SKIP BAUGHMAN STADIUM -- Oh those extra points.
Celina blocked two late-game extra points, allowing the Bulldogs to break an 11-game losing streak to St. Marys with a 26-25 victory in overtime Friday night at Skip Baughman Stadium.
Celina improves to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the Western Buckeye League. The Riders fall to 1-3 overall and for the first time since 1974, have dropped their first three WBL games.
St. Marys scored what could have been the go-ahead touchdown on a 49-yard run by Dustin Fisher with 8:23 left in the game. The run tied the game at 19, but the PAT kick by Jarett Taytlor was blocked and the score remained tied.
The two teams traded fumbles deep in St. Marys territory late in the game, forcing the contest into overtime.
Celina won the toss and elected to play defense. It took the Riders one play as former quarterback T.J. Powell broke a tackle and rambled 20 yards for the score. But the extra point... blocked, and it was Celina’s turn to play offense.
It took the Bulldogs two plays to score. After an incompletion, Celina sophomore QB Braden Billger hooked up with his favorite target -- Kahl Knapke -- for a 20-yard TD.
Celina got two chances at the extra point. The first attempt appeared to go awry with a bad snap and Kahl Knapke’s run stopped short. But apparently the zebras ruled the Riders were offsides, giving Celina another chance. Freshman Braylen Bader made the most of the bonus opportunity, booting the ball through the uprights for the extra point and the 26-25 win.
St. Marys dominated time of possession in the first quarter on its way to a 6-0 lead. On the first possession of the game, the Riders moved the ball inside the Celina 25 before turning it over on downs.
Celina was able to pick up a couple first downs on its initial try with the pigskin, but incompletions stalled the drive, forcing a Mitchell Ross punt that was touched down at the Rider five yard line with 6:58 left in the half.
Backed up in the shadow of their own goal post on third down, the Riders responded with a 69-yard run by sophomore Dustin fisher who was drug down from behind at the Celina 23. From there St. Marys ground things out about three yards at a time with Derek Roop scoring on a quarterback sneak with 24 seconds left in the quarter. The PAT kick by Jarett Taylor was wide of the goal posts.
Aided by the 9-play scoring drive, the Rider offense held the ball for just over 10 minutes in the first quarter.
A critical St. Marys turnover got the Celina offense going on its second possession of the second quarter. Roop was hit in the backfield on what appeared to be a broken play. The ball came loose and Celina recovered at the St. Marys 26. Three plays later Billger connected with Kahl Knapke from 22 yards out to tie the game at 6 with 7:41 left in the half.
The PAT kick by Braylen Brader never got airborne, and the score remained tied.
After a three-and-out by St. Marys, the Celina “O” was back on the field with momentum. The Dogs marched 75 yards to the St. Marys six, mostly on the arm of Billger. But the drive stalled there, and Bader, a freshman, nailed a 27-yard field goal with 1:33 left in the half to give the Dogs a 9-6 edge at intermission.
Celina put together an impressive drive to stat the second half, but again got bogged down in the red zone. Fourth and goal from the six brought on Bader, who booted his second field goal of the game, this time from 23 yards out, for a 12-6 Bulldog lead with 9:40 left in the third quarter.
The Riders answered with a scoring drive of their own, marching 72 yards in 11 plays. The TD came on Roop’s only completion of the game, and just the Rider’s third pass completion all season -- a 14 yard pass to Powell. The extra point kick by Taylor was good giving the Riders a 13-12 lead with 2:16 left in the third Quarter.
Celina answered as each team traded punches in the second half. Andy Suter capped a 58-yard scoring drive with a one-yard run at the 11:46 mark of the fourth quarter. Celina caoch Jared Rolfes elected to go for one point and a six-point lead. Bader did not dissapoint, as he booted the PAT for a 19-13 lead.
The stats were about as even as the score. St. Marys finished with 349 yards of total offense, 335 of which came on the ground. The Dogs finished with 342 yards.
Dustin Fisher paced the ground atack with 170 yards on 18 carries, Powel also got into triple figures with 116 yards on 13 carries.
Billger was 22 of 34 from the air for 255 yards. One telling stat was Billger threw 34 passes and was not sacked once.
Knapke was the leading receiver with 13 catches for 145 yards. Mitchell Ross caught three passes for 60 yards.
St. Marys will look for its first league win on the road next week, traveling to Defiance where the Bulldogs will be 0-4 after a 35-8 loss at Wapakoneta Friday.
0:24 Q1 1-yard run Derek Roop, Jarrett Taylor PAT kick wide right, SM-6 C-0.
7:41 Q2 22-yard Braden Billger pass to Kahl Knapke, Braylen Bader PAT kick short, SM-6 C-6.
1:33 Q2 27-yard Braylen Bader field goal, SM-6 C-9.
7:40 Q3 23-yard Braylen Bader field goal, SM-6 C-12.
2:16 Q3 14-yard Derek Roop pass to T.J. Powell, Jarrett Taylor PAT kick good, SM-13 C-12.
11:46 Q4 1-yard Andy Suter run, Braylen Bader PAT kick good, SM-13 C-19.
8:23 Q4 49-yard Dustin Fisher run, Jarrett Taylor PAT kick blocked, SM-19 C-19.
5:12 Q4 34-yard Braylen Bader field goal wide left, SM-19 C-19.
OT1 20-yard T.J.Powell run, Jarrett Taylor PAT kick blocked, SM-25 C-19.
OT1 20-yard Braden Billger pass to Kahl Knapke, Braylen Bader PAT kick good, SM-25 C-26.