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The Blitz

High school football: Midview rallies from three TDs down, but Olmsted Falls pulls away late

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Midview's Connor Wolfe runs Friday, Oct. 13th. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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EATON TWP. — After Midview fell behind by three touchdowns early in the first half Friday night, coach D.J. Shaw got exactly what he wanted from his players.

The Middies scored on their first two possessions of the second half to tie the game and everything appeared to be going their way, but somehow the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs found a way to answer with two late scores and come away with a 41-27 upset victory.

“We just didn’t play well in the first half on either side of the ball,” Shaw said. “I was proud of the way our kids responded at halftime. We came out on the opening drive and got a score, quick stop and then another score and we tied it up. We had all the momentum and things were going good, and it just seems we couldn’t get that key stop on third down when we needed it (the rest of the game).”

The Bulldogs (7-1, 6-1 Southwestern Conference) scored on their first four possessions.

Luke Lombardo opened with an 11-yard touchdown run up the middle, breaking a handful of tackles along the way. Braden Galaska grabbed a short pass from Teddy Grendzynski and made a move to get free before sprinting 78 yards for the second score. Josh Jaeckin made a nice cutback on a sweep to score on a 56-yard run. Jack Spellacy zipped around the left end for a 20-yard score seconds into the second quarter to give Olmsted Falls a 27-6 lead.

“It’s a hard offense to defend,” Shaw said. “They run it really well. Their kids play hard, they’re physical and they’ve got some weapons. It’s tough.”

The Middies (6-2, 5-2) scored on their opening drive — a 51-yard sprint down the middle by senior running back Connor Wolfe — and added another Wolfe score in the second quarter to make it 27-13 at the half.

Then senior quarterback Seamus Higley hit senior wide receiver Nick Crum across the middle for an 18-yard touchdown on the opening drive, the Middies defense stopped Olmsted Falls on fourth-and-2 at the Midview 48-yard line and Higley capped the next drive with a 2-yard run to tie the game at 27.

“Guys are missing blocks and they are beating us to a point. Those are problems,” Bulldogs coach Tom DeLuca said. “We have to make sure our technique is proper or we need to pick up our effort, because their kids were coming, they were playing.

“As far as blocking down when we needed to block down, fitting on linebackers when we need to fit on linebackers, getting under the safeties … our game plan going in was to block the perimeter with our A-backs and make sure that we’re taking care of inside the tackles. At times we weren’t doing that and we were getting stuck. We started cleaning that up and we marched right down the field, it was clicking.”

The click came on the drive after Higley’s score, when the Bulldogs went 80 yards in six plays and Lombardo scored his second touchdown from 5 yards.

The key play came from junior quarterback Grendzynski, who made a nice read on a sweep option and cut across the middle of the field for a 45-yard gain. Grendzynski also had a nice run and a big pass to pick up a pair of first downs on the Bulldogs’ fourth-quarter scoring drive, which was capped by Lombardo’s third touchdown run.

“Our quarterback did pretty good,” DeLuca said. “He read our triple-option play pretty well tonight. He had some big plays. When he reads it right, it’s really hard to stop.”

The final scoring drive included a bit of controversy, as Lombardo gained 9 yards on first down around midfield but lost the ball at the end of the play. No initial call was made, but the officials huddled for several seconds before the referee stepped back and signaled that Midview had recovered the ball.

While the teams were sending out their new units, the officials huddled again, then announced that there had been an inadvertent whistle and the result would be thrown out and the down replayed.

“I felt like we forced a turnover there, and it was an inadvertent whistle or something like that and they took it away from us,” Shaw said. “When they gave us the ball, the guy didn’t say he had an inadvertent whistle, then all of a sudden it was an inadvertent whistle. I’m not sure what they were discussing — maybe it was just about the spot or something like that — but they didn’t tell me that.

“I thought that was a huge turning point in the game.”

Despite the setback, the Middies still have a great chance of making the playoffs, which took a little bit of the sting out of the loss on Senior Night.

“Midview is just the best place to be,” Higley said. “Win or lose, the fans are the most loyal. As a team, we just have to stick together like brothers.”

Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or sbennett@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @ShaunBennettct on Twitter.

 

Olmsted Falls 41, Midview 27

Olmsted Falls 19 8 7 7 -- 41

Midview 6 7 14 0 -- 27

Scoring

OF -- Luke Lombardo, 11 run (Jake Politowski kick)

M -- Connor Wolfe, 51 run (pass failed)

OF -- Braden Galaska, 78 pass from Teddy Grendzynski (kick failed)

OF -- Josh Jaeckin, 56 run (kick failed)

OF -- Jack Spellacy, 20 run (Spellacy run)

M -- Wolfe, 4 run (Christian Roig kick)

M -- Nick Crum, 18 pass from Seamus Higley (kick failed)

M -- Higley, 2 run (Wolfe run)

OF -- Lombardo, 5 run (Politowski kick)

OF -- Lombardo, 1 run (Politowski kick)

Team statistics

OF M

First downs 19 15

-- by rushing 17 9

-- by passing 2 5

-- by penalty 0 1

Yards rushing 394 212

Yards passing 104 92

Total offense 498 304

Passes att./comp. 4/2 28/11

Intercepted by 1 0

Fumbles/lost 0/0 0/0

Penalties/yards 7/63 3/35

Individual statistics

RUSHING — (OF) Jack Spellacy 15-100, Luke Lombardo 20-87, Teddy Grendzynski 9-76, Josh Jaeckin 4-62, Michael Howard 2-50, Nick Daily 7-19. (M) Connor Wolfe 19-140, Ben Gendics 4-41, Seamus Higley 7-21, Seth Sanders 1-6, Alonzo Banks 1-5.

PASSING — (OF) Grendzynski 2-4-104-1-0. (M) Higley 11-28-92-1-1.

RECEIVING — (OF) Braden Galaska 2-104. (M) Sanders 5-36, Nick Crum 4- 36, Banks 1-14, Gendics 1-6.

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