ARCHBOLD -- It was a must-win game for both Archbold and the visitors from Patrick Henry on Friday night, in terms of avoiding a second league loss, staying in the hunt for the NWOAL crown and in remaining in the Division V, Region 18 playoff picture.
Following an offensive first half and a defensive second half, it was the Patriots (6-2, 6-1 NWOAL) that stood victorious 34-23 as Patrick Henry's defense buckled down and the Archbold (6-2, 5-1) offense was unable to capitalize on turnovers.
"I'm very proud of our defense, last year we felt we were too aggressive on our game plan with them and gave up easy plays, we did not give up easy plays tonight. None of them were easy," remarked Patrick Henry coach Bill Inselmann. "That was their quarterback scrambling and we had some young kids in the secondary that let kids get behind them, but we didn't want to give up the easy quick pass. I thought at times we could have tackled better, but, a lot of that is they have very good athletes. And I'm telling you, Bryan Miller, I think, is still the best young coach in our league. He does a great job putting his kids with a chance to succeed and that's a spread offense with those quick kids."
Archbold was hurt all night long by its inability to make something happen following a PH turnover. Jacob Wagner recovered a fumble in the first quarter for the Streaks at the Patriot 35-yard line, but the offense could only net three yards before turning the ball over on downs. In the second quarter, Lincoln Parsley intercepted PH quarterback Anderson Okuley, but Evan Wyse was picked off on the very next play at midfield. Following a Parsley 38-yard field goal in the third quarter, Tyson Lersch recovered the kickoff for the Streaks at PH's 38-yard line, but that was followed by another four-play turnover-on-downs. And after a punt, which gave the Streaks the ball in the fourth quarter at their own 48, Wyse was picked off by Jones on the very next play.
"That was really a big key," Archbold's Bryan Miller said of his team being unable to take advantage of situations throughout the night. "Our defense gave us lots of opportunities, and it seemed like every time we got momentum and got the ball with a chance to go ahead, those were the times that we couldn't get it done."
Of course, a big reason why that was so difficult was the play of the Patriot defense, which was spearheaded by Jake Carrizales who flew all over the field, anchoring the team's solid play.
"Coach 'I' has been saying all week that last year we wanted to be more aggressive, but this year we wanted to stop the big plays," began the 6-1, 228-pound junior. "I think that's what we did tonight, we made them march the field."
Patrick Henry took a slim 28-20 lead into halftime as the team's alternated scores throughout the first 24 minutes of play. That included two Patriots' touchdowns on fourth-down conversions and Archbold getting an 85-yard kickoff return from Danny Young and a 60-yard Wyse to Kolin Schilt touchdown pass.
Patrick Henry's co-quarterback Gabe Jones, scored with 33 seconds to go in the second quarter on a 3-yard run that he had to stretch way to the right, before adding the two-point conversion on a stretched-out run to the left to put his team up, 28-20.
Coming out of halftime, Archbold started with the ball at their own 15 and after five straight Wyse passes, advanced down to the PH 23. After a 2-yard run by Young on the sixth play of the drive, Patriot defender Derek Hoops closed in on a near touchdown pass to Schilt in the front left corner of the end zone to break up the play. One incomplete pass later, and the Streaks settled for a 38-yard Parsley field goal after nearly four minutes came off the clock
With the score still 28-23 early in the fourth and Archbold forcing a turnover-on-downs on a fourth-and-20 from the Streaks' 23, the first time in four chances the Patriots failed to convert on a fourth down attempt, the Streaks were forced into another clock-consuming drive.
Wyse scrambled on the first play of the drive, which started with 10:12 to go in the fourth, and completed a 30-yard pass to Schilt, who finished with three catches for 101 yards, and with a run and four more completions, moved the ball down to the PH 11.
Hoops sniffed out a screen pass, Carrizales held Wyse to a 1-yard run and on third down and Wyse threw a pass that was dropped by his receiver. On fourth-and-nine, after Archbold lined up for a field goal and then called timeout, Wyse went to pass but could not find anyone open and Kevin Kline and a couple other Patriots tackled him for a 2-yard loss.
Patrick Henry sealed the game on the drive following Jones' interception on Wyse's pass on first-and-10 from his own 48, using five runs and an Archbold penalty to help set up a 5-yard score by Tobey Hernandez with 1:34 left.
Jones led PH with 74 rushing yards on 19 carries, three for touchdowns, and was 3-of-3 passing for 114 yards.
Wyse finished with 237 yards on 19-of-34 passing for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
Patrick Henry, which came into the game sitting in the 11th spot in Region 18, plays at Dayton Belmont in week 9 while Archbold, the sixth seed in Region 18 prior to the PH game, travels to Wauseon.
First Downs 12 13
Rushing Yards 49-164 18-25
Passing Yards 123 237
Total Yards 287 262
Passing 4-9-0 19-34-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties 3-20 4-20
Patrick Henry 6 22 0 6 - 34
Archbold 7 13 3 0 - 23
PH - Jones 3-run (kick failed).
A - Young 26-pass from E. Wyse (Parsley kick).
PH - Rosebrook 1-run (Jones run).
A - Young 85-yard kickoff return (Parsley kick).
PH - Jones 36-run (run failed).
A - Schilt 60-pass from E. Wyse (kick failed).
PH - Jones 2-run (Jones run).
A - Parsley 38-yard field goal.
PH - Hernandez 5-run (run failed).
RUSHING: Patrick Henry - Jones 19-74; Hernandez 8-54; Rosebrook 14-25; Okuley 8-11. Archbold - E. Wyse 14-26; Gerken 1-4; Young 2-(-1); Schilt 1-(-4). PASSING: Patrick Henry - Jones 3-3-0-114; Okuley 1-6-1-9. Archbold - E. Wyse 19-34-2-237. RECEIVING: Patrick Henry - Bergstedt 2-79; Kline 2-44. Archbold - T. Wyse 7-56; Gerken 4-26; Schilt 3-101; Rodriguez 3-22; Young 2-32.