The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Treece leads VW to 46-20 playoff win

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Owen Treece threw four touchdown passes and ran for three more to lead No. 5 seed Van Wert to a 46-20 Division IV Region 14 playoff win over No. 12 seed Port Clinton at Eggerss Stadium on Saturday.

The victory, the second home playoff win in school history, puts the Cougars (6-1) in the regional quarterfinals at No. 4 seed Keystone next Saturday. The Lorain County-based Wildcats advanced by defeating Edison 46-27.

Owen Treece accounted for seven touchdowns vs. Port Clinton. Bob Barnes photos

Three of Treece’s touchdown passes came in the first quarter – a 34-yarder to a streaking Dru Johnson just three plays into the game, a 68-yarder to a wide open Connor Pratt with 9:40 left in the period 25 yards to Johnson with 25 seconds remaining in the quarter that gave Van Wert an 18-0 advantage. The fourth and final touchdown pass was 11 yards to Nathan Jackson on the first play of the fourth quarter, which gave Van Wert a 39-13 lead.

“Going in we knew how they’d align and we really liked the matchups, especially Dru, he’s just a tough matchup for any safety,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said.

The first of Treece’s three rushing touchdowns came from nine yards out at the 4:29 mark of the second quarter and put the Cougars ahead 25-0. He also scored from six yards out with 6:30 left in the third quarter and from 18 yards out with 9:34 left in the game.

“We thought with their 3-4 defense there were going to be some running lanes and so we worked on that hard in practice this week,” Recker said. “Owen did a really nice job of setting up blocks too.”

Treece finished the game 21-of-27 for 292 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, along with 17 carries for 121 yards and three scores. Connor Pratt caught five passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson hauled in six receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson had six catches for 56 yards and a score.

Port Clinton’s first touchdown came on a six yard pass from Cam Gillum to Garrett Cornell with 6:30 left in the third quarter, then after intercepting Treece, the Redskins (4-4) drove 58 yards and scored on a seven yard pass from Gillum to Owen Auxter.

The final score of the game was a 22-yard touchdown pass from Gillum to Jonah Sidney with 2:51 left in the game. Gillum completed 17-of-22 tosses for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Tommy Owens caught six passes for 84 yards, while Josh Hurst pulled in four passes for 62 yards.

Dru Johnson hauled in two touchdown passes on Saturday.

“How the second half went was how I thought the whole game was going to go,” Recker said. “We’re lucky we got up early and were able to come away with some stops down by our goal line, but they have too many good players to lay down in the second half, so I was proud of our guys – they kept going and pushing.”

Keystone, a member of the Lorain County League, will enter Saturday’s game at 7-0.

“They have some nice looking skill kids and they were the No. 1 seed in our region last year so they’re going to be a solid team, but we’ll go anywhere in Ohio right now,” Recker said.

Scoring summary

VW 18 7 14 7 – 46
PC 0 0 13 7 – 20

First quarter

VW – Owen Treece 34-yard pass to Dru Johnson (kick failed)
VW – Owen Treece 68-yard pass to Connor Pratt (kick failed)
VW – Owen Treece 25-yard pass to Dru Johnson (pass failed)

Second quarter

VW – Owen Treece 9-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)

Third quarter

PC – Cam Gillum 7-yard pass to Garrett Cornell (Andrew Hanson kick)
VW – Owen Treece 6-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)
PC – Cam Gillum 7-yard pass to Owen Auxter (kick failed)
VW – Owen Treece 11-yard pass to Nate Jackson (Damon McCracken kick)

Fourth quarter

VW – Owen Treece 18-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)
PC – Cam Gillum 22-yard pass to Jonah Sidney (Andrew Hanson kick)

POSTED: 10/17/20 at 10:59 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports