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Published: Saturday, 8/25/2007

Celestial Ball just one of many weather victims


OAK HARBOR The 36th installment of theCelestial Ball football rivalry series between Oak Harbor and Genoa high schools will be a two-night affair for the second time in five years.

Last night s game, which was delayed 30 minutes at the start because of the threat of severe weather, did eventually start, but did not progress beyond the first quarter.

Oak Harbor had just taken a 14-0 lead over the Comets with 1:30 left in the first period when lightning in the area stopped play at 8:33 p.m. After waiting 57 minutes with no apparent break in the lightning strikes, and with more such weather predicted to follow, the game was suspended until tonight at 7 o clock here.

The game will be resumed from the point of suspension.

The Rockets, who finished 13-1 and advanced to the Division IV state semifinals last season, got things rolling on their second possession last night.

On third-and-seven from his 30, Rocket quarterback Josh Stone found split end Kirk Tank 20 yards upfield, and Tank broke free to make it a 65-yard gain to the Genoa 5. Tom Baker sprinted over left tackle on the next play and Oak Harbor had a 7-0 edge with 4:40 left in the first quarter.

Following an Andrew Hopkins interception of a pass from Comet QB Matt Bassitt, the Rockets needed just three plays to cover 37 yards for another TD, with Baker scoring on an eight-yard run with 1:30 left in the quarter.

Oak Harbor holds a 23-11-1 edge in the Celestial Ball rivalry series. The Rockets have won eight straight over Genoa, which last won 29-28 in 1998.

This game marks the Genoa debut of highly-successful former Delta coach Mike Vicars along with his running back-linebacker sons, senior Derrick and junior Marcus.

Severe weather also forced the 2002 Celestial Ball game at Genoa to be pushed to a Saturday finish.

Numerous other games were postponed or suspended because of last night s threatening weather. Details on this page.

Contact Steve Junga at:sjunga@theblade.comor 419-724-6461.

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