Moeller wins shootout against Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian
September 2, 2012Cincinnati Moeller High School
By Scott Hutchinson, Cincinnati Enquirer
LOCKLAND- The remnants of Hurricane Isaac didn’t hit the Tri-State area until after Moeller’s clash with Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian Saturday, but the top-ranked Crusaders still found themselves weathering quite a storm at Lockland Memorial Stadium.
After allowing 299 yards of total offense in the first half, Moeller trailed, before battling back to narrowly escape with a 42-34 victory over the visiting Eagles.
Despite the early struggles, Moeller coach John Rodenberg said his squad’s second-half surge didn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the Crusaders' locker room.
“There are two halves to a football game,” he said. “We had a little adversity, but we recognized what they were doing to us, we adjusted, and we asked our guys how they were going to react to it.”
Moeller reacted in a major way, stepping up defensively in the second half and controlling the pace of the game with a seemingly unstoppable offensive attack.
The Crusaders' comeback began on the opening snap of the third quarter, when senior quarterback Spencer Iacovone found fellow senior running back Keith Watkins for a 79-yard score, setting the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.
After a Grand Rapids Christian field goal stretched the Eagles’ lead back to six midway through the third, Moeller’s senior duo struck once again, as Watkins took an Iacavone handoff 50 yards to give the Crusaders their first lead of the game and spark a 21-point Moeller run.
While the Eagles threatened to draw even in the game’s waning moments, a fourth down fumble with just minutes remaining erased any hope of a comeback and secured the Moeller victory.
Watkins led the Crusaders' ground attack, racking up 219 yards and two touchdowns on the day, while Iacovone threw for 166 yards and two scores of his own.
Grand Rapids Christian was led by senior quarterback Alex VanDeVusse, who totaled 282 yards and three touchdowns through the air, as well as junior wide out Drake Harris who caught seven passes for 101 yards and a score.
While Coach Rodenberg and his team said they were pleased with the victory, Moeller now turns its attention to Week 3, and yet another tough out-of-town opponent in Detroit Catholic Central.
“We don’t have an easy game on our schedule,” Rodenberg said. “Everyone we have played has given us their best shot, and they’ll be no different. It’s back to the practice field and back to drawing board. We’ve go to be ready.”
Moeller, ranked No. 12 in the nation by USA Today, improved to 2-0 with the victory, while Grand Rapids Christian fell to 1-1 on the year.
G.R. Christian 14 10 3 7 —34
Moeller 7 7 21 7 —42
G-Barfield 36 pass from VanDeVusse (Schipper kick).
M-Ragland fumble recovery in end zone (Reiniger kick).
G-Harris 29 pass from VanDeVusse (Schipper kick).
G-Crouch 11 pass from VanDeVusse 15 pass from Marty (Schipper).M-Watkins 37 run (Reiniger kick).
G-Schipper 48 FG
M-Watkins 79 pass from Iacavone (Reiniger kick).
G-Schipper 47 FG
M- Watkins 50 run (Reiniger kick)
M-Pieper 17 pass from Iacavone (Reiniger kick).
M-Eramo 2 run (Reiniger kick).
G-VanDeVusse 4 run (Schipper kick)
Records: M 2-0 G 1-1.