The Perrysburg Yellow Jackets can ring their victory bell for another year.
The Maumee Panthers, well, they got their bells rung.
Perrysburg won the Maumee River War in a rout, smashing the Panthers 52-17 last night at Steinecker Stadium. It was the Jackets' second consecutive triumph in this storied rivalry and seventh in the last 11 years.
Tradition calls for a black, shiny bell to remain with the winning school until the next meeting between teams.
The Perrysburg student body rushed the field and celebrated with its triumphant players.
"It was awesome, just terrific," Yellow Jackets senior running back Eric Hufford said. "This being our senior year and last chance to play Maumee, getting it done like this was unbelievable."
You could say Perrysburg (4-2, 3-0 Northern Lakes League) ran away with the bell this year. The Jackets outrushed Maumee 409-122 and had five players with at least 25 yards on the ground.
Hufford, getting the nod as Perrysburg's chief running back in place of the injured Corey Bias, joined in running roughshod over the Panthers. He carried 11 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns, and also caught two passes for 67 yards and a score.
The player who threw Hufford those passes, senior Ore Fatinikun, was equally impressive through the air and on foot.
Fatinikun shredded the Panthers with 125 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and completed 4-of-9 passes for 161 yards and two scores.
Fatinikun sparked Perrysburg's 31-point second quarter with scoring runs of 7 and 15 yards, but it was his 81-yard bomb to junior receiver Tim Mishka on a third-and-27 play that demoralized the Maumee defense.
Up 28-10, Mishka beat his man in coverage and ran under Fatinikun's perfect spiral down the left sideline with 5:17 left.
"Ore made a great throw and Tim made a great catch," Jackets coach Matt Kregel said. "That one pushed us over the edge."
Fatinikun pushed Perrysburg's offense all night. He had 29 yards on his first two carries and eight rushes of nine or more yards.
"He's such a good athlete, when he gets going he's hard to stop," Kregel said. "He came out with confidence tonight and kept going from there. He was hard to keep up with."
Maumee (1-5, 1-2 NLL) cut its deficit to 14-7 with 1:51 left in the first quarter on quarterback Jordon Jakacki's seven-yard run. The Panthers added a 27-yard field goal by Ben Hasbrouck in the second quarter to make it 21-10. Max Reese threw a 15-yard pass to P.J. Tracy in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were outgained 503-255.
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