Amanda Parrish/Times Bulletin
A Raider ball carrier fights his way through the Crestview line during the Wayne Trace game against the Knights on Friday, Sept. 11, in Haviland. Wayne Trace won the game 14-12.
Amanda Parrish/Times Bulletin A Raider ball carrier fights his way through the Crestview line during the Wayne Trace game against the Knights on Friday, Sept. 11, in Haviland. Wayne Trace won the game 14-12.

Times Bulletin Staff

HAVILAND - Ten fumbles, nine turnovers, 15 penalties...all numbers that coaches dread to hear in high school football. But the two most important plays of the night came down to two extra point kicks.

Crestview scored first but failed to convert on two separate extra point opportunities and Wayne Trace cashed in. The Raiders used a pair of Jason Gordon conversion kicks to provide the difference as Wayne Trace held on for a 14-12 victory over the Knights in non-league action at Raider Field Friday evening.

Neither squad was impressive, as Wayne Trace committed seven fumbles and six turnovers while also racking up 66 yards in penalties on eight flags. Somehow, though, the Raiders still managed to pull out the win.

"We definitely did not play our best game tonight," commented a very happy Bill Speller after the contest. "Too many fumbles, turnovers, penalties...we did it all tonight. But the thing I am most pleased with is the fact we faced that adversity and still found a way to get the win. That is a big confidence builder for this group."

On the other side of the coin, Crestview committed three turnovers and was flagged for seven penalties in the contest.

"Too many mistakes," noted Knight head coach Jason Cross. "You can't make that many mistakes and expect to win. Three turnovers in a half are inexcusable and you just won't win games with those types of numbers."

After a scoreless first quarter, it was Crestview who took advantage of a Raider turnover to get the first points of the evening.

Taking over at the Knight 47, Crestview marched 53 yards in six plays, capped by a 26 yard touchdown pass from Stephen Semer to Logan Rayer. However, the extra point kick was no good and Crestview's lead stood at 6-0.

Two possessions later, the Knights would add to the advantage. Taking over at the Knight 10 following an interception by Tyler Torrey, Crestview needed only one play to find the end zone. Sophomore running back Matt Holden broke free from the Raider defense and sprinted 90-yards to put Crestview on top 12-0.

The two-point conversion pass by Semer was incomplete and the Knights took the 12-0 lead into halftime.

"We challenged our guys at halftime," Speller continued. "We basically told our offensive line that they had to come out and play the way they were capable of. I didn't know how the kids would respond but they took the challenge and came out and executed."

Wayne Trace put together an eight-play, 51-yard drive on its first possession of the third quarter to finally dent the scoreboard. Senior quarterback Derrick Baksa plunged into the end zone from ten yards out to get Wayne Trace on the board with 5:10 left.

The all-important extra point kick, though, would prove to be critical. Gordon followed by splitting the uprights and pulled the Raiders within 12-7.

It was then the Wayne Trace defense that stepped up. Justin Holbrooks intercepted a Semer pass to give the Raiders possession at the Crestview 47.

Wayne Trace needed only four plays, capped by a 33-yard touchdown run from Dylan Horner, to take the lead for good with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

Gordon again split the uprights as the Raiders posted the 14-12 margin.

The Knights would put together one more drive to go deep into Raider territory, set up by the Crestview defense.

Junior Josh Staten separated Raider quarterback Derrick Baksa from the football with Crestview's Noah Gebert recovering at the Wayne Trace 34.

A defensive holding and a defensive pass interference penalty helped the Knights move to the Wayne Trace six. Following a Semer run for one-yard, the Knight quarterback fumbled on the next play with the Raiders' Trevor Speiser recovering at Wayne Trace's 13-yard line. Crestview would never threaten again.

"Our defense really played well in the second half," said Speller. "They weren't able to get into a flow offensively and then we came up with turnovers at crucial times as well."

"We have to bounce back from a disappointing loss like this," Cross concluded. "We have a tough Northwest Conference game at Bluffton next week and the kids will come out ready to go."

Horner led all rushers in the contest with 99 yards on 14 carries for Wayne Trace. Gage Critten added 56 yards on 11 attempts for the Raiders and Baksa chipped in 55 yards on 15 tries. Critten also had four receptions for 22 yards to pace Wayne Trace.

Holden recorded 90 yards on five carries and Semer added 57 yards on 16 carries for Crestview. Rayer picked up three catches for 39 yards and Gebert added two for 24 yards for the Knights.

Wayne Trace, which moves to 3-0 for the first time since 2005 and for only the third time in school history, will open Green Meadows Conference action at Edgerton on Friday.

Crestview (1-2) visits Bluffton in a Northwest Conference battle on Friday.

GAME NOTES: Wayne Trace now leads the series with the Knights 10-4, with the two schools playing to a 0-0 tie in 1972. When the Knights scored first in Friday night's game, it was the first time this season that Wayne Trace had trailed in a contest. The Raiders have not given up a point in the first or third quarter this season, but have allowed 24 second quarter and 12 fourth quarter points.