BATH TOWNSHIP — Making the right adjustments is the key.
Ottawa-Glandorf did just that in Friday’s hard-fought 24-13 victory over Bath in a Western Buckeye League football opener at Bath Stadium.
After a first half in which the game was knotted at 7 apiece, O-G came out in the second half and made the big plays, both defensively and offensively.
Statistically, both teams mirrored one another. However, it was O-G which seemed to have a little more success in figuring out the different schemes.
“(It was) ugly all the way around,” O-G coach Ken Schriner said about the first half. “They (Bath) did some great things. They adjusted to our formations and brought more guys in the box. They really shut down our running game in the first half.
“So, we decided to spread them out and we tried to run the ball (in the second half). And we had some big plays. They were kind of gambling, playing press coverage and playing up tight. You got to take your shots. And we were able to hit a couple big plays when we took our shots.”
O-G quarterback Jay Kaufman led the way in the second half, completing 4-of-4 passes for 83 yards and two TDs. For the game, Kaufman was 9-of-18 passing for 144 yards and an interception. He also led the Titans (2-0, 1-0 WBL) on the ground, rushing for 62 yards on 18 carries and a score.
Richie Knowlton was Kaufman’s favorite target, catching five passes for 111 yards and two TDs.
Kaufman also came up big on the defensive side of the ball, making a huge interception midway through the fourth quarter, which set up the eventual scoring drive in which he found Knowlton open for a 30-yard TD pass, pushing the O-G lead to 24-7.
Bath (1-1, 0-1 WBL) did respond, going on a four-play, 76-yard scoring drive in which quarterback Kaden Sullivan connected with Elijah Mather for a 19-yard TD pass, making it 24-13.
Bath did have one more opportunity in the final minute of the game.
However, Sullivan was picked off by Trent Basinger. The Titans then ran the final 57 seconds off the clock to preserve the win.
Sullivan led the way for Bath, completing 11-of-21 passes for 128 yards and two TDs. His two TD passes went to Ryan Kalb (five catches, 58 yards) and Mather. Sullivan also rushed for 85 yards on 29 carries.
“For the monsters they got in the backfield, it’s basically a three running back system,” Schriner said. “Our defense played extremely well. I think they gashed us a couple times early on. Coach ‘H’ (Brian Heebsh, O-G defensive coordinator) did a great job of making a couple adjustments. The kids just played tough and physical, and we didn’t miss a lot of tackles.”
For the game O-G amassed 255 total yards, while Bath rolled up 271 yards.
O-G’s Tristen Ball booted a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter, giving the Titans a 17-7 lead.
Added Bath coach Bill Garland, “I thought our defense, for the most part all night, was doing well enough for us to win. We did give up a couple passing touchdowns. But, we just couldn’t get into any offensive rhythm. We just couldn’t get anything going consistently, offensively.
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