|Buzard’s 5 TDs paces Jefferson past Knights|
|Saturday, October 05, 2013 12:39 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
The Wildcats then put it away with 13 points in the fourth period to finally subdue the Knights 34-21 in Northwest Conference gridiron action on Homecoming Night at wet Stadium Park.
Tied at 21-21, the Wildcats (6-0, 4-0 NWC) used a Ross Thompson interception of Preston Zaleski and subsequent 17-yard return (to Crestview’s 38) at the end of the third period to score the go-ahead touchdown. Senior tailback Zavier Buzard (24 totes, 175 yards, 5 scores) — the lone running back in the Wildcats’ shotgun spread offense — took a counter inside left guard and got great blocking at the point of attack as he found wide-open spaces to the end zone just eight ticks into the fourth. Kurt Wollenhaupt’s kick was wide left as the Wildcats led 27-21.
Malcolm Oliver returned the kickoff 56 yards to the Delphos 29 but an illegal formation penalty — one of nine penalties on the Knights for 70 yards versus 10 for 86 for the hosts — set them back and they could not covert a fourth-and-1 at the 20.
The teams traded punts, with the Red and White commencing their next drive at the 45 with 5:18 remaining. With all but one of the 12 plays a run — a 20-yard connection from Austin Jettinghoff (13-of-24 passing, 118 yards) to Joe Gorman (2 catches, 30 yards) — the Wildcats put it away as Buzard took a sweep off the left end and found the end zone with 22 ticks left. Wollenhaupt tacked on the final point.
Josh Teman picked off Zaleski’s desperation heave at the horn.
“We did some uncharacteristic things we haven’t done all year; turn the ball over. Again, it was a team effort against a team we knew would be tough to beat,” Jefferson coach Bub Lindeman noted. “Our defense did a nice job of limiting their running game, our offense responded and never let them add to their lead and we got some nice plays out of our special teams; it was all three facets.”
Crestview coach Jared Owens gave credit where it was due.
“Sometimes, you have to tip your cap to players making great plays,” he explained. “We throw a pick at the end of the third when their guy is standing on the line of scrimmage and he makes a great effort. That’s what it comes down to; we played a great team.”
The Wildcats turned it over on their very first play from scrimmage — Jettinghoff’s first interception of the season — as Isaiah Simerman did the honors at the Delphos 41. Four plays later at the 3 — set up by a 32-yard Zaleski (9-of-16 passing, 151 yards) aerial to Oliver — Oliver took a handoff inside right tackle and powered to the end zone. Kameron Grubaugh kicked the point-after for a 7-0 edge with 9:58 left in the first.
Jettinghoff got rolling on the Wildcats’ next series, completing 5-of-6 passes for 48 yards to guide a 13-play, 67-yard equalizer. At the Knight 16, Buzard took a counter inside right guard, broke through traffic at the line and was off to the end zone. Wollenhaupt added the kick for a 7-7 tie with 4:59 left in the opener.
After a Crestview punt, Oliver set up their next drive by picking off Jettinghoff at the visitor 39. They overcame two penalties for 20 yards — aided by a personal foul on the Wildcats — to score in eight plays. On first-and-goal at the Wildcat 3, Justin Overmyer powered in up the gut for the six and Grubaugh made it 14-7 with 10:46 left in the half.
Zaleski found Simerman for a 30-yard connection to key the drive.
Though the Wildcats couldn’t respond on their next drive, they forced a 3-and-out and commenced at their 45. Buoyed by a 12-yard Jettinghoff-to-Buzard fake-punt pass from the 48 (Jettinghoff is the punter) — they went the distance in six plays. At the Crestview 35, Buzard again took a counter, this time inside left guard, and once again found wide-open spaces past the line of scrimmage and was gone with 3:23 to go. Wollenhaupt tacked on the conversion for a 14-14 tie.
Crestview tried to take the lead by driving from their 38 to the Jefferson 27 in seven plays but a holding call and then Trevor Dudgeon’s pick of Zaleski deep in Wildcat space all but ended the half.
Crestview took the second-half kickoff and marched from its 34 to paydirt in seven plays. Keyed by two Zaleski completions to Simerman for 50 yards, Zaleski finished it from the Jefferson 1 with a sneak up the gut with 8:53 showing in the third. Grubaugh made it 21-14.
Again, Delphos had the reply: a 9-play, 66-yard series. On fourth-and-1 at the Knight 27, Buzard — now the tailback in the power-I — took a handoff inside left guard, powered through arm tackles at the line and was off to the house. Wollenhaupt made it 21-21 with 4:53 showing in the third.
“Austin doesn’t always get the press but he does a nice job of running our offense, getting us into the right sets and making good decisions,” Lindeman added. “Zavier does what he does; he runs downhill and runs hard. Our offensive line once again gave him big holes to run through. We got behind the 8-ball a few times and answered each time.”
Drew Wannemacher recovered a fumble by Oliver on the ensuing kickoff, giving the home team possession at the Crestview 41. However, penalties hurt both sides and the Wildcats could not take advantage, turning the ball over on downs at the 29 and eventually setting up the fourth-period heroics.
“We got off to a quick start, getting a turnover to start the game. We simply couldn’t sustain it, especially the second half,” Owens added. “We hurt ourselves with turnovers the second half, as well as penalties. Those are game-changers when you have two evenly-matched teams.”
Jefferson hits the road to Columbus Grove Friday, while Crestview welcomes in Ada.
JEFFERSON 34, CRESTVIEW 21
Crestview 7 7 7 0 - 21
Jefferson 7 7 7 13 - 34
CV - Malcolm Oliver 3 run (Kameron Grubaugh kick), 9:58
DJ - Zavier Buzard 16 run (Kurt Wollenhaupt kick), 4:59
CV - Justin Overmyer 3 run (Grubaugh kick), 10:46
DJ - Buzard 35 run (Wollenhaupt kick), 3:23
CV - Preston Zaleski 1 run (Grubaugh kick), 8:53
DJ - Buzard 27 run (Wollenhaupt kick), 4:53
DJ - Buzard 38 run (kick failed), 11:52
DJ - Buzard 1 run (Wollenhaupt kick), :22
First Downs 12 17
Total Yards 252 333
Rushes-Yards 34-101 39-215
Passing Yards 151 118
Comps.-Atts. 9-16 13-24
Intercepted by 2 3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 9-70 10-86
Punts-Aver. 3-32 2-40.5
RUSHING: Preston Zaleski 14-47, Malcolm Oliver 7-25, Isaiah Simerman 2-18, Justin Overmyer 6-14, Jake Lippi 2-5, Team 3-(-)8.
PASSING: Zaleski 9-16-151-3-0.
RECEIVING: Simerman 3-80, Oliver 3-49, Nate Owens 1-10, Donovan Carmean 1-7, Alex Cunningham 1-5.
RUSHING: Zavier Buzard 24-175, Austin Jettinghoff 10-45, Jordan McCann 1-5, Ross Thompson 1-2, Team 3-(-)11.
PASSING: Jettinghoff 13-24-118-2-0.
RECEIVING: Thompson 4-27, Joe Gorman 2-30, Tyler Mox 3-21, Buzard 1-12, Trevor Dudgeon 1-10, McCann 1-10, Josh Teman 1-8.