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Published: 11/15/2009

Ride over for Eastwood

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

FINDLAY - Ottawa-Glandorf put on an offensive clinic, and Eastwood had no answers as the Titans cruised to an easy 48-3 win last night in a Division IV regional semifinal.

Ottawa-Glandorf scored on long runs of 44, 35, and 58 yards and added a six-yard rushing score and a 54-yard TD pass to grab an insurmountable 34-3 at the half. The Titans' potent attack racked up 463 yards of total offense, including 354 on the ground.

"That was a tough one," Eastwood coach Jerry Rutherford said. "Obviously they're a good football team. It just snowballed on us. Sometimes you meet teams that are just better than you."

The Eagles, who bow out at 9-3, actually led in time of possession (29:04 to 18:56). But Ottawa-Glandorf quarterback Nathan Kahle hurt Eastwood with quick strikes. Kahle rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns. The junior also was 5 of 8 for 109 yards and another TD.

The Titans' (10-2) defense was equally impressive, holding the Eagles to 152 yards.

"Our kids came out hungry and kept coming at them," O-G coach Ken Schriner said. "We played well on both sides of the ball. When you can say you are getting better at this point in the season, good things are happening."

Trailing 19-0, Eastwood put together a 13-play drive and Taylor Depew nailed a 22-yard field goal. The big play on the drive was a 25-yard screen from Clayton Ruch to Tony Tijerina.

But the Titans responded just two plays later when Kahle scored from 58 yards out, breaking one tackle down the sideline for a 27-3 lead with 5:45 left in the half.

Following an interception, Kahle connected with Matt Peck on a 54-yard strike to make it 34-3 with two minutes to go in the second quarter.

"I was pretty impressed with No. 9 [Kahle]," Rutherford said. "They hit some big plays on the option, and that quarterback is legit."

The Titans added injuries to insult, sidelining Ruch and his wideout Jake Rogers. They held the Eagles to 117 total yards (75 rushing) and forced a fumble and an interception in the first half. O-G had 268 yards of total offense (192 rushing). Kahle rushed for 101 yards and two scores and was 3 of 3 for 76 yards and another score.

Kahle scored again on the Titans' first possession of the second half on a 20-yard scramble to make a 41-3 lead. Kahle then added a 45-yard TD on the next possession.

Eastwood junior Pernell Connor was limited to a team-high 59 yards, Tony Tijerina had 28, Nick Schmeltz added 20, and Cody Seifert 10.

"They took away everything that we'd been successful at," Rutherford said. "We could not get anything going. They scored on their first seven possessions."

Ruch finished 3 of 7 for 37 yards. His backup, Schmeltz, was 1 of 4 for 5 yards.

"We knew that they were a dangerous running team, but we shut down everything they wanted to do," Schriner said. "They had a number of guys that were hobbled too."

There was only one accepted penalty and two overall in the game. Eastwood punter Jeff Rutherford averaged 38.5 yards on his four punts with a long of 46.

O-G struck on its first drive on Kahle's 44-yard scramble. On their next possession, Brandon Kuhlman took a pitch on an option sweep for a 35-yard score. Right after a dropped ball on a long pass by an Eastwood wideout, Ruch was pressured and had the ball knocked out of his hand and the Titans returned the ball to the Eastwood 6. Ruch also was injured on the play and had to leave the game.

On the very next snap, Kuhlman scored again on a six-yard run for a 19-0 lead with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

Eastwood, the eighth seed in Region 14, drilled top-seeded Galion 35-6 last Saturday.

"I'm proud of our guys," Rutherford said. "When we lost to Patrick Henry [week nine], everyone had written us off. But we not only got in the playoffs, we won a game."

Contact Mark Monroe at:

mmonroe@theblade.com

or 419-724-6354.



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