Potters/Falcons/Buckeyes

Friday night at Struthers was one of the crazier high school games I have seen, won by the Potters 28-21 in 2OT.  The Potters got a 1st quarter touchdown on an 80 yard fumble return; the play was a clean strip of the Struthers quarterback by Marky Tompkins.  That score stood until Struthers tied the game late in the 3rd quarter.  Then the Wildcats scored to go ahead with 54.5 seconds remaining in the game and the Potters out of timeouts.  Game over?  As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friend!”  Willie Leavell ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Struthers 30 yard line and it took just 2 plays for the Potters to get the ball in the end zone and they made the extra point to force overtime.  In the 1st overtime Struthers had the ball first and threw an interception on the 3rd play of the drive.  However, the Potters fumbled on the 1st play and it went to the 2nd overtime.  East Liverpool appeared to score on the 3rd play, however a bizarre high school rule that prevents a ball carrier from leaping over a standing defender meant that Marky Tompkin’s run was actually a personal foul penalty.  Facing 4th and 15 from the 25 he threw a ball into the back corner of the end zone that was caught for a touchdown.  When the Struthers possession ended in another interception the Potters had the win to improve to 4-1.  They will next play undefeated Martins Ferry next Friday night at Patterson Field.

An unfortunate sidebar to this game was the inexcusably lax conduct by the chain gain in Struthers during the game.  On numerous occassions they would move the chains before the referee told them to, and then had to move back or the down marker guy had the wrong down number on the marker.  There was one time that the Struthers players and crowd thought they had stopped the Potters on a 4th down, not having noticed the down marker guy correctly switching it from 3rd back to 2nd earlier in the sequence.  Also, there was a play where the Potters, facing 4th and 17, punted.  The chain people started to move downfield not noticing the ref had thrown a flag for roughing the punter.  When they re-positioned the chains they went 5 yards too far upfield, causing it to look like 4th & 12.  Mind you, defensive fouls in high school are not automatic 1st downs.  This play became a 1st down, though, when administering the penalty moved the ball incorrectly past the down to gain pole.  The Potters then ran the half out.

As for Bowling Green, playing at Michigan was going to be a tall order, and going with the backup quarterback didn’t help.  Still it would have been nice to not let Michigan get 9 touchdowns, especially given 6.5 of those drives were with Denard Robinson out of the game.  Either way, losing is hardly shocking; hopefully like last year when they went 1-3 in non-conference play they can have a good conference season.  They are not the favorite to win the East but I don’t think there are any games on the remaining schedule you would exactly call unwinnable.

I wonder how many basketball games this year the Buckeyes will fail to score 73 points?  Eastern Michigan didn’t offer much resistance, but I’m sure Dane Sanzenbacher enjoyed the afternoon regardless!  A slight concern will be that the Eagles scored 3 touchdowns on the Buckeyes defense, including 2 straight possessions oreo-ing halftime.  Still, I’m not going to look for a dark cloud in the silver lining.

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