Crestview sophomore Brody Brecht breaking free of the Mustang defense in the rain during his 35 yard rushing touchdown. Brecht rushed for just under 100 yards. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
Crestview sophomore Brody Brecht breaking free of the Mustang defense in the rain during his 35 yard rushing touchdown. Brecht rushed for just under 100 yards. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
CONVOY — As the Knights stormed the muddy terrain in Convoy holstering up the jersey of their teammate Noah Riggenbach, you immediately understood that this was more than a football game.

Riggenbach has been in the hospital since he suffered a horrific injury last week during a game. The entire crowd was armed in white “Team Riggy” shirts and the entire team was behind their brother.

“I had a hard time focusing on anything Allen East personally,” said the Knights head coach Jared Owens. “I can’t speak for our guys, but I know there was a lot of heartfelt prayer. I’m carrying [Riggenbach’s] jersey right now, and it was one of those things where he can’t be here in person but he can be in spirit. We dedicated this one to him, and our guys were determined and inspired to get the job done for him.”

The Knights got the job done, as they broke the Mustangs 36-22 in a game where both teams had to bear the worst of elements.

Allen East came out slugging as they set the tone early for the match-up. After forcing a turnover on downs, Mustang head coach Wesley Schroeder reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a touchdown.

On the first play from the line of scrimmage, Allen East’s sophomore quarterback Tyler Clum dropped back to pass and found Bryce Belcher open in the flats, Belcher immediately turned, squared his shoulders and launched a pass down field to Cole Fletcher for 64 yard touchdown.

The Knights were caught on their heels, and Allen East kept applying pressure.

“They played their guts out,” said Owens on Allen East. “They are a physical team, they are a little under-sized at positions but they play hard, and we knew that. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

Crestview answered back on the next drive when Drew Kline took the rock to the house for a 35 yard score, which knotted the game back up at 6.

Allen East then took a slow drive down field that was fueled by the Mustangs passing attack. Clum connected passes with Belcher and Jacob Treglia to move the ball methodically down the field. Then they were halted by the Knights defense, which forced a 4th and 2 attempt for the Mustangs. Instead of going for the two yards and a first down, Clum connected with Fletcher for the wide-out’s second score of the quarter and a 12-6 Mustang lead.

Fletcher completed the game with four receptions, two scores and a 122 yards.

After scoring the Mustangs squibbed the kick-off which ricocheted off of one of the Knights blockers, which Allen East scooped up.

As the rain persisted to pour the field became more and more of a nightmare for passing offenses, which Allen East soon found out. After shining through the air the first two times down field the Mustangs offense stalled out and were held to a field goal to take a 15-6 lead.

When the Knights got the ball back the Mustangs forced them into a three-and-out situation. The first play after Crestview punted, Drew Kline got the ball back for his offense by intercepting Clum’s pass. The next play after that? A Brody Brecht 35 yard touchdown run, which Brecht then punched in the two point conversion to make the score 15-14 Allen east.

The next play after that? The Mustangs sophomore Bradden Crumrine returned the kick-off 85 yards and a Mustangs score.

Over four plays there was two touchdowns, an interception and a two point conversion.

The Mustangs took a 22-14 lead, which was the peak of their night as Allen east couldn’t handle the rain and the pass rush of the Knights and were unable to score for the remainder of the game.

With time slowly dissolving in the first half the Knights got the ball back when Griffen Painter, the hero from the Spencerville game, stripped a pass away from the Mustangs wide-out for an interception and fantastic field position for Crestview.

Drew Kline did a “Drew Kline thing” when with 26 seconds remaining he escaped a collapsing pocket and scrambled around the field to create chaos in the secondary which aided a wide open Landin Burch who Kline connected with for the 6 yard touchdown.

After 42 points combined were scored in the first half, the muddy field and constant rain neutralized much of both teams offense— though Crestview was able to score twice.

Crestview took the lead on a 61 yard touch down by Kline, which Brecht was able to convert the 2 point conversion. Then the Knights scored again when Caylib Pruett punched in a run from 10 yards out. After the two point conversion the Knights held out 36-22 win to remain a top the NWC.

“Our guys had all kinds of fun tonight but it wasn’t pretty,” said Crestview’s head coach. “It took us a little while to get going. We had some turnovers and some mistakes but once we got rolling we were able to establish some physicality in the line of scrimmage and played well.”

“In these kind of conditions you just have to do what you’re good at and what you’re able to do at that point,” continued Owens. “We felt like we had some stuff that we had some success with and we went out and did it.”

Drew Kline went 4-9 in passing for 43 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran for 201 yards on 23 attempts, while scoring twice.

Brody Brecht stood out as he ran the ball 15 times for 98 yards and one touchdown. Brecht also was a powerhouse on defense as he was constant nuisance for the Mustangs offense.

“Brody is only a sophomore so he will only continue to get better,” noted Owens. “He physically he is gifted and mentally he is starting to trust things. I think Brody’s best days are ahead of him.”

The Knights jump out to 7-1 on the season and will travel to Delphos next week to take on the Jefferson Wildcats.