KENTON — For most of the game, Ottawa-Glandorf had silenced the Kenton high flying offense and the Titans held to a 9-0 lead with less than six minutes left in the game.
But Kenton rallied to score twice in the final four minutes, including the winning touchdown when Blaine Huston connected with Jacob Eversole for 16 yards with 9.8 seconds left in the game for a touchdown to cap off a seven play, 90 yard drive and give the Wildcats the 14-9 victory in a thrilling Western Buckeye League contest Friday night.
With the win the Wildcats keep their Western Buckeye League title hopes alive as they improve to 7-1 in league and 7-2 on the season. The Titans fall to 7-1 in the league and 7-2 for the season. Kenton plays Elida next Friday and O-G takes on Wapakoneta.
After scoring its first touchdown with 1:01 left in the game, Kenton looked to get the onside kick but the Titans recovered and appeared to be ready to run out the clock as they moved the ball down inside the red zone and hopefully a score that would secure the win.
Instead the Kenton defense stood tall and stopped the Titans and the Wildcats took the ball with a minute to go in the game.
Kenton did not waste this opportunity and Huston carved up the Titan defense which had been solid all night for the winning score.
Kenton head coach Brent Fackler said going into the final quarter his defense needed to make some stops and his offense to start clicking.
“We finally put a drive together and defensively we played a tremendous game,” Fackler said. “At the end our offense came alive and we knew we were waiting on them.”
Fackler said he reminds his team not to flinch in situations like this and they didn’t in crunch time.
“It would have been easy to flinch at the end of the game when we were down two scores but we did not flinch,” Fackler said. “We are one game from one of our goals.”
Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Ken Schriner said it was a tough loss and said it was several missed scoring opportunities including the one on the final drive that hurt the Titans.
“Give their defense all the credit in the world,” Schriner said. “They kept us out of the end zone in second half. I don’t know how many times we were down there but we didn’t put points on the board. “
Huston, who had an uneven game, came through when it counted. For the game, The Kenton signal caller was 32- of-51 for 365 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions.,
Kenton receiver Jayden Cornell caught nine passes for 131 yards and Eversole finished with eight catches for 87 yards.
For Ottawa-Glandorf, Cole Recker and Eric Heebsh both rushed for 80 yards.
The Titans’ lone touchdown came in the first half.
The Titans manufactured a time-consuming 15-play, 99 yard drive that saw the Titans mix the run and the pass to march the ball downfield. In the drive, Titan quarterback Jacob Balbaugh was an efficient 3 for 3 for 31 yards and the legs of Titan running backs Clay Recker and Eric Heebsh did the rest.
Recker capped off the more than seven minute drive when he ran one in up the middle untouched for 13 yards and the score. After the failed extra point conversion, O-G owned a 6-0 advantage with 7:41 left in the first half.
Credit the Titan defense as the picked off Huston twice in the game to turn back the Wildcats. The first pick came on Kenton’s first drive when it looked like the Wildcats were going to grab an early lead. After starting at their own 21, Kenton moved the ball down to the Titan 15 yard line. But on third and 1 from the 15, Carter Schnipke intercepted Huston’s errant pass to end the drive.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.