Defense sparks fourth-quarter rally

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 10/6/21

When a team allows nearly 500 yards rushing, that usually means a notch will be chalked up in the loss column.

Friday night at Dutchmen Field, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen football …

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Defense sparks fourth-quarter rally

Posted

When a team allows nearly 500 yards rushing, that usually means a notch will be chalked up in the loss column.

Friday night at Dutchmen Field, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen football team bucked that trend.

In spite of giving up 470 yards rushing to Paul Day’s Pacific Indians, OHS was able to muster enough defensive stops in the second half to post a 57-42 victory capping a festive week of homecoming activities.

“We talked to the guys at halftime and told them that it was still our game,” Cabot said. “They came out in the second half and did what they needed to do to get the homecoming victory against a much improved Pacific football team.”

Winning the toss and deferring to the second half actually backfired on Owensville.

Behind the rushing attack of Pacific quarterback Luke Meyer and Indian running back Makai Parton, the visitors in purple broke the scoreless tie going 81 yards in 10 plays.

Parton capped the drive on a 3-yard touchdown at the 8:17 mark of the opening quarter giving the visiting Indians a 6-0 lead following the failed 2-point conversion attempt.

Finishing with a game-high 259 yards rushing on 36 carries, Parton proved why he’s the leading rusher in the Four Rivers Conference (FRC).

Nine seconds later, Owensville answered on the ensuing kickoff.

Derek Brandt fielded it at the 26 yard line before finding a hole and taking off down the left sideline for a 74-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Charlie Whelan’s extra point gave the Dutchmen a 7-6 lead at the 8:17 mark of the first quarter.

Able to limit Pacific to four yards on their next drive, the OHS defense forced a turnover-on-downs to give their offense excellent field position.

Needing just two plays to go 35 yards, the Dutchmen added to their lead on an Austin Lowder 9-yard TD run at the 6:39 mark of the first quarter. Whelan’s kick made it 14-6 midway through the opening quarter.

Lowder racked up 72 yards rushing on 21 carries and three scores.

Converting a fourth down midway through their next drive, Pacific found the end zone once again on a Meyer 31-yard TD run with 3:17 for the quarter. Parton’s run for two points tied the game at 14-14.

Owensville drove all the way to the Pacific 10-yard line on their next possession before turning the ball over on downs.

Tied at 14-14 entering the second quarter, both offenses slowed down until the Indians took their first lead just past the midway point of the second quarter.

Three plays into their next drive, Parton broke free on a 55-yard TD run with 4:49 until halftime. Meyer’s run for two points put Paul Day’s Pacific squad on top 22-14.

Day was a former head football coach at Owensville High School from 1993-97.

Looking for a quick answer, OHS started their next drive with a 45-yard pass from Decker to Brandt moving the Dutchmen all the way down to the Indian 13-yard line.

Converting a fourth-and-four on a Decker to Brandt five-yard pass play, OHS scored on the very next play.

Decker called his own number on a 2-yard TD run with 2:31 until halftime. His ensuing run for two points tied the game at 22-22 going into the halftime intermission.

Rushing for a team-high 99 yards on 18 carries, Decker also threw for 260 yards through the air on 14-19 passing and three TDs.

Getting the ball to start the second half, Owensville needed just six plays to break the halftime tie.

On fourth-and four from the Pacific 13, Decker found Brandt on a 13-yard TD pass with 9:58 for the third quarter. Decker’s ensuing two-point pass to Lowder put OHS back in front of Pacific 30-22.

Nearly three minutes later, the Indians answered the Dutchmen on their next drive.

Going 65 yards in eight plays, Parton capped the drive on a 3-yard TD run with 7:12 for the quarter. Meyer’s run for two points tied the game up at 30-30.

Finding Brandt on a 34-yard completion two plays into the next drive, Decker found him again on a 10-yard TD strike with 4:50 for the third quarter. Owensville led 36-30 following the failed two-point conversion attempt.

Meyer scored from seven yards out for Pacific tying the game up at 36-36 with 2:35 for the third quarter.

“I’m proud of how our guys  battled throughout the game,” Day said. “We made a few too many mistakes and you can’t do that against a good team like Owensville.”

Fumble recoveries by Blake Elliott and Alan Kopp led to three  more Dutchmen touchdowns.

Lowder had TD runs of four and eight yards in addition to a 55-yard touchdown pass from Decker to Alan Kopp helping the Dutchmen start October with a victory.

OHS will visit Union Friday night with huge FRC title implications at stake beginning at 7 p.m., in Franklin County.

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