Sometimes, high school games hinge on good fortune

Rusty Miller Associated Press

October 29, 2013

Sometimes a game hinges on, well, luck.

Leipsic quarterback Zach Kuhlman scored on a 1-yard dive with just over a minute left as the Vikings upended Division VII No. 8 McComb, 44-40.

The game-winning drive was kept alive when Kuhlman lofted a pass to receiver Garet Bardall. The ball went through Bardall’s hands, bounced off his facemask, popped into the air and, with Bardall flat on his back, fell directly into the receiver’s hands for a 32-yard completion and a first down at the 7. Kuhlman scored two plays later.

“I’m running down the field and I’m thinking it’s mine, and I don’t know, I started thinking about dropping it,” Bardall said. “I thought, ‘I can’t drop this ball.’ So, it bounces off my facemask and I fell on my back.

“It fell right in my hands. I’m happy I got it. Praise the Lord for that one.”

Kuhlman had his own theory.

“It seems like in practice every time I throw to him, he falls down,” he said with a laugh. “At first, I saw him wide open. It looked like maybe a defensive back had fallen down. And, of course, he fell down. I thought for sure he dropped it this time. But, he’s a senior and he made a big play for us. He really came through for us.”

AIR RAID: Columbia’s Jay Banyasz set a Lorain County record with seven TD passes in a 53-13 win over Brooklyn — he was 24 for 36 for 390 yards with no interceptions; and Pandora-Gilboa’s Alex Osborne caught just five passes but four went for TDs covering 12, 45, 23 and 26 yards in a 60-0 win over Arcadia.

LAND ROVERS: Sullivan Black River’s Andrew Vaughn ran for 344 yards and three TDs on 18 carries and also caught a 57-yard scoring pass in a 51-20 win over Brookside; Sandusky Perkins’ Dale Irby rushed for 276 yards and three TDs on 18 carries in 48-28 win at Oak Harbor; in his last two games, Chillicothe Southeastern’s Dezmond Perkins has 60 carries for 616 yards and five TDs; Kenton, one of the more prolific passing teams in the state, scored all four times via the run in a 28-14 win over Celina; and Minerva’s Dalton Hartshorn ran for 266 yards and two TDs on 27 carries in leading the Lions past West Branch, 21-14.

VERSATILE: Sandusky’s Mike Delk returned an interception a school-record 103 yards, brought back a punt 80 yards for a TD and caught a 40-yard TD pass in a 27-13 win at Mansfield Ontario.

NOTEWORTHY: Huron QB Cody Thompson, a Toledo recruit, finished with 369 all-purpose yards and four TDs in a 35-7 win at Milan Edison; Chillicothe beat East Clinton 28-0 — and did not allow a point at home this season — giving coach Ron Hinton his 300th career victory; Mansfield Senior is 9-0 for the first time in 114 years of playing high school football; St. Marys Memorial and Van Wert are both 0-9 as they face off this weekend; Sylvania Southview LB Myles Magnus — the grandson of Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer — recorded 14 tackles in the Cougars win over Napoleon 32-0; and Cincinnati Christian, which has never won more than three games in a season and is coached by former Cincinnati Bengal David Fulcher, is 5-4 and still alive in the Division VII playoff race heading into its game against St. Bernard.

LONG GAINERS: Johnny Giesige had 66, 58 and 54-yard TD runs, along with a 58-yard TD pass to Noah Karcason, and Kaleb Johns had a 55-yard rushing touchdown and a 55-yard interception return for a score in Hicksville’s 47-20 win over Holgate.

RELIEF PITCHER: Maria Stein Marion Local, ranked No. 1 in Division VII, was forced to use its emergency backup QB when trailing Anna 3-0 going to the fourth quarter. With starter Adam Bertke out the last several weeks with a broken bone in his hand, backup Dustin Rethman left the game with a shoulder injury and third-string backup Cole Griesdorn was injured in the JV game earlier that week.

WR Troy Homan, who took snaps as the emergency backup in practice, threw a 31-yard TD pass to Hunter Wilker with 8:43 left. Wilker later scored on a 45-yard run to keep the Flyers unbeaten with a 14-3 win.

LONG WAIT: Columbus St. Charles captured its first Central Catholic League title since 1962, the first year the league crowned a champion, with a win over Columbus Watterson. The win marked the first time that the Cardinals defeated old nemeses Watterson and Columbus DeSales in the same season. St. Charles snapped a 36-game losing streak to DeSales earlier in the season.

TALL ORDER: The teams of two of the tallest players in the state — Salineville Southern’s 6-foot-8 Caleb Gotschall and Lisbon David Anderson’s 6-7 Jannik Schmidt — met Friday.

Schmidt, an exchange student, made all four of his extra points in the Blue Devils’ 28-7 win.

FINALLY: West Salem Northwestern’s Matt Kohler made a drop-kick extra point in the fourth quarter to complete the Huskies’ scoring in a 57-0 win at Rittman on Friday.

“Kohler had tried a drop-kick and missed it in a scrimmage when we didn’t have a kicker,” said Huskies assistant coach Brian Sampsel, whose team improved to 8-1 and clinched a playoff spot. “We wanted to give him another chance so we had a little fun with it. So we called for our ‘Kohler Kick’ formation. The refs weren’t sure what we were doing when he lined up in punt formation — one of them asked if we were going to punt.”

The Ohio High School Athletic Association website listed the last drop-kick extra point by Jeromesville Hillsdale’s Brian Mollenshott in 1999.