The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022

No. 9 Cougars roll by Shawnee 49-14

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

LIMA — No. 9 Van Wert passed and ran by Shawnee 49-14 on Friday night, keeping the Cougars on track for at least a share of Western Buckeye League championship.

The majority of passing yards came in the first two quarters. By halftime Aidan Pratt had connected on 27-of-32 passes for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns passes. The junior quarterback went on to finish 30-of-37 for 270 yards and three touchdowns, with nine of his passes going to Connor Pratt for 103 yards and two scores. He also went on to rush for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

Aidan Pratt (15) threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores while Nate Jackson (20) had two rushing touchdowns against Shawnee. Jerry Mason/file photo

The Cougar ground game took over in the second half, accounting for 164 of the team’s 213 rushing yards.

“Shawnee is very good defensively against the run and they have good sized linemen and linebackers and they play downhill very well,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “We thought we could get some things on the perimeter and our tempo was very good in the first half and into the second half which tired them out and allowed our running game to get going.”

The Cougars (6-1, 5-1 WBL) scored on their first three possessions and bolted out to a 21-0 lead. Pratt tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Pratt on the opening drive of the game and Damon McCracken added the first of seven extra points, then Pratt connected with Maddix Crutchfield from four yards out to give Van Wert a 14-0 lead with 2:22 left in the first quarter.

Pratt’s three-yard touchdown run with 9:24 left in the second quarter put Van Wert up by three scores and it looked the Cougars were ready to roll. However, Shawnee quarterback Tyler Windau three a 43-yard touchdown pass to Miles Aldrich to make it 21-7 with 5:56 left in the period.

Just over a minute later, Shawnee linebacker Derek Lyons intercepted a pass by Pratt and raced 55 yards for a touchdown to pull the Indians within seven. After forcing Van Wert into a three-and-out, Shawnee had the ball and a chance to tie the game but the Cougar defense forced a quick punt, which set the stage for a 51-yard pass from Pratt to Garett Gunter and one play later, a two-yard scoring run by the junior quarterback to extend the lead to 28-14.

Any hopes of Shawnee (4-3, 3-3 WBL) adding a score before halftime were dashed when defensive end Ty Jackson sacked Windau for a 21-yard loss.

The Cougars put the game out of reach with three touchdowns in the third quarter – a one-yard run by Nate Jackson, a 36-yard pass from Pratt to Pratt and a 67-yard run by Jackson (eight carries, 88 yards) on the final play of the period.

Jackson’s run triggered the continuous clock rule for the entire fourth quarter.

In addition to 483 yards of total offense, Van Wert’s defense held Shawnee to just two yards rushing and 156 yards of total offense. Windau finished 15-of-28 for 154 yards.

“We’re very happy with this win and especially with the way we played,” Recker said. “To beat them 49-14, I’m really proud of our guys. Coach (Cole) Harting called really good plays offensively and we moved the ball and had guys making great plays.”

Van Wert will host Kenton for homecoming on Friday.

Scoring summary

First quarter

VW – Aidan Pratt 4-yard pass to Connor Pratt (Damon McCracken kick)
VW – Aidan Pratt 4-yard pass to Maddix Crutchfield (Damon McCracken kick)

Second quarter

VW – Aidan Pratt 3-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)
SH – Tyler Windau 43-yard pass to Miles Aldrich (Tyler Kimmet kick)
SH – Derek Lyons 55-yard interception return (Tyler Kimmet kick)

Third quarter

VW – Nate Jackson 1-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)
VW – Aidan Pratt 46-yard pass to Connor Pratt (Damon McCracken kick)
VW – Nate Jackson 67-yard run (Damon McCracken kick)

POSTED: 10/01/21 at 11:17 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports