It was a game that although close throughout, always seemed in Archbold’s control. They took a two-score lead late in the third quarter and then held off Carey for a 35-28 win in a Division VI, Region 22 football quarterfinal Saturday night.
“It wasn’t pretty all night but, at this point in the year you’ve got to win and advance,” said Blue Streak head coach David Dominique. “That’s a good physical football team. Very big football team, with a lot of good players. Like the way our guys hung in. Just, we got a lot to improve on.”
A fourth down sack to turn the ball over on downs helped lead to an Archbold score and their desired two-touchdown lead in the second half.
On fourth-and-8 for Carey from the Archbold 35-yard line, Caleb Ranzau got to Blue Devil quarterback Derek Lonsway and brought him down back at their own 48.
The Blue Streaks would put it in the end zone on a 36-yard scamper from quarterback DJ Newman and Krayton Kern’s extra point extended the lead to 28-14 with 2:16 left in the third quarter.
“That was huge. We talked at halftime, try to get a two-score lead. And really put the pressure on them,” said Dominique. “Our offense, I think at times tonight we were our own worst nightmare. We had a lot of mistakes. But again, we’ve just got to improve. A win’s a win, and that’s what we’re happy about right now.”
However, Carey pulled back within seven in the early minutes of the fourth.
A fourth down conversion extended the drive. Lonsway picked up just enough on fourth-and-3 for a first down at the Blue Streak 25.
The next play Cade Crawford broke off a run down to the half yard line, and Brady Curlis finished off the drive on first and goal, making the margin 28-21 with 10:06 remaining.
Archbold fired back by driving 84 yards for a TD on their next possession. It culminated with Newman connecting with Jayden Schulze flashing open over the middle on third-and-3 for a 29-yard scoring strike and 35-21 lead with 7:32 to go.
Carey threw an interception on fourth down on the ensuing possession, but managed to score later in the quarter on another Curlis one yard score with only 2:04 remaining.
But, the Streaks recovered the onside kick and that sealed the Devils’ fate.
Each team scored in the first quarter, Newman on a 10-yard run for Archbold and Lonsway to Bryce Conti from 36 yards out for Carey.
The Devils advanced into Blue Streak territory to start the second quarter, but a fumbled snap recovered by Archbold at their 36 stalled the drive.
From there, Archbold got down inside the Carey 5-yard line thanks to a Noah Gomez 40 yard run where he broke through several tackles. Newman then ran for four yards down to the one, then Gomez punched it in the play after to reclaim a 14-7 lead.
Although at times the Devils made it tough to run the ball, with good effort the Streaks were able to accumulate 194 yards on the ground. Gomez had 106 of those and Newman 81.
“They had some tough yardage there,” stated Dominique. “We had some issues early on (running the ball). They had some good d-linemen in there, we couldn’t get them moved. We stuck to the run game and it really, really helped us in that second half.”
Carey got back on the board, retying the score, on a goal-to-go situation. Set up with a fourth-and-goal at the five, Lonsway hit Conti near the one and after a pair of Blue Streak defenders collided with him there, Conti managed to reach the ball across the goal line for the score.
Archbold, however, would regain the lead 1:15 later.
A 35-yard completion to Antonio Cruz put them in Blue Devil territory at the 19. Two plays later Cruz reeled in a one-handed catch, slipped tackles and raced to the end zone, reclaiming a 21-14 lead with 2:27 before halftime.
Cruz had four catches on the day for 84 yards and that TD.
Archbold outgained Carey 398-278. Newman completed 13-22 passes for 204 yards and two TDs, plus a rushing score.
Lonsway went 5-14 for 140 yards and two TDs to one interception for Carey. He also added 71 yards rushing.
Conti caught four passes for 116 yards and two TDs.
Archbold moves to 8-0 and will host Columbus Grove (8-0) this Saturday in a regional semifinal.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010