MONTPELIER- Although it was a cold and bitter night, the hearts of the Montpelier players, coaches, and faithful fans had to be feeling much warmer than the frigid wind chill. The Locomotives scored early in the first quarter and never looked back in handing the Lakota Raiders a 32-0 pasting at Hobie Krouse Field.
The game provided the final opportunity for ten seniors Cody Caudill, Jake Dewire, Jared Lyons, Nate McCord, Devin Nemire, Jared Sargent, Hunter McKelvey, Jared Shoup, Tyler McDaniel, and Chase Steffes to play in front of the home crowd, and end their careers with a win at their house.
Starting the night at their 20 yard line, the Locos utilized the ground attack as running backs Dallas Royer and Bryce Cooley, as well as quarterback Dylan Snyder, each took their turns. Snyder capped off the drive by sprinting through the heart of the Raider defense for a 46 yard touchdown with 7:45 showing on the clock. Cody Caudill’s extra point kick sailed wide left leaving Montpelier on top 6-0.
The first half became a defensive battle, that is until the 9:05 mark of the second quarter. It was then following a Lakota punt that Montpelier took over deep in their territory at the 22 yard line. The stay was short however. On first down Cooley took the handoff from Snyder and broke through the line past everyone for a 78 yard scoring jaunt. Snyder tried to use his legs for the two point conversion, however the attempt was stopped short and Montpelier increased their lead to 12-0, which the score remained as the teams headed for the warmth of the locker room at halftime.
To begin the second half, the Loco defense held once again forcing the Raiders to punt. The kick sailed into the end zone giving Montpelier the ball at their 20 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Royer took the handoff and went 80 yards for an apparent touchdown. However, upon review, a yellow hanky lay on the field. Holding left Royer out of breath for nothing. With the ball moved back to the Loco 11, it was Snyder’s turn once again. In a matter of seconds the six points were added back on the scoreboard after an 89 yard scoring run by the junior signal caller. Caudill split the uprights this time extending the Locos lead to 19-0 with 9:07 left in the quarter.
After allowing a Raider first down, the Loco defense continued its dominance holding Lakota on fourth down. This time however Montpelier only kept the ball for three plays as Snyder’s pass was intercepted at the Locos 33 yard line. It didn’t take long for Lakota to return the favor. Facing 4th and 6, from the Montpelier 30, the Raider quarterback completed his pass attempt. Unfortunately for Lakota, the ball was caught by Caudill at the Montpelier 20.
Neither team was able to muster up much offensively. The defenses were solid, especially Montpelier’s. One glaring example occurred at just over six minutes left to play. It was at that time when Simon Wang jumped on a Raider fumble at the Lakota 27 yard line.
After an uncharacteristic loss of three yards on first down by Royer, Cooley gained the three back and then some picking up his second touchdown of the night on the 30 yard scamper over the goal line. The Caudill kick missed the mark, but Montpelier was well on their way to the “W” leading 25-0 with 5:12 left.
After being pinned deep in their own territory on the kickoff, the Raiders giving continued. On first down Lakota fumbled the ball on the three yard line. It was now senior Jake Dewire’s turn to make a memory. After gaining two yards on first down, Dewire had his number called again. This time he broke through the pile and into the end zone for the score. His classmate, Caudill, ended the scoring for the night, and the season, when his kick split the uprights giving Montpelier what would be the final margin of victory 32-0.
The Locos dominated the stat sheet gaining 376 yards on the night compared to just 103 for the Raiders. After missing last week due to injury, Snyder made his presence felt gaining 144 yards in just 7 carries, adding two touchdowns. Cooley saved his best for last as well as the sophomore garnered two scores as well picking up a game high 162 yards on 13 carries. Royer was the workhorse once again with a team high 16 rushes for 56 yards. Dewire closed out his high school career on a high note scoring once and gaining 3 yards in 2 attempts. Caudill picked up three yards on two totes, while Evan Friend and Zac Mason each had one carry for two yards, and negative three yards respectively.
Snyder threw the ball nine times on the night, completing two attempts for nine yards and one interception. Senior Nate McCord caught one pass for seven yards, while Caudill picked up two yards in his one grab.
McCord anchored the defense for Montpelier picking up nine tackles on the night including four tackles which resulted in negative yardage. Cooley added seven tackles with one for a loss, while Wang registered six stops. Max Hulbert had five tackles including three for loss of yards, while seniors Hunter McKelvey and Devin Nemire, as well as junior Zech Thompson recorded three stops.
The win enabled Montpelier to end the season on a positive note and close out the season with a 3-7 record, and 1-7 in the NWOAL. Undoubtedly Montpelier is going to have some huge holes to fill with the departure of the ten seniors, especially defensively and in terms of their receiving corps. However, the Locos will return the majority of their running attack. For example, tonight the underclassman accounted for 361 of the 367 rushing yards. Also consider the independent schedule the Locos will be playing next season prior to entering the Toledo Area Athletic Conference (TAAC) in 2016. Although Montpelier will take on perennial powerhouses like Lake, Tiffin Calvert, Northwood, and Gibsonburg, the combined 2014 record of Locos 2015 opponents is just 40-50 overall. The outlook for next season appears very positive for Montpelier. Stay tuned to see what the future holds for the 2015 edition of Locomotive football. It all begins on August 28th when Montpelier travels to Lake for the season opener.