Crestview receiver Jake Lippi gets wrapped up by a Spencerville defender while the ball falls to the ground in a game at Crestview Friday night. The Bearcats downed the Knights 30-17. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
BY BRIAN BASSETT
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
CONVOY - In football, touchdowns are the goal, but sometimes it's what happens after a touchdown that can make a difference in the game.
The Spencerville Bearcats are glad that is a lesson they learned while picking up a win, as they traveled to Convoy Friday night and picked up a 30-17 win over the host Knights - despite missing all five extra point and two-point conversion attempts.
The Bearcats did to the Knights what they have done to many opponents over the past two season, exert their will and the line of scrimmage and grind the ball on the ground.
Senior John Smith led the Bearcat charge, with 156 yards on 18 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Junior Colton Miller also scored two touchdowns, while carrying the ball 20 times for 112 yards. Junior Anthony Schuh, the third part of the Spencerville rusing trio, tallied 65 yards on seven carries with a touchdown.
"I thought it was a very physical, brutal game. The Crestview Knights are tough, and Coach Owens does a tremendous job of coaching them. He's high class, high character and his team plays really hard. We were just really lucky to come out of here with a win," said Spencerville coach John Zerbe.
The Knights got on the board first to begin the game, when sophomore Isaiah Simerman took a squib kick 80 yards for a touchdown. A PAT from junior Kameron Grubaugh gave Crestview a 7-0 lead with 11:43 to play.
The Knight defense forced a three-and-out on the following drive, but their offense came out slow as well, and the teams traded punts for a majority of the first quarter.
Spencerville finally got on the board at the 2:08 mark of the first, when Miller picked up a two-yard touchdown run which capped a 47-yard drive. The failed two-point conversion cut the Knight lead to one, which would hold through the quarter.
Crestview got a 32-yard Grubaugh field goal with 10:20 to play in the second to extend its lead to 10-6. Spencerville answered just over five minutes later when Schuh broke free for a 33-yard touchdown run. The failed conversion made the score 12-10 Spencerville.
Crestview couldn't field the ensuing kick, and the Bearcats recovered the ball at their own 27-yard line. Four plays later, Miller found the endzone again, this time from 15 yards out. The PAT attempt was no good, and Spencerville led 18-10 with 3:36 to play in the first half.
After a quick Knight three-and-out, Spencerville got the ball back and scored on a 44-yard run to run the score to 24-10. Another failed two-point-conversion however kept the score at 24-10, which was the score at the halftime break.
The seven points taken off the board by failed conversions made the game a two-score game at half instead of three.
To begin the second half, Crestview gave the ball to sophomore tailback Malcolm Oliver, which paid dividends. Oliver scored the only touchdown of the third quarter at the 5:36 mark of the third, which capped off a 68-yard drive. The Grubaugh PAT made the score 24-17.
Oliver ended the game with 20 rushes for 142 yards and the lone touchdown.
"Our offensive line got a surge in the second half - we got to the second level. We felt like if we could get to the second level, Malcolm could break a few tackles and go for some yards - which he was able to do," explained Crestview coach Jared Owens.
With the Knights needing a stop late in the fourth quarter, Smith broke free for a 59 yard touchdown run with 2:42 to play, which all but sealed the win for Spencerville. An interception by Spencerville senior defensive back Derek Goecke did seal the win, and Spencerville held on for a 30-17 win, despite failing to convert on nine points worth of conversions.
"There are just a lot of things that we can't afford to do because we're a running team. We can't afford to jump offsides, we can't afford to lose yards, we can't afford to not get two-point-conversions and we can't afford to be bad on special teams," added Zerbe, who was happy his team could hold on for the win.
Spencerville tallied 333 yards of offense - all rushing, to Crestview's 263. The loss improves Spencerville to 6-2 on the season, with its only losses coming to undefeated Ada and LCC.
Crestview falls to 3-5 on the season. The Knights travel to Columbus Grove next week. "We've got two games left. We're going to, just like every week, prepare to win the game," Owens said.