The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Knights stun Jefferson with late rally

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — It appeared injury-riddled Crestview was headed toward a second consecutive loss but the Knights rallied with a pair of fourth quarter scores and went on to defeat Delphos Jefferson 31-28 on Friday.

Jefferson quarterback Colin Bailey had scored on a 63-yard run and Braylon Scalf added the extra point to give the Wildcats a seemingly comfortable 28-17 lead with 7:49 left in the game.

Crestview’s Carson Hunter passed for 289 yards and three touchdowns against Delphos Jefferson on Friday. He also ran for a two-point conversion. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

However, Crestview’s Carson Hunter, who filled in for JJ Ward, engineered a drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to Kellin Putman. The two-point conversion was no good and the Knights trailed 28-23 with 3:47 left, then Kaden Kreischer perfectly placed an onside kick that was recovered by Crestview.

“I had no doubt it was going to be a good kick,” Crestview head coach James Lautzenheiser said. “He’s getting really good at that part of the game. They knew we were going to kick it like that but he just put it perfectly on the grass then our guys fought for it in the scrum.”

From there, Hunter and the Knights (4-1, 1-1 NWC) drove 38 yards in eight plays and scored on a 14-yard touchdown run by Nick Helt and a two-point conversion run by Hunter that capped the comeback win.

“We challenged Carson Hunter and Ryan Sowers to compete all week and they both did a great job getting ready and either one could have played tonight,” Lautzenheiser said. “When we were able to get the ball back on the onside kick he led us down there and we punched it in.”

Hunter completed 14-of-28 passes for 289 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The first touchdown pass was a 62-yarder to Rontae Jackson, followed by an extra point by Kreischer that gave Crestview a 7-0 lead with 8:31 left in the opening quarter. The kick gave Kreischer the school PAT career record.

The senior kicker added a 19-yard field goal that gave the Knights a 10-0 advantage with 7:21 left in the second quarter but a five-yard touchdown run by Bailey and one-yard touchdown pass from Bailey to Tanner Voorhees and a two-point conversion gave the Wildcats a 14-10 halftime.

“We talked a lot at halftime about getting back on track with what our goals were and how did we want to respond,” Lautzenheiser said. “Were we going to make excuses about the guys who weren’t playing or were we going to move forward as a team and take care of business tonight.”

Delphos Jefferson (2-3, 0-2 NWC) grabbed a 21-10 third quarter lead on Bailey’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Simmons and a PAT by Scalf, but Hunter tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, a 48-yarder to Jackson, followed by Kreischer’s extra point that made it 21-17, a score that stood until the fourth quarter.

Jackson finished with two receptions for 110 yards and the two scores.

Bailey finished 20-of-35 for 168 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.

The Knights will travel to Bluffton on Friday while the Wildcats will host Ada on Saturday.

“Coach Richards has done a great job of building a team with his culture, Lautzenheiser said. “He wants to run the ball with an option attack and some power read stuff. Bluffton is a tough environment to get a win.”

POSTED: 09/18/21 at 12:15 am. FILED UNDER: Sports