a little more than two minutes to play in the game.
However, the Roughriders were unable to cash in with the long field goal attempt by Spencer, with time running out.