Fourth-quarter lead disappears on final play

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/7/22

Tough luck.

It happens in life and it happens on the football field.

Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen found this out the hard way Friday night in the closing seconds of their …

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Fourth-quarter lead disappears on final play


Tough luck.

It happens in life and it happens on the football field.

Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen found this out the hard way Friday night in the closing seconds of their non-conference gridiron showdown with Eldon’s Mustangs.

Leading 26-21 with 6.4 seconds left, Eldon quarterback Hunter Hees hurled a pass downfield that deflected into the waiting hands of Devin Wardenburg for a 65-yard touchdown pass as time expired handing OHS a tough 27-26 loss.

“Sometimes things like that happen and Eldon just simply made a play,” Cabot said. “I’m proud of how our guys never gave up and got the lead back after we lost it midway through the fourth quarter.”

Penalties plagued both teams Friday night to the tune of multiple personal-foul flags on both teams.

“We made some mistakes that gave Eldon extra downs on offense,” Cabot said. “No matter who you play, you can’t give a team extra plays.”

Nearly four minutes into the game, a penalty cost the Dutchmen a potential touchdown.

Fielding a punt at their 20, Tanner Meyer returned it 80 yards for a touchdown.

However, it was wiped off the board on a personal-foul penalty at midfield against the Dutchmen.

Trading three-and-outs later in the quarter, Owensville got the ball back with 4:25 for the opening period on their 38-yard line.

A 12-yard run from Blake Elliott and a 13-yard run from Meyer moved OHS into Eldon territory at the 4:02 mark of the quarter.

Three plays later, Elliott found the end zone on a 27-yard TD run  with 1:40 for the first quarter.

Charlie Whelan’s extra point gave the Dutchmen a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Ending the first quarter with a 7-0 lead, Owensville saw Eldon shoot themselves in the foot with penalties to open the second quarter.

Flagged for a personal foul and a false start, the Mustangs suddenly saw themselves in a second-and-29 situation.

Only able to gain another yard, Eldon was forced to punt back to the Dutchmen.

Two plays after taking over on their 14-yard line, Owensville found pay dirt when Bryce Payne ran an option play 76 yards for a touchdown at the 8:59 mark of the second quarter. Whelan’s kick doubled the Dutchmen lead to 14-0.

Trading punts after Owensville’s second score, Eldon converted a pair of fourth downs on their next drive to get on the scoreboard.

Hees found Krystopher Shepard on a 13-yard TD pass with :43 left in the first half. Zac Smithson’s extra point was blocked leaving OHS’ lead at 14-6.

Three plays into Owensville’s next drive, they nearly ended the first half with another score.

Elliott called his own number on third-and-eight from the 43-yard line running it 51 yards before being stopped by Eldon’s Devon Hardy to end the first half.

Opening the second half with the football, Owensville’s offense was not involved in the scoring.

That is because Meyer returned the second-half kickoff 79 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown at the 11:48 mark of the third quarter. Whelan’s missed extra point left the Dutchmen lead at 20-6.

Entering the fourth quarter with a two-score lead, OHS quickly saw that lead cut in half on a Shepard 3-yard TD run. Shepard’s run for two points cut the OHS lead to 20-14 with 11:27 remaining.

Four minutes later, Hees tied the game at 20-20 on a 9-yard TD run before Smithson’s kick gave Eldon a 21-20 lead at the 7:10 mark of the fourth quarter.

Set up by a long Payne kickoff return, Elliott scored from a yard away with 6:05 left giving Owensville a 26-21 lead.

Unable to run the clock out, Owensville left Eldon with just enough time to complete their fourth-quarter comeback.

Elliott rushed for 111 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns while sophomore Jaden Gerlemann led the Dutchmen defense with 16 total tackles and three tackles-for-loss.


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