MILLBURY — Lake put Genoa in an unfamiliar spot.
The Flyers jumped out to a 14-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, and led 21-7 in the second quarter before the Comets roared back to take a 49-35 Northern Buckeye Conference football victory Friday night.
Genoa (7-0, 4-0 NBC), Ohio's third-ranked Division IV team, got 170 rushing yards and three touchdowns from running back David Nutter, while quarterback Logan Scott passed for 117 yards and a TD.
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“We’ve only been behind in the first half two times in our last 35 games, so it was a great test,” Genoa coach Tim Spiess said. “Coach [Lake’s Mark] Emans did a great job preparing his team. He’s a state championship coach [at Wauseon, 1993], and I told the kids they’d give us a state-championship effort.
“Their fans should be very proud of the way they played tonight, and Genoa’s fans should be really proud. We were down 14-0 and 21-7, and we battled back through adversity.”
The offensive show included 900 yards of total offense, with Genoa outgaining Lake 502-398.
Lake (5-2, 2-2), which shook off a disappointing 21-0 loss to Eastwood a week earlier, saw the game's momentum shift drastically late in the second quarter and early in the third, when Genoa scored 29 unanswered points.
“I wanted our kids not to be scared or intimidated, and we kind of got up on them early,” Emans said. “It was kind of like a prize fight where we punched them in the mouth and they kind of punched us back.
“In that second quarter they gave us fits. We had some special-teams assignment errors. My hat’s off to Genoa and coach Spiess. They’re the class of the league, and hopefully we’re narrowing the gap.”
After Genoa’s big momentum swing, the Flyers rallied back behind junior quarterback Jared Rettig, who was 19 of 29 passing for 313 yards in the game. Rettig passed for one score and ran for another.
“Jared stepped up,” Emans said. “He took last week’s performance [21-0 loss to Eastwood] very personally. He was very angry after Eastwood, and he was very focused. It showed tonight.”
Brandon Short rushed for 37 yards and two TDs for the Flyers, and receiver Adam Duncan was superb in defeat, catching 13 passes for 201 yards.
Lake jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the stunned Comets just 1:44 into the game.
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Rettig found a wide-open Todd Walters down the right sidelines for a 77-yard TD hookup just 17 seconds into the game.
After Genoa’s David Nutter lost a fumble at his 34, Lake needed just three plays to find the end zone again on Marcel Bryan’s 29-yard run around left end. Bryan rushed four times for 46 yards, and had kickoff returns of 57 and 44 yards in the game.
The Comets regrouped to pull within 14-7 when Jake Wojciechowski (nine carries, 73 yards) scored on a 10-yard run with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lake countered with Rettig’s two-yard keeper for a TD 10:21 before halftime, but the next 13 minutes belonged to Genoa, and decided the game.
Casey Gose (five carries, 107 yards) returned a kickoff 52 yards to the Lake 27 and, seven plays later scored on a three-yard run around left end on a fourth-and-2 play.
Gose was then on the receiving end of a 65-yard TD pass from Scott with 2:50 left in the half.
The Comets then recovered an onside kick at the Lake 46, leading to Scott’s one-yard sneak eight seconds before halftime.
Genoa made it 36-21 on Nutter’s 26-yard TD run with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
“Lake was a strong opponent,” Nutter said. “We knew coming in it was going to be a good game on the road. But we handled the adversity, the line did great, and it was a big win for us.
“We were locking down, staying focused, and executing our plays. Once we got momentum it was dangerous.”
Lake refused to go away, however, this time answering with a 70-yard scoring drive capped on Short’s two-yard run, putting the Flyers back within 36-28 with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
But Genoa added TD runs of 11 and 3 yards, which were sandwiched around a nine-yard touchdown run by Short.
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.