FINDLAY - A rash of early turnovers and a pair of nearly unstoppable Trojans ended up burying Northview last night at Donnell Stadium.
Findlay rolled over the Wildcats 56-14 in a Division I regional quarterfinal game.
Findlay outrushed Northview 297 yards to 234, including 120 yards on 17 carries from fullback Caleb Enright. Trojans quarterback Chris Schneider was the other offensive catalyst, passing for 178 yards and running 79 with five total touchdowns.
"We just flat-out wore them down," Findlay coach Cliff Hite said. "The offensive line was dominant. We capitalized on turnovers and the offense started going for the jugular. That combination, by the end, was just scary."
On its opening drive, on fourth-and-three from inside the Wildcats 30-yard line, Findlay (10-1) chose to forego a field goal try for a quarterback keeper by Chris Schneider, who rumbled to the Northview 4. He then scored from three yards out two plays later to put the Trojans up 7-0.
Findlay held back the Wildcats offense for the remainder of the quarter, until Northview (8-3) recovered a bobbled punt at midfield to close out the first quarter. But Findlay's Luke Kraus intercepted Wildcats quarterback Mike Schneider at the Northview 17 on the first play of the second quarter.
Chris Schneider took the Trojans down the field on the ensuing drive, capping it with a 12-yard pass to Enright for the score.
Northview's turnover trouble persisted on the next drive. Wildcats fullback Ryan Connolly brought his team across midfield on a 35-yard gain on third down, but fumbled on the next play to give Findlay the ball back at its 38.
The Trojans again took the ball into the Northview red zone, and went up 21-0 after Enright's three-yard plunge. Enright added a nine-yard touchdown run less than two minutes later when the Wildcats went three-and-out.
"He's just a big-time back," Hite said. "He's done it all year. He carries the little guys and the big guys with him."
The turnover bug continued to plague Northview for the rest of the quarter, as Mike Schneider was hit as he threw on the first play of the next drive and coughed up the ball. Chris Schneider ran in a 13-yard score on the Trojans' ensuing drive.
Northview started the following drive on its 35 after the kickoff went out of bounds, and saw a bright spot when tailback Casey Meridieth took the first snap to the Findlay 42.
But Meridieth fumbled on the next play, giving the Trojans back the ball at midfield. Chris Schneider hit Jesse Wohl in the end zone for a 28-yard TD pass to put Findlay up 42-0 at the break.
"This was a case of turnovers and them being a great team," Northview coach Eric Keller said. "We had some first downs, but we kept giving the ball right back. Things didn't work out for our kids, but I'm proud of them."
Northview's TDs came in the fourth, on runs of five and 27 yards by Meridieth. He finished with 137 yards on 21 carries.
Findlay will face Massillon Washington next.
Contact Ryan Vasko at: firstname.lastname@example.org.