WAPAKONETA — Longtime Ottawa-Glandorf football coach Ken Schriner has been preaching to his team the importance of taking it one game at a time.
In Friday night’s 33-28 Division IV Region 14 semifinal victory at Harmon Field over previously-unbeaten Indian Lake, O-G stayed focused on the task at hand and fought off the Lakers in the second half.
With the win, O-G (11-1) will face Bishop Hartley (9-2), a 44-7 winner against Port Clinton, next Friday in a Division IV regional title game. The site is yet to be determined. Indian Lake ends the season 11-1.
“I told our kids our goal is to win one,” Schriner said. “We have to go out and win one. We don’t have to go out and play a state championship this week. We just have to go out and win one. And that’s our goal.”
After O-G jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, Indian Lake came roaring back, knotting the game at 14 apiece by halftime.
From that point on, it was a battle.
O-G could not put the Lakers away until late in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Jay Kaufman ran it in from 8 yards out, giving the Titans a 33-21 lead.
However, Indian Lake made it interesting.
With 28 seconds remaining to play, quarterback Alex Jacobs (16-of-31 passing, 232 yards) connected with Collin Coburn for a 13-yard touchdown pass. With the point after, O-G’s lead was cut to five.
After securing the ensuing on-side kick by Indian Lake, the Titans managed to run the clock out to notch the win.
“What a great effort,” Schriner said. “Both teams laid it on the line. We’d get a score. They come back. We get two scores. They come back. At halftime, we’re tied up, and we start all over again. It was a great effort all the way across the board. (It was) a game of a couple minor mistakes. It could have turned either way. It was a great effort. I’m excited for our kids.”
Kaufman led O-G with 141 yards rushing on 24 carries with three TDs. He also was 7-of-14 passing for 61 yards. Daniel Beemer added 69 yards rushing on nine carries with a TD. Connor Niese added 42 yards on the ground and a score for the Titans.
For the game, O-G rushed for 252 yards.
Defensively, O-G stepped up and made plays.
Defensive back Richie Knowlton picked off Jacobs twice, while defensive lineman Jacob Dible had a huge interception late in the game.
“We had so many guys step up and make individual plays at certain times,” Schriner said. “Jay Kaufman laid it on the line. Our kids played their hearts out tonight and found a way. We weren’t going to be denied.”
Indian Lake ended the night with 362 total yards (127 rushing, 232 passing). However, the three interceptions loomed big for the Lakers.
“When you get to this level the margin of error is very small,” Indian Lake coach Dave Coburn said. “You have to make sure you’re taking care of the football. You have to get stops on defense. And we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
Schriner said his team is excited for the opportunity to play Bishop Hartley for the regional title.
“You get a chance to play the defending state champion. We have to go out and play a heck of a game, and get after them. It’s another opportunity. Obviously, we haven’t done it in the past. We’ve played them two other times and we came up short,” he said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.