SPENCERVILLE – Spencerville came into its Division VII playoff game against McComb a little short-handed and riding a three-game losing streak but the Bearcats overcame all those obstacles to down McComb 28-20 Friday.
In traditional Bearcat fashion, Spencerville utilized its ground game and aggressive defense to outscore the Panthers 14-6 in the second half to secure the win.
With the victory Spencerville improves to 4-3 and plays the winner of the Tiffin Calvert/Crestview tilt Friday night. McComb falls to 2-5.
Spencerville head coach Chris Sommers said in the team’s final three games, his team played hard and came back but came up short. Against McComb it was a matter of putting four quarters together.
“Our guys will come back,” Sommers said. “We don’t want to do that but I thought we played all four quarters better than we have in the previous three weeks.”
Spencerville’s Gunnery Grigsby had a standout performance by gaining 199 yards on 28 carries was a key factor in keeping the Bearcat long drives moving. While Grigsby provided the thunder, Dale Smith added the lightening and amassed 132 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
Going into second half, the score was tied at 14-14 but the Bearcats took control of the early in the third quarter when they scored on their first two possessions of the second half and kept the Panthers out of the end zone in the pivotal third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, McComb closed the gap to eight when the Panthers, who would miss the extra point, scored with 11:07 left in the game.
“We needed a few plays and we got them,” Sommers said. “It came down to a few first downs and converted them….I can’t say enough about our guys it has been a rough couple of weeks. We’ve have less guys out here and we have guys playing out of position that are not used to but our guys came to play.”
The Bearcat defense held McComb’s running game to 93 yards.
In the final stanza, Spencerville held off the Panthers by controlling the football and picking a big interception from Tyler Koenig with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game.
Spencerville and McComb battled to a 14-14 tie at halftime.
The Bearcat scored first when they took their second possession into the endzone after Spencerville marched 72 yards i0 p lays with DJ Bowers powering in from four yards out. After the successful extra point, Spencerville led 7-0,
The lead was short lived however, when McComb scored less than a minute later. The Panthers chewed up 67 plays in two plays with Zack Deal scampering for 44 yards on the second play for the score. With 4:15 left in the first quarter, the score was knotted at 7-7
McComb grabbed the lead at the end of the first quarter when they went 64 yards on six plays and it was Grant Dishong hitting paydirt after running it in from four yards out. With 11 seconds left in the first quarter, it was McComb 14-7.
Prior to halftime, Spencerville tied the score when they went 89 yards on 12 plays for its second touchdown. Dale Smith plunged in from two yards out to record the six points with 40 seconds left in the second quarter. After the successful extra point, the score was even at 14-14.
At the half, Gunner Grigsby had 125 yards on 15 carries.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.