SPENCERVILLE — It’s probably an understatement to say that Spencerville and Crestview know each other really well.
Friday night’s matchup at Memorial Field marked the third time this season, these two football programs had faced each other. During the regular season, the two programs split the two contests.
However, there was a lot more at stake in Friday’s Division VII, Region 26 quarterfinal playoff game at Spencerville.
After slipping out with a 21-14 halftime lead over Spencerville, Crestview held off the Bearcats for a hard-fought 41-28 victory.
With the win, Crestview (6-2) will play Lima Central Catholic next Friday in a regional semifinal.
Spencerville is now 4-4.
The Knights got it done, all on the ground, as they amassed 396 rushing yards.
Both Brody Brecht and teammate Logan Gerardot rushed for 175 yards Friday night. Brecht scored three touchdowns, while Gerardot found the end zone once.
“There’s no quit in our guys,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said. “Our guys have a lot of belief in what we are doing. Their perseverance is something that has brought them this far, this season. I’m just really proud of our effort against a very good football team.”
On Crestview’s second possession of the game, the Knights drove 80 yards on seven plays. Brecht ran it in from one yard out to put Crestview on the scoreboard. The extra point by Kaden Bourelle-Kreischer was good, making it 7-0 Crestview with 5:26 left to play in the first quarter.
Gerardot had a run of 51 yards that helped set up the first scoring drive for the Knights.
Spencerville had an answer.
The Bearcats mounted a 12-play, 69-yard scoring drive.
Quarterback Dalty Prichard connected with Dale Smith for a 22-yard touchdown pass. The extra point by Emerson Layman was good, knotting the game at 7 apiece with 24 seconds left in the opening stanza. That score held up to the end of the first quarter.
In the first half, Gerardot had 103 rushing yards on six carries.
Crestview came roaring back on its next possession. The Knights went on a five-play, 61-yard scoring drive. Nick Helt took a handoff on a reverse play and rambled 19 yards for paydirt. With the point after, the Knights led 14-7 with 9:45 left in the first half.
The Bearcats, once again, had an answer.
Spencerville went on an eight-play, 62-yard scoring drive. Dale Smith’s 31-yard TD run capped off the successful drive for the Bearcats. The PAT knotted the contest at 14.
However, Crestview responded.
A little later, Brecht ran it in from a yard out to cap off a 73-yard scoring drive on 10 plays to give the Knights the seven-point advantage, as the two teams went into the halftime break.
In the first half, Spencerville rushed for 118 yards. Prichard was 3 of 5 passing for 62 yards.
Crestview amassed 226 rushing yards in the first half.
The second half did not start well for Spencerville.
Crestview capitalized on an early second- half turnover by Spencerville.
After a Spencerville fumble, Crestview quickly traveled 62 yards on five plays to hit paydirt. Gerardot ran it in from 13 yards out to score. With the PAT, the Knights led 28-14.
However, the Bearcats had an answer of their own.
Spencerville mounted a 14-play, 59-yard scoring drive. Tyler Koenig ran it in from two yards out. With the PAT, the Crestview lead was cut to 7, 28-21 with 2:40 left in the third quarter. The score held up to the third stop.
The Bearcats kept coming.
With 10:37 left in regulation, Spencerville got into the end zone again.
It was Koenig again – this time scrambling 27 yards for a TD. With the PAT, the game was tied at 28.
Crestview came roaring back on its next possession.
The Knights mounted a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Jayden Ward plowed in from a yard out to give the Knights the lead once again, 35-28.
A 50-yard run by Gerardot, set up the score for the Knights.
The Knights closed the door in the final minutes of the game as Brecht rounded out the scoring with a 9-yard TD run.
“We challenged them to get better,” Owens said. “I think for the most part, we have. Tonight, was an example. To come over here and win on Spencerville’s home field in a playoff atmosphere, is never easy. To win here is hard, but to win in the playoffs is really something. I’m really proud of our staff, our players and the group that we have.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.