The ball bouncing for or against you can make the difference in a ballgame.
Just ask Port Clinton.
After Addison Rospert kicked a 19-yard field goal to put the 'Skins ahead, 10-8, early in the fourth quarter, Port Clinton forced Edison three-and-out on the next drive. The ensuing punt, however, bounced and hit a Redskin and was recovered by the Chargers. With the momentum, Edison drove 45 yards and scored on a one-yard run by Austin Utter with 6:41 remaining as the Chargers defeated Port Clinton, 21-18.
They pushed the lead to 21-10 when Storm Weimer scored from 18 yards out with 2:20 left, all but securing the victory.
The 'Skins would respond, scoring on a 14-yard pass from Rospert to Trey Gluth and a two-point conversion with 1:28 remaining but failed to recover the onside kick.
“We played very well defensively for three quarters and we had opportunities in the first half offensively that we didn't capitalize on,” Port Clinton head coach Toby Hammond said. “The muffed punt turned the whole complexion of the game.”
Rospert led the Redskins, completing 14-of-30 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 58 yards and Cody Smith had 47 yards on 14 carries.
After defeating Woodmore to open the season, Port Clinton suffered two straight losses to two of the state's best teams, Delphos St. John's (51-0) and Genoa (49-7) and now has to deal with the hangover effect that comes from losing a close game.
This week, the 'Skins travel to Oak Harbor and face the Rockets. Oak Harbor, which is 3-1 and 1-0 in the SBC, features a stout running attack led by Mark Konieczny, who has rushed for 752 yards this season. They have a quarterback in Austin Wiegand who is a dual threat in both passing and running the ball and one of the league's best receivers, A.J. Cecil.
Their defense isn't bad, either. The Rockets have held opponents to 20.5 points in the last two games and have played well for most of the season.
“To be honest,” Hammond said, “I'm more concerned with us than I am with Oak Harbor. We've got to see how we can practice together if some of (injured) guys can't go. We've got a lot of guys banged up. And that's the hard part.
“If you look at Oak Harbor, they've got a very good running back, but what makes them better is their quarterback.”