The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, May. 31, 2020

Preview: 4-5 Paulding at 4-5 Crestview

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — The 2019 season will come to an end for NWC rivals Crestview and Paulding on Friday and both teams are looking to end the campaign on a high note.

For Crestview (4-5, 3-3 NWC), it will be the final game for four seniors – quarterback/defensive back Kaden Short, running back/defensive back Caylib Pruett, offensive/defensive lineman Colby Swager and offensive lineman/linebacker Isaiah LaTurner.

“Our seniors are four high character, hard working, very successful individuals,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said. “They have been great leaders on our team and have a chance to be the winningest class in our history on Friday. I am proud of the young men they have become. They are all good students and have great things in front of them.”

Meanwhile, visiting Paulding (4-5, 3-3 NWC) will try to send eight seniors out with a win.

The Crestview Knights hope to score several touchdowns against Paulding on Friday. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

“There’s a lot on the line for our team this Friday and first objective is sending these seniors out on a high note,” Paulding head coach Tyler Arend said. “We will have to play really solid on both sides of the football to get it done against a talented Crestview team, but our guys know what we are capable of and I expect them to go out and play well.”

The Knights have lost three of their last four games to three teams (Columbus Grove, Spencerville and Allen East) with a combined record of 20-7.

“Even though we lost some tough games along the way, I really feel like we are a better team today than we were earlier in the season,” Owens said. “They have continued to take coaching and work hard in practice. I am extremely proud of this team’s attitude and effort.”

It appears Brody Brecht will end the season as the NWC’s leading rusher. Entering Friday night, Brecht has 186 carries for 1,362 and 15 touchdowns, and the junior has spearheaded a running game that averages 293 yards per game.

The Panthers enter Friday’s season finale having won three of their last four games, including 70-40 over Ada last Friday. Senior running back Jacob Deisler rushed for an eye-popping 362 yards and five touchdowns in that game, which brought his season total to 1,116 yards and 14 scores, second behind Brecht.

“We have been happy with our ability to run the football over these past four games,” Paulding head coach Tyler Arend said. “We have averaged close to 290 rushing yards a game during that stretch and it has allowed us to control the tempo of the game and put some points on the board.”

“We have been smart with the football and have been winning the turnover margin as well,” Arend added. “We will need to continue these trends going into this week’s game at Crestview.”

Along with Deisler’s totals, Fernando Garcia has rushed for 643 yards and nine touchdowns on 113 carries, and as a team, the Panthers are averaging 227 yards rushing per game.

Through the air, Paulding quarterback Peyton Beckman has completed 56 of 110 passes for 779 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. His favorite target has been Caleb Manz, who has 22 receptions for 341 yards and five touchdowns.

“Paulding’s coaching staff are all people that know football, work hard and care about their players,” Owens said. “Due to these reasons they have improved each season under coach Arend and will be prepared to play on Friday. We will have to prepare well and be ready to play.”

On defense, Paulding allows 32 points and 352 yards per game, including 199 yards rushing per outing.

“Crestview is a very talented team who poses a lot of threats,” Arend said of the Knights. “They also are going to want to run the football effectively and I think this game comes down to who can control the line of scrimmage and who will make key plays at big moments in the game.”

Friday’s Paulding at Crestview game will air live on WKSD 99.7FM.

POSTED: 10/30/19 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: Sports