The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Knights beat Hicksville 44-18, now 2-0

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — After honoring 2001 Crestview graduate Brett Hammons and his family, the Knights took care of business by defeating Hicksville 44-18 on Friday night.

Hammons, who now coaches boys’ golf and boys’ basketball at Lincolnview High School, is receiving treatment for a brain tumor.

Crestview’s Donovan Wreath races down the sideline during Friday night’s game against Hicksville. Wreath scored twice in the game, once on offense and once on defense. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

The pregame ceremony sparked Crestview to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Kaden Kreischer kicked a 31-yard field goal, then after Hicksville’s Brody Balser scored on a 13-yard run, Donovan Wreath ran 28 yards for a touchdown and Rontae Jackson caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from JJ Ward as the period came to a close.

The second quarter saw the two teams trade alternating scores. Hicksville quarterback Aaron Klima threw the first of his two touchdown passes, connecting with Jackson Bergman from 68-yards out. The two point conversion failed, making it 17-12.

“You never feel comfortable when you’re going up against coach (Lucas) Smith and Hicksville,” Lautzenheiser stated.

Ward and the Knights (2-0) answered with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Rothgeb, but the Aces (0-2) came back and scored on a seven yard scoring pass from Klima to Kyler Baird.

Crestview’s Nick Helt capped off a nine play, 57-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown run with just 12 seconds left before halftime, giving the Knights a 31-18 advantage.

“In the first half we went a little bit up-tempo because we saw them bending over and sucking a little bit of wind and I think maybe the heat affected them a little more than us early on at least,” Crestview head coach James Lautzenheiser said.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Ward and Jackson connected for a 54-yard score with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter, then Wreath put the finishing touches on the game with a 30-yard strip and score.

Ward finished 10-of-14 for 199 yards and three touchdowns, giving him six touchdown passes in two games. Jackson had two receptions for 100 yards while Rothgeb had three catches for 58 yards.

“He’s really focused on improving and he knows what the game plan is and I like the way he’s going right now,” Lautzenheiser said of Ward.

The Knights also rushed for 282 yards, with Wreath logging eight carries for 133 yards and Helt finishing with 13 carries for 59 yards. Jackson had a pair of carries for 45 yards.

“Donny decided two years ago that he didn’t want to play offensive line any more and wanted to make sure he was going to be a fullback,” Lautzenheiser said. “He’s done everything he possibly can to transform his body and his mind into becoming a really great football player. It’s a great example of what a young leader can do.”

As a team, Crestview rolled up 468 yards of total offense.

Nick Helt takes on two Hicksville Aces. Bob Barnes photo

Klima was 21-of-35 for 283 yards with Baird catching 10 passes for 104 yards and Bergman making four grabs for 134 yards. Klima also had five carries for 84 yards and Balser had 13 totes for 38 yards.

Crestview will play at non-conference rival Wayne Trace on Friday night.

Scoring summary

First quarter

CV – Kaden Kreischer 30-yard field goal
H – Brody Balser 13-yard run (pass failed)
CV – Donovan Wreath 28-yard run (Kreischer kick)
CV – JJ Ward 44-yard pass to Rontae Jackson (Kreischer kick)

Second quarter

H – Aaron Klima 68-yard pass to Jackson Bergman (pass failed)
CV – JJ Ward 52-yard pass to Hunter Rothgeb (Kreischer kick)
H – Aaron Klima 7-yard pass to Kyler Baird (pass failed)
CV – Nick Helt 18-yard run (Kreischer kick)

Fourth quarter

CV – JJ Ward 54-yard to Rontae Jackson (Kreischer kick)
H – Donovan Wreath 30-yard fumble return (kick failed)

POSTED: 08/27/21 at 11:49 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports