Crosby’s pass break up propels gridiron Dutchmen to 2-0 start

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/6/23

ELDON — Playing under a full moon Friday night, Dustin Howard’s Owensville Dutchmen football team nearly experienced deja vu during their showdown with Eldon’s Mustangs in Miller …

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Crosby’s pass break up propels gridiron Dutchmen to 2-0 start


ELDON — Playing under a full moon Friday night, Dustin Howard’s Owensville Dutchmen football team nearly experienced deja vu during their showdown with Eldon’s Mustangs in Miller County.

Leading 35-31 with 1:22 left, Owensville saw Eldon drive all the way down to the Dutchmen 5-yard line with time running out.

Losing to Eldon last year on a last-second hail mary, Owensville freshman Chase Crosby broke up what could have been the game-winning touchdown pass by the Mustangs in the end zone helping the Dutchmen to consecutive road wins starting the 2023 season.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight,” Howard said. “This was a great team win and our storyline this week was getting them back after they beat us on a hail mary last year.”

Seeing Eldon win the opening coin toss, Owensville’s defense stepped up forcing a quick three-and-out to put their offense on the field.

Senior quarterback Blake Elliott picked up four yards on third-and-one to set up an Isaiah Gates 26-yard run moving OHS into Mustang territory at their 41-yard line.

Three plays later, Elliott scampered 23 yards setting the orange and black up with a first-and-goal on the Mustang six.

Going to the air on second-and-goal, Elliott found Tanner Meyer for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Johannes Berg’s extra point made it 7-0 Dutchmen at the 6:52 mark of the opening quarter.

“My line gave me plenty of time all night to make plays,” Elliott said. “My receivers also made great catches helping us move down the field and open up the running game.”

Elliott ended his night with 279 yards through the air on 15-20 passing with four touchdowns and an interception.

Trading three-and-outs, Owensville saw Eldon tie the game on their next possession.

Michael Rugen capped a seven-play, 59 yard drive with a 20-yard TD run. Zac Smithson’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 with 2:03 for the first quarter.

OHS started their next drive at their 28-yard line but needed only one play to move into Mustang territory.

Senior wide receiver Landon Ely made a spectacular catch on a pass from Elliott for 54 yards and a first down at the Mustang 18-yard line.

Three plays later, Elliott connected with Zaiden Gates on a 22-yard TD pass. Berg’s kick gave OHS a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Chewing up over five minutes of the second-quarter clock, Eldon answered with a 2-yard TD run from senior quarterback Hunter Hees.

Owensville still led 14-13 after the ensuing extra-point attempt went wide to the left with 5:57 for the first half.

OHS had a quick answer.

Meyer returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown a mere 11 seconds after Eldon’s score.

Berg’s kick gave the Dutchmen a 21-13 lead.

Eldon nearly returned the next kickoff for a touchdown only to have Berg make a touchdown-saving tackle.

“Our guys love it when Johannes (Berg) has success,” Howard said. “He really helped us tonight with his kicking abilities.”

Hees scored again for Eldon on a 4-yard TD run with 3:58 for the half. Going for two points, the Mustangs were denied keeping Owensville in front 21-19.

Owensville’s very next play from scrimmage led to more points.

Elliott found a wide-open Meyer for a 77-yard TD strike with 3:45 for the half.

Meyer finished with six catches for 123 receiving yards and a pair of touchdown.

Berg’s latest kick gave OHS a two-score lead at 28-19 heading into halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Hees scored his third rushing touchdown with 7:12 left cutting the Dutchmen lead to 28-25 after yet another missed two-point conversion attempt.

Three minutes later, Elliott hooked up with Zaiden Gates on a 5-yard TD strike.

Gates just missed triple digits through the air with 94 yards receiving on five receptions and a pair of touchdowns.

Berg’s kick pushed the Dutchmen lead back up to two scores at 35-25 with 4:01 remaining.

Already finding the end zone three times, Hees made it four turning a fourth-and-seven into a 10-yard TD run with 1:56 remaining.

Hees finished with 62 yards rushing on 16 carries and four touchdowns while throwing for 125 yards through the air on 15-31 passing.

Eldon’s latest missed extra point left Owensville with a 35-31 lead that they held on to when the clock showed all zeros.

Welcoming the return of senior lineman Hayden Shoemaker, Owensville saw him rack up 13 total tackles.

Junior linebacker Jaden Gerlemann led the Dutchmen defense with 19 total tackles.

Sophomore Dalton Pyrtle joined Shoemaker with 13 total tackles while Logan Bailey and Isaiah Gates each recorded 10 total tackles.

Owensville’s official rushing numbers were not available at press time.

After two straight road wins to open the season, Howard’s gridiron Dutchmen will open the home portion of their schedule Friday night hosting Warrenton’s Warriors at 7 p.m., at Dutchmen Field.

This will be Warrenton’s first visit to Owensville since the 2000 season and the Kevin Baldwin era of Dutchmen football.