The Indians needed just 15 seconds to take a lead when junior Mason Creager, with a key block by Jacob Flory, sped down the northern sideline for a 92 yard touchdown with just 15 ticks off the clock. Josh Whitcomb added the extra point.
The Bulldogs responded, however, with an 11 play, 69 yard scoring march to answer the Indians’ quick score. The Bulldogs combined a few passes along with rushing as they were the first team to score on the Indians’ starting defense in four games. Junior quarterback, Bryce McComb, completed two passes on the drive, two to Clayton Ringle who was on the receiving end of McComb’s pass for the final 12 yards. Nick Kobak added the point after and with 6:44 remaining in the opening quarter the score was tied at 7-7.
Wauseon, like Swanton, responded to go on top 14-7 with their next drive. After a 17-yard kickoff return by Jeremiah Kauffman, The Indians set up shop on their own 29. Zac Robinson, proving once again why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the NWOAL, led Wauseon down the field both with his legs and his arm. The senior signal caller ran the ball the first two plays from scrimmage gaining 36 yards putting the ball to rest on the Swanton 35 yard line. On a third and six, Robinson threw a pass down the middle of the field. On the receiving end was senior Jacob Newlove. Newloves acrobat catch carried the ball down to the Swanton one yard line. From there it took the Indians five more plays to score on the stingy Bulldogs’ defense. Finally, Nate Suntken glided into the end zone from one yard out with 2:45 left. Whitcomb’s kick was good and the Indians were back up 14-7.
The seesaw battle continued as Swanton was certainly meaning business in the clash, as they came back to score their second touchdown as their eight play, 65 yard drive was again excellently executed. Following a Creager fumble on a punt return, the Bulldogs took possession and immediately was charged with a 13-yard holding penalty to back them upto the Wauseon 26. McComb showed talent himself as he guided the Bulldogs down the field. He threw his second touchdown pass with just two and half minutes gone in the second quarter as he found Robbie Gilsdorf from four yards out. With Kobak’s extra point the game was again knotted up at 14-14.
Wauseon’s next drive as stopped as Jacob Flory punted to the Swanton 29 yard line. From there McComb found Gildorf for a 26 yard pass connection to move the ball to the Indians 49. The Indians’ defense rose to the occasion as on a first and 10, Wauseon’s Derek Rupp, scooped up a McComb pass, after being deflected, giving the Indians new life at the Swanton 45 yard line. The running of Nate Suntken, Flory and Robinson coupled with a Robinson pass to Noah Castle moved the ball to the Swanton six-inch line. The Indians again needed four plays when Robinson scored on a keeper with 1:37 remaining. Whitcomb missed the extra point and Wauseon ended the half with a 20-14 lead.
The Bulldogs picked up in the second half where they had ended in the first, so it appeared. The Bulldogs had moved the ball on the second half kickoff to the Wauseon 45 after Gunner Oakes’ return. But on their first offensive play of the half, Matt Rainey fumbled and the Indians recovered at their own 46. Robinson went to work again. He completed a 17 yard strike to Suntken that was wiped out by an offensive face mask call. With the ball resting on the Swanton 48, Flory ran hard to the Bulldogs’ 39 yard line picking up nine. It was Flory again for 12 yards then seven yards. The Bulldogs helped the cause as they were flagged with a 10-yard personal foul. The ball rested on the Swanton 10-yard line. Three plays later Robinson found the goal line again as he scored from one yard out. A botched extra point attempt had the Indians leading comfortably 26-14 with 8:07 left in third.
The Indians expanded on their lead to 32-14. After a failed Swanton drive that ended after the Bulldogs went for a fourth-down play. The Indians took over at their own 22. Robinson and Flory ran for a combined 20 yards. Then with the ball resting on the Wauseon 31 yard line, Robinson hooked up again with Newlove. Newlove again, using his excellent hand eye coordination grabbed down the pass outrunning the defender for a 69 yard touchdown pass play at the 2:00 minute mark of the third to put the Indians up 32-14 after the extra point by Robinon fell short and that was how the third quarter ended.
The fourth and final quarter belonged to the Bulldogs. After seemingly being down and out, they rallied. As the Indians were on their way to another score, Robinson’s fumble at the Indians 38 was recovered by Swanton. A 31-yard strike from McComb to Ringle brought the ball to rest at the Wauseon one. From there, Rainey gained the needed yard for the touchdown with 6:46 remaining in the game to put the Bulldogs to within 12 at 32-20.
After a failed Indians drive, Suntken punt gave the Bulldogs possession at their 43. From there McComb led his team downfield and with :58 seconds remaining scored from 12 yards out to bring the Bulldogs within five at 32-27.
Robinson took the ensuing kickoff and the game came to an end with Robinson taking a knee. There was a collective sight of relief by the Indians’ faithful and they had seen and heard from a much improved Bulldogs team.
Statistically Swanton ran 23 more plays than Wauseon. The game as even with total yards at the Indians gained 337 to Swanton’s 327.
Individually Robinson completed 5 of 10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with 103 yards on 17 attempts. Jacob Flory and Nate Suntken added 73 and 32 yards respectively. While Newlove was the leading receiver with two catches for 104 yards.
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