The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Friday Flashback: VW falls to Celina

Note: Van Wert will begin Western Buckeye League play against Celina tonight and the Cougars hope the result is different than 10 years ago, when the 2011 pigskin team rallied in the fourth quarter but still came up short against the Bulldogs. Below is the story as it appeared on the VW independent Sports page.

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Celina Bulldogs capitalized on Van Wert miscues to ruin the Cougars’ Homecoming with a 28-18 Western Buckeye League victory at Eggerss Stadium on Friday.

Van Wert’s Lucas Sullivan breaks tackles on his way to a touchdown during Friday’s game against Celina. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

Van Wert outgained the Bulldogs and had more first downs, but Celina spent most of the game in Cougar territory, scoring 21 points in the first quarter alone to come up with the victory, its first of the season. Van Wert remains winless at 0-5 in the league and 0-6 overall. The Bulldogs are 1-4 in the WBL and 1-5 overall.

Celina scored twice in the first quarter, both on pass plays. Quarterback Braden Billger hit Zach Hembree on a 15-yard scoring strike with 8:31 remaining on the first-quarter clock and Braelen Bader kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Bulldog lead.

Celina repeated the process 4 ½ minutes later, as Billger hit Andy Moriarity this time on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 4 minutes even left in the quarter. Bader again split the uprights on the point-after kick and the Bulldogs were up by 14 points when the first stanza ended.

The Cougars got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when Lucas Sullivan broke through tacklers and rambled 64 yards for a TD with 9:46 remaining in the first half. That made it 14-6, but the Bulldogs also hit paydirt in the quarter when Billger connected with Bader on a 44-yard aerial score with 3:21 remaining in the half. Bader also kicked the PAT and the score was 21-6 when the halftime gun sounded.

Celina put its final score on the board in the third quarter when Hembree ran the ball in from the Cougar 2-yard line with 3:12 left on the third-quarter clock. Bader kicked his fourth PAT of the game and the Bulldogs were up by 22 points, 28-6.

Although they were a dollar short and a day late, the Cougars started to click offensively, scoring twice in the final stanza to give Celina a bit of a scare.

Van Wert quarterback Chandler Adams, who started in place of the ailing Tyler Williams, ran 17 yards to paydirt for the first of the two Cougar TDs with just 42 ticks off the fourth-quarter clock. After the Van Wert defense held the Bulldogs on their next possession, the Cougars scored their final touchdown when Sullivan again broke away for a 45-yard scoring romp. Neither PAT attempt was good and the final score was 28-18, Celina.

Sullivan was the workhorse for the Van Wert offense, rushing the ball 28 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Hembree was the Bulldogs’ top rusher with 51 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

Bader caught six passes for 54 yards and a TD for Celina.

The Cougars are at Defiance next week to play another set of Bulldogs in WBL action. Defiance is 2-3 in league play and 3-3 overall after eking out a 21-20 win over St. Marys on Friday.

POSTED: 08/27/21 at 3:53 am. FILED UNDER: Sports