The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Friday Flashback: VW holds on vs. O-G

Note: The Van Wert/Ottawa-Glandorf series has become one of the most competitive ones over the past four years. This week’s Friday Flashback takes us back to the 2017 season when the Cougars held off the Titans for a two point win. Below is the story as it appeared on the VW independent Sports page.

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Make it three wins in four games for Van Wert.

The Cougars led state-ranked Ottawa-Glandorf 19-3 after three quarters, then held on for a 19-17 Western Buckeye League win Friday night at Eggerss Stadium.

The victory was Van Wert’s first over the Titans since 2004.

“This is an awesome feeling,” head coach Keith Recker said. “It was kind of expected (to win). We felt like we could come out here and play with these guys, and I’m very proud of them for that.”

Jake Hilleary carries the ball for Van Wert. Jerry Mason for the Van Wert independent

Both teams moved the ball in the first quarter, but were unable to score. The Cougars fumbled on the Ottawa-Glandorf 28, then later turned the ball over on downs late in the quarter. The Titans then ran 10 plays, including eight consecutives rushes by running back Daniel Beemer, to set up a 43-yard field goal by Tristen Ball. Beemer finished the night with 25 carries for 149 yards.

Van Wert responded with a nine-play 72-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Nate Place to Jacoby Kelly. The drive featured three runs by running back Jake Hilleary for 32 yards, and the Cougars led 6-3 with 5:47 left in the second quarter.

Jordan Danylchuk and Parker Conrad teamed up to end Ottawa-Glandorf’s next drive, when Danylchuk tipped a pass and Conrad made a diving interception at the Cougar 27. From there, Van Wert chewed up nearly three minutes and scored on a three-yard touchdown run by James Acquaviva to give the Cougars a 12-3 lead. Place had 31 yards rushing on the drive and completed two crucial passes, a four-yarder to tight end Drew Bagley on third-and-three, and a 25-yarder to Kelly.

The Cougars received the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards in 10 plays, all on the ground. Four different ball carriers were used, and Hilleary capped off the scoring drive with a three-yard run. Jake Lautzenheiser’s extra point was good, and Van Wert enjoyed a 19-3 lead with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter.


“That was huge because it put us up three scores and gave us some confidence,” Recker said. “Our offensive line took it upon themselves (to control the line of scrimmage).”

The Titans (1-3, 1-2 WBL) rallied in the fourth quarter, but came up short. Jacob Bellbaugh fired a 17-yard touchdown pass to Chris Tippie with 9:54 left, and Ball’s extra point trimmed the deficit to 19-10.

Aided by a personal foul and a pass interference penalty, the Cougars found paydirt again with 3:27 left, when Bellbaugh connected with Jarrod Beach for a 15-yard score. Ball’s PAT made it 19-17.

From there, the Cougars used carries by Place, Acquavia and Hilleary, and a six-yard pass from Place to Storm Pierce to run the remaining time off the clock.

“We’re doing things we haven’t done in six years here,” Recker said. “That’s two league champions that we beat, and we entered the field feeling like we should beat them.”

Acquavia finished the game with 11 carries for 38 yards and a score, while Hilleary had 13 carries, 81 yards and a touchdown. Place rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries and completed 14 of 19 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Jacoby Kelly had six catches for 64 yards, Bagley had five receptions for 44 yards and Storm Pierce finished with three catches for 19 yards.

Van Wert (3-1, 2-1 WBL) will travel to Lima to take on Shawnee next Friday night.

Scoring summary:

9:41 2nd qtr: Tristen Ball 43 yard field goal 3-0 OG
5:47 2nd qtr: Nate Place 21 yard pass to Jacoby Kelly (kick no good) 6-3 VW
0:44 2nd qtr: James Acquaviva 3 yard run (run failed) 12-3 VW
8:30 3rd qtr: Jake Hilleary 3 yard run (Jake Lautzenheiser kick) 19-3 VW
9:54 4th qtr: Jacob Ballbaugh 17 yard pass to Chris Tippie (Ball kick) 19-10 VW
3:27 4th qtr: Jacob Ballbaugh 15 yard pass to Jarrod Beach (Ball kick) 19-17 VW

POSTED: 09/24/21 at 4:00 am. FILED UNDER: Sports