Dutchmen defense sparks second-half comeback

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 10/5/22

PACIFIC — Adjusting to a new offense.

That is what Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen did Friday night closing the September portion on the road against Paul Day’s Pacific …

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Dutchmen defense sparks second-half comeback

Posted

PACIFIC — Adjusting to a new offense.

That is what Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen did Friday night closing the September portion on the road against Paul Day’s Pacific Indians.

Facing a 12-7 halftime deficit, Owensville made a few adjustments on both sides of the football.

Evidently, they worked as the Dutchmen pitched a 15-0 second-half shutout before going on to a 22-12 road victory in Four Rivers Conference (FRC) football action.

That victory coupled with a 6-0 Sullivan win over Hermann now allows Owensville to control their own destiny towards a FRC title with remaining games against Union, Sullivan and St. Clair.

“We installed a new offense this week and we saw good things out of it,” Cabot said. “We hope to get some more work on it before we face a good Union team next Friday night.”

Pacific won the pregame coin toss deferring to the second half giving Owensville the football to start the game.

Driving as far as Pacific’s 31-yard line, Cabot’s Dutchmen turned the ball over on downs.

Seeing the Indians nearly chew up the rest of the first-quarter clock, Owensville fell behind on a Raidon Fowler 6-yard touchdown run with :50 for the opening quarter.

Colton Kossuth’s missed extra point left the Dutchmen trailing the Indians 6-0 after one quarter.

Kossuth led Pacific and all rushers with a game-high 111 yards rushing on 25 carries.

Shortly after the Dutchmen defense forced a three-and-out of the Pacific offense, Owensville needed just one play to get on the scoreboard.

Tanner Meyer followed a long punt return with a 26-yard TD run at the 10:15 mark of the second quarter tying the game at 6-6.

Meyer finished the game with 107 yards rushing on 20 carries and two touchdowns.

Charlie Whelan’s extra point gave the Dutchmen a 7-6 lead on the road.

Seeing their next drive end on an Izach Reeder interception, Owensville’s defense was quickly sent back onto the field after just forcing another punting situation.

Five plays later, Fowler found the end zone again for Pacific from 12 yards away with :49 until halftime.

After the failed run for two points, OHS trailed Pacific 12-7 late in the first half.

Another Pacific interception nearly led to a larger halftime deficit for the Dutchmen.

With :11 for the half, Pacific had a 38-yard TD pass from Seth Stack to Reeder called back due to a holding penalty.

Instead of trailing by two scores, Owensville trailed 12-7 at halftime.

“We dodged a bullet at the end of the first half,” Cabot said. “We were fortunate to only trail at halftime by one score instead of possibly two.”

Midway through the third quarter, Owensville benefited from a short Pacific punt getting the ball at the Indian 31-yard line with 7:48 for the period.

Three plays into the drive, Garrett Crosby channeled his inner refrigerator on a 23-yard TD run near the midway point of the third quarter.

Crosby ended the night with 50 yards rushing on 11 carries and a score.

Sophomore quarterback Connor Fisher ran in the two-point conversion giving Owensville a 15-12 lead with 6:28 for the third quarter.

Fisher ended the night 5-13 passing for 27 yards and two interceptions.

Keeping Pacific on their end of the field the rest of the night, Cabot’s Dutchmen were given another short field when Pacific turned the ball over on downs with 4:17 for the fourth quarter.

Six running plays later, Meyer found the end zone for the second time from two yards away.

Whelan’s kick pushed the Dutchmen lead to 22-12 with 2:05 remaining.

During Pacific’s final drive, a Hunter Boyer sack and a Crosby pass deflection led to a turnover on downs allowing Owensville to run the clock out.

With Jaden Gerlemann recovering from an ankle injury, a trio of Dutchmen defenders stepped up with double-digit tackles.

Junior Blake Elliott showed the way with 13 total tackles followed by 11 stops from Boyer and 10 tackles from senior Austin Long.

Hayden Shoemaker just missed double digits with nine tackles followed by eight each from Chance Clevenger, Trey Johnson and Crosby.

OHS also won the junior varsity game 28-6 Monday night over the visiting Indians.

Owensville will host Union’s Wildcats Friday night at 7 p.m., marking the final regular season football game for the Class of 2023 Dutchmen football seniors.

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