HARROD — The year was 2010.
That was the last time Allen East defeated Spencerville in football.
Allen East came into Friday’s key Northwest Conference matchup against visiting Spencerville with a 4-0 overall mark, 1-0 in the NWC.
Spencerville came in Friday, 2-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
The Mustangs looked poised to end the eight-year losing streak to the Bearcats.
However, Spencerville controlled the time of possession with its Wing-T offense, and its defense came up with key plays, en route to a 21-7 victory over the Mustangs in front of a large homecoming crowd at Bill Goodwin Field.
The game was delayed for over an hour, because of storms that moved into the area.
But that long delay did not hamper Spencerville.
For the game, Spencerville rushed for 248 yards. Defensively, Spencerville held Allen East to 102 rushing yards and 135 passing yards.
Spencerville improves to 3-2, 2-0 in the NWC.
“I can’t say enough about our offensive line,” Spencerville head coach Chris Sommers said. “This defensive front that Allen East has, is very good. They’re ranked No. 1 in our league in every area. So, to be able to put some yards on them is quite an accomplishment.”
Leading the way for Spencerville’s running attack was sophomore running back Gunner Grigsby, who rushed for 143 yards on 39 carries with two touchdowns. Senior running back Joel Lotz rushed for 91 yards on 22 carries for the Bearcats.
Spencerville’s defense set the tone, early on.
Allen East’s first possession of the game was a three-and-out.
Spencerville then came out on its first possession and mounted a 17-play, 78-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Josh Henline capped off the long scoring drive for the Bearcats with a 1-yard TD run. With the point after by Emerson Layman, Spencerville led 7-0, with less than five minutes left to play in the opening quarter.
The Bearcats maintained the seven-point lead to the end of the first quarter.
Spencerville rushed for 75 yards in the first 12 minutes of action.
Allen East quarterback Bryce Belcher was just 1-of-7 passing in the first stanza, for eight yards.
Early in the second quarter, Spencerville’s defense stepped up once more.
Linebacker Jackson Goecke intercepted a Belcher pass and ran it back to the Allen East 30-yard line.
The Bearcats took full advantage of the Allen East miscue.
Five plays later, Grigsby ran it into the end zone from 19 yards out for a touchdown. Layman’s extra point made it 14-0 Spencerville with 8:53 left to play in the first half.
Allen East finally erased the goose egg on the scoreboard with a 19-yard TD pass from Belcher to Logan McCluer (3 catches, 35 yards). With the extra point by Bradden Crumrine, the Mustangs trailed by 7, with 5:57 left to play in the first half.
In the first half, Spencerville rushed for 97 yards. Grigsby led the Spencerville running attack with 55 yards on 15 carries.
Belcher was 7-of-21 passing for 74 yards in the first half.
Spencerville opened the second half, nearly the same way it started the contest. The Bearcats mounted a 14-play, 67-yard scoring drive that reeled off over seven minutes on the game clock. Grigsby capped off the scoring drive with a 4-yard run. With the extra point, Spencerville led 21-7, which held up the rest of the way.
“I felt like that was a really big win for us,” Grigsby said. “We couldn’t have done any of it without the (offensive) line.”
Belcher ended the game, 11-of-31 passing with two interceptions. Cole Fletcher hauled in five passes for 53 yards for the Mustangs.
Sommers was extremely pleased with his team’s defensive performance.
“We didn’t think that we’ve been playing up to our potential, defensively,” Sommers said. “We’ve taken it to heart. That’s what I appreciate about our guys. … They’re going to take to heart the coaching and do something with it. And that’s what they did.
“I have a lot of respect for (Allen East) Coach (Wesley) Schroeder and the tremendous job that he does. He’s a tremendous coach; and where he has this program is not a surprise. They’re a great team.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.