Behind a solid game from quarterback Austin Wiegand and great performance by its defense, Oak Harbor defeated Port Clinton, 21-0, in the annual meeting between the two Ottawa County rivals.
Wiegand finished with 194 yards of total offense and two touchdowns to lead to the Rockets to their third consecutive victory. With the win, Oak Harbor moves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Sandusky Bay Conference while the Redskins fall to 1-4 and 0-2 in the league.
Wiegand was 4-of-9 passing for 86 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and did much of his damage on the ground, running 14 times for 108 yards and a score.
But the real key to Oak Harbor's win was the performance by its defense. For the entire game, the Rockets were able to stifle the Port Clinton rushing attack, holding the 'Skins to 66 yards on 29 carries (2.3 yards per carry) and making them a one-dimensional offense.
“This was a typical, hard-hitting SBC game,” Oak Harbor head coach Mike May said. “The kids did a nice job of moving the ball and the defense came up with some big plays. We just try to go 1-0 every week.”
Rockets running back Mark Konieczny had another great game, running for 209 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown and wide receiver A.J. Cecil finished with four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Cecil put Oak Harbor ahead 7-0 when he took a short pass from Wiegand and ran it in from 25 yards out midway thru the first quarter.
“They had so many guys in the box and we felt like we needed to get out and pass the ball,” May said.
The Rockets' second score was set up on a fumble recovery by Dalton Reau at the Port Clinton one-yard-line late in the second quarter. On the next play, Wiegand ran it in from a yard out to push the lead to 14-0.
Oak Harbor's final score came in the third quarter on a 5-yard run by Konieczny. The Rockets drove the length of the field to score, going 88 yards in 11 plays with Konieczny carrying the ball six times for 32 yards on the drive.
The Rockets dominated in nearly all facets of the game, out-rushing the 'Skins (371-66), gaining more first downs (20-11) and winning the turnover battle (4-2). Oak Harbor was able to control the tempo and scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters, but could not put the 'Skins away. Port Clinton came up with two critical interceptions and, for much of the game, kept Rockets running back Mark Konieczny in check. On top of that, the 'Skins missed on two opportunities to score in the fourth quarter as one drive advanced to Oak Harbor's 12-yard-line and another ended when quarterback Addison Rospert's deep pass to a wide open receiver was dropped.
Rospert kept the 'Skins in the game with his athleticism, keeping a number of critical plays alive. He finished with 20 carries for 59 yards and completed 9-of-25 passes for 57 yards and three interceptions. Teammate Brock Moore finished with four catches for 32 yards.
Despite suffering their fourth consecutive loss, Port Clinton head coach was very proud of his club, which has battled injuries to key players this season.
“I couldn't have been more proud of a group of kids,” Hammond said. “We had some guys and we had some kids suck it up. Defensively, we played as well as we could the last two weeks. Our kids kept battling back. I can't say enough about how proud of our kids I am.”
“It's our offense — if we have to be one-dimensional and throw, we're gonna be in trouble. Give Oak Harbor a lot of credit; they're a very good football team. And I think we're a good football team.”
This week, Oak Harbor travels to Milan to face the Edison Chargers, who are 3-2 on the season. The Chargers, who have the vast majority of their starters returning from last season, run a triple-option offensive attack. After defeated Port Clinton (21-18) two weeks ago, Edison fell to Perkins, 37-7, as the Pirates' rushing attack rolled up 306 yards and four touchdowns.
After playing four consecutive road games, two against some of the state's best programs, Delphos St. John's and Genoa, the 'Skins will finally head home. Port Clinton will host Margaretta, which is 1-4 on the season. The Polar Bears, which lost 56-14 to Clyde last week, like to run the ball.