Wauseon had the momentum for much of the first half but in the second the hometown Archbold Blue Streaks took it back, outscoring the Indians 13-0 after intermission for a 20-12 victory in Northwest Ohio Athletic League football Friday night.
It is the Blue Streaks sixth straight win over their rivals.
Archbold improves to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the league. Wauseon is now 6-3 and 4-2 in the league.
“It was an ugly football game, but they dug down deep. We were down 12-0 early in that second quarter and no one quit. It was one of those deals where we made a lot of bad plays on special teams. Nothing’s going right on offense. But they hung tough and fought until the very end. That’s all you can ask for,” said Archbold coach David Dominique after the game.
Trailing 12-7, Archbold took advantage of a Wauseon miscue to start the second half. The Indians handed the ball off to Jude Armstrong on a sweep around the right end on a second down play from their own 34-yard line, and he was stripped of the ball and it was recovered by the Streaks at the 28.
Then, quarterback Cade Brenner rolled to his right and found Lucas Dominique for a 17-yard completion down to the Wauseon 11. Carson Dominique ran for six yards on the next play. He was stuffed on second down but a personal foul was called on Wauseon, then on second-and-goal at the three Carson Dominique took a direct snap for a score. Their two-point conversion attempt failed and Archbold led 13-12 at the 9:16 mark of the third.
Carson Dominique carried the ball 32 times for 158 yards and had all three of the team’s touchdowns.
“That’s a big physical running back in Dominique. And he just keeps coming, and coming, and coming,” said Wauseon coach Shawn Moore of the Streaks’ senior running back.
The two teams traded turnovers on the following two possessions as Carson Dominique stepped in front of a Trey Parsons pass and then a bad snap by Archbold led to a fumble recovery for Wauseon. However, a pair of sacks by the Blue Streak defense stalled the Indians’ drive.
Later in the half Wauseon was able to force another fumble, setting them up for a potential go-ahead score.
They would drive it all the way inside the 10 but were forced into a fourth-and-1 at the seven and instead of electing for a field goal, chose to go for it instead. Parsons kept the ball on the quarterback keeper, however, it was snuffed out by the Streaks and he was dropped for a loss back to the 10, turning it over on downs with 9:38 remaining in the game.
Coach Moore admitted how big of a missed opportunity that was after the game.
“We got the ball down late in the end zone area. I really felt that we were gonna get that play. We had one guy on the wrong page and that’s all it takes sometimes. Really disappointed that we didn’t get that one. In hindsight, we definitely should have just kicked the field goal and taken the lead and seen what was gonna happen,” said Moore. “I thought our guys still played a pretty solid game. Again, just a couple plays short and a couple of bad turnovers here and there.”
Archbold was able to drive basically the length of the field for the game’s final score. It was kept alive thanks to Carson Dominique’s 11-yard run on a direct snap on fourth-and-three at the Wauseon 46.
After a 33-yard pitch and catch from Brenner to Karter Behnfeldt, the Indians let Carson Dominique walk into the end zone from three yards away and Krayton Kern’s point after extended the lead to 20-12 with just under two minutes left.
Wauseon could not get anything going on its final drive and the Streaks held on for the win.
“It’s huge,” Coach Dominique on what the victory says about his team. “Other than Liberty, not a lot of close games lately. So the question is, how could we handle adversity when it hits. They hung tight. Like I said, it wasn’t a pretty football game. But at the end of the day, we’ll take wins at the end of the season.”
In the first half the Indians used the third phase of the game, special teams, to build a lead.
After Archbold’s first possession was stopped, Wauseon’s Xavier Martinez both blocked and recovered the Blue Streak punt attempt, giving the Indians possession at the 15. It would result in a Tyson Rodriguez 36-yard field goal for a 3-0 Wauseon lead less than four minutes in.
Then in the second quarter Wauseon scored nine points in a span of 12 seconds.
First, a high snap that went over the head of the Blue Streak punter and through the end zone for a safety made it 5-0 with 11:10 until halftime. Armstrong would take the ensuing free kick 77 yards to paydirt and with the Rodriguez extra point added in, they led 12-0 at the 10:58 mark.
“We got a couple of plays on punt. Got a couple points there,” said Moore. “A big return by Jude; those are big plays. That’s the first time that anybody’s kicked to him in a lot of games. And so, it probably won’t happen again. But you know, we’ve got to take advantage of some of these other things. And again, we weren’t able to keep the chains going and had a couple of bad jumps that put us behind the chains in certain situations. Some bad plays just put us behind and you can’t have that.”
The Streaks did get their offense going on the next drive.
The big play came on fourth-and-seven when Devon Morris caught a pass and rumbled 26 yards down to the five. Two plays later, Carson Dominique ran it in from two yards out, cutting the Indian lead at 12-7 with 5:12 remaining in the half.
Archbold closes the season at Patrick Henry (5-4, 3-3 NWOAL) this Friday, while Wauseon visits Bryan (5-4, 3-3).
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.