DEFIANCE — Ottawa-Glandorf’s defensive unit bent a little, but it did not break.
In Saturday’s Division IV, Region 14 semifinal football game at Defiance’s Fred Brown Stadium, O-G’s defensive unit gave up some yardage, but still found ways to keep Wauseon from capitalizing, en route to a hard-fought 21-14 victory over the Indians.
O-G (9-3) will take on Clyde (8-4) in a regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday at Findlay High School’s Donnell Stadium.
O-G makes its first return to the regional finals since the 2016 campaign.
“Defense has done that all year,” longtime O-G head coach Ken Schriner said. “We got a number of turnovers tonight. We gave up a lot of yards, but we found a way to be out on top. And offensively, we’re just doing enough. … We’re just finding ways to put points on the board.”
On the night, Wauseon amassed 390 offensive yards.
O-G’s offense was pretty potent as well. The Titans rolled up 292 total yards.
In the first half, Wauseon quarterback Cody Figy was 14-of-25 passing for 191 yards. Figy ended the game, 25-of-46 passing for 334 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
However, the Titans’ defense came up with big stops at critical times.
In the first half, Wauseon had three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception).
On Wauseon’s first possession of the game, the Indians fumbled the football on O-G’s 16-yard line.
However, the Titans eventually had to punt on their first possession of the contest.
Midway through the opening quarter, O-G defensive back Will Kaufman nabbed his first of two interceptions on the night. The Titans capitalized on the Wauseon miscue.
It took just two plays for O-G to reach the end zone. O-G quarterback Jacob Balbaugh found Jarrod Beach (five catches, 119 yards) open, running down the sideline, and the senior wide receiver covered the 53 yards for the score. With the point after by Ethan Alt, the Titans led 7-0 with 5:25 left in the first quarter. That score held up to the end of the first quarter.
Wauseon mounted a long drive, that began late in the first quarter.
The Indians marched 95 yards on nine plays to get on the scoreboard.
Figy found Connar Penrod open for a 24-yard TD pass with 10:31 left to play in the first half. With the point after by Samuel Blanco, the game was tied at 7.
With 6:29 left in the first half, O-G recovered a Wauseon fumble on the Indians’ 33-yard line.
Three plays later, the Titans made the Indians pay as they found the end zone, once again. Eric Heebsh ran it in from four yards out. With the point after by Alt, O-G now led 14-7 with 5:29 left to play in the half.
O-G had an opportunity to tack on to its lead right before the halftime break.
Alt attempted a 28-yard field goal with 1:09 left. However, Alt’s kick went wide right.
In the first half, O-G rushed for just 25 yards. Heebsh led the Titans with 39 yards on nine carries. The Wauseon defense sacked Balbaugh twice in the first half.
Balbaugh was 10-of-13 passing for 184 yards in the first half. He ended the night 14-of-20 passing for 221 yards.
It didn’t take long for the O-G offense to make a statement in the second half.
On O-G’s second possession, the Titans got excellent field position off a short Wauseon punt. O-G started on Wauseon’s 33-yard line.
It took the Titans 12 plays before they finally found pay dirt. Balbaugh ran it in from a yard out for the TD. With the extra point, the Titans’ lead was 14, 21-7 with 3:55 left in the third quarter.
O-G took that 14-point lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, Wauseon scored a TD in the waning moments to round out the scoring.
“Hey, that’s all it takes. … Just end up on top at the end,” Schriner said with a smile.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.