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Gibsonburg rallies to win big

October 24, 2011
Danbury High School

Gibsonburg rallies to win big

Oct. 22, 2011  


Written by

Nick Marlow

News-Messenger sports correspondent



GIBSONBURG -- In a cold and muddy battle, Danbury could not match a solid first-half effort. Gibsonburg scored 30-unanswered points en route to a 30-6 Toledo Area Athletic Conference victory.

With little going good in the first half for both teams -- combining for only 200 yards of offense -- the Golden Bears (5-4, 3-2) came out and ran the ball down the Lakers' throat in the third and fourth quarter with good blocking from its offensive line, and outstanding efforts from quarterback Matt Tille and running back Jeremiah Brauer.

"We just wanted to use the size and strength that we had and try and go right at them and see how they responded," Golden Bears coach Steve Resser said. "Depending on how they responded it would have altered some of our calls, but I felt that we were starting to take the over on the ground, so obviously we took that path."

Brauer led the way with 155 yards and a touchdown, 120 yards coming in the second half. The sophomore also returned a Danbury (3-6, 1-4) punt for a score mid-way through the fourth quarter and intercepted a pass from Danbury's Lucas Kennedy in the second quarter on a PAT.

Likewise, Tille flourished in the second half, despite a modest performance in the first. The quarterback, who recorded only eight yards and an interception on 2-8 passing in the first half, racked up 60 yards, completing 66 percent of his passes.

He rushed for 51 yards and two scores in the second half.

Gibsonburg's defensive effort was solid throughout, holding the Lakers to just 129 yards of offense and only 37 yards in the second half. The Golden Bears held Kennedy to minus-3 yards on 14 carries, dropping the quarterback in the backfield on four occasions.

"We got some young coaches on our staff that are doing a nice job," Resser said. "They're just starting to understand where they need to be in the scheme of things. They're really starting to gel. Our front six are playing very well, our outside backs are doing a nice job, DBs keep running every week; I'm happy with the defense's performance tonight."

But Kennedy had quite a game defensively.

Asked to play both sides of the ball during all four quarters, Kennedy sacked and intercepted Tille in the first half, before blocking a Jeremy Leavitt field goal in the fourth quarter.

"We've been doing that forever," Danbury coach Tim Heffernan said. "That's just the way we play. We go both ways, and if you're playing football at Danbury that's what you got to expect."

The game was scoreless until 8:25 in the second quarter, when a Gibsonburg fumble aided a 10-yard connection from Kennedy to Cody Schenk. Kennedy tossed the ball up to his 6-foot 2-inch receiver, who caught the ball and tapped his toes in bounds in the back right corner of the end zone. Brauer would intercept Kennedy on the PAT, putting the score at 6-0, which would be the only scoring of the first half.

The Golden Bears opened the second half with a 64-yard drive on 11 plays that would eventually result in Gibsonburg turning the ball over on downs at the Lakers' 1-yard line. However, Nick Metcalf and Jared Columber would jointly put the Golden Bears' on the board on the very next play, as the two defensive linemen tackled Molnar in the end zone for a safety.

Danbury would punt the ball out of bounds after the safety, giving Gibsonburg the ball in Lakers territory.

The Golden Bears would score quickly thereafter, when a 36-yard pass from Tille to Isiah Arriaga down the left sideline set up a one yard touchdown run from Tille.

Gibsonburg struck again five minutes later. Brauer capped the scoring drive with an eight-yard run from the back across the pylon with 11:54 to go in the fourth.

A punt return from Brauer put the game out of reach for the Lakers. After Kennedy blocked a 21-yard field goal attempt from Leavitt, the Lakers took over deep in their own territory. An 11-yard sack from Gibsonburg's Logan Jones forced the Lakers to kick out of their own end zone on fourth down.

A high snap forced the punter to hurry a line-drive boot to Brauer, who ran the ball back 41 yards for another TD.

"Gibsonburg's a good team. We gave them everything we could handle for a half of game," Heffernan said. "Unfortunately you have to play all four quarters. That was a weight room loss for us. Those kids are big and strong up front, and we weren't big and strong enough up front to contain them."


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