Rossford scores 36 straight points to topple Oak Harbor

Sep 8, 2021 | Sports | 0 comments

BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR

ROSSFORD — Things were going about as well as you could expect for Oak Harbor.

The Rockets (1-2) had scored their third touchdown of the game on Friday night, and led by 21 points less than halfway through the first quarter of its matchup with Rossford on Friday night.

But the Bulldogs, keyed by a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown, responded by scoring 36 consecutive points to defeat Oak Harbor, 36-27.

Rossford trailed 21-0 with 6:35 to play in the first quarter after Hayden Buhro (3 catches, 52 yards, 2 TD) caught his second touchdown pass on a 19-yard toss from Jaqui Hayward. What could’ve been an easy victory for the Rockets changed on their fourth possession.

Punter Keegan Durdel could not catch a high snap that went over his head after a partial deflection. The ball trickled forward about 18 yards and was returned 30 yards for a score when Christian Brown scooped it up and ran it in with 56 seconds to play in the first quarter. Michael Nawrocki’s extra point cut the deficit to 21-7.

“It definitely changed the momentum,” said Oak Harbor coach Mike May. “The snap was high and the play fell apart. We stress that we definitely need to win the special-teams battle every week. We didn’t accomplish that against Rossford.”

The Bulldogs (2-1) scored just before halftime with 1:12 to play when Nevan Hanthorn caught an 18-yard pass from Alex Williams to make it an eight-point game.

Rossford tied the score at 21-21 when Alex Williams scored on a 7-yard run and ran it in on the two-point conversion midway through the third quarter.

Less than 20 seconds later, after the Rockets got the ball back, Hayward tossed a lateral out of bounds under pressure in the end zone for a safety. That gave the Bulldogs the lead for good, 23-21.

Trenton Bachmayer caught a 33-yard touchdown pass on a screen from Williams with 3:51 to play in the third quarter, and Ben Morrison caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Williams on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 36-21.

“Their offense is definitely athletic and the fact that they run so many screens makes it a gamble to bring pressure against them,” said May.

Hayward scored on a 65-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes to play, but the Rockets, who were missing some key players, were unable to score after that.

“We definitely need to be more consistent in the red zone on offense and defense,” said May.

Hayward had an incredible performance, completing 14-of-29 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. He also ran 16 times for 143 yards and a score.

“Jaqui continues to improve each week,” said May. “He is very athletic and has a good arm. It was definitely his best game so far.”

Hayden Hower caught five passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Williams, Hayward’s counterpart, completed 13-of-29 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball 18 times for 76 yards and a score.

Morrison caught four passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.

The Rockets travel to Toledo to face Woodward on Friday night.

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