CINCINNATI–It was not a perfect game, but certainly a memorable one for Oldenburg Academy’s eight seniors at Elder High School’s “Pit” Friday night, Sept. 20.
Stopping Switzerland County on all six of their 4th-down attempts, including a last-gasp pass with under a minute to play, the Twisters held on for a 20-14 come-from-behind victory to improve to 3-1 on the season.
Junior Dominic McFee was a lightning bolt of activity in the contest, some strikes aiding the Pacers but the vast majority energizing his team to the finish line.
The wingback/safety lost a fumble on the very first play from scrimmage, and was stripped of the ball early in the fourth quarter with the same result. He was also tagged with a personal foul and pass interference calls in the second half.
That was the bad.
Try 15 carries for 162 yards, a pair of wicked cutbacks on touchdown runs of 45 and 25 yards (the first putting OA up for good), two more TD scampers that were called back due to offensive holding, tackles for loss, a safety blitz and sack of SC’s Damion Courter on a 4th-and-10 in the fourth quarter, a key tackle on the Pacers’ next drive, and for good measure, a nearly 50-yard punt that pinned the opponents inside their 20-yard-line late in the game.
Off the early turnover, Switz went 5 plays to cover 44 yards. Courtier connected with primary target Hunter Records for a 16-yard score. The extra point was good, leaving OA in an early 7-0 hole.
After a Twister three-and-out, the Pacers gained a pair of first downs but stalled at midfield.
McFee took the first snap into the end zone, but offsetting flags forced a replay of first down. A false start ensued and the period ended with the designated home team facing 4th-and-1.
Senior Abe Peetz converted the first down, one of 10 for the Twisters on the night. A 24-yard gain by McFee set OA up inside the 10. One play later, freshman quarterback Rhett Martin hooked up with senior tight end Matt Sedler for a 7-yard TD. Senior Allison Storms’ kick bounced off the goalpost to make it 7-6.
Oldenburg received a gift on the next drive, when SC’s punter mishandled a snap and turned the ball over on his own 45. McFee promptly took a handoff up the middle and veered left for the lead. Sophomore Caleb Lehman went around the left end to tack on two more and make it 14-7.
SC’s next drive ended in the arms of Sedler, as the defensive end recovered a fumble. However, OA couldn’t capitalize with a holding penalty negating a would-be McFee TD.
The Pacers received the second-half kick but turned it over on downs after gaining one first down. The Twisters’ drive began with one of their five total fumbles. OA recovered the loose ball and went 79 yards on 9 plays, including two Martin-to-Sedler passes. McFee’s capper dazzled as he reversed course to leave several Pacer defenders in his wake.
OA had a chance for a dagger play on SC’s next possession. Courtier completed to Dakota Wallace, who took a Sedler hit and left a free ball on the turf. The Twisters, though, couldn’t come up with the pigskin. On the next snap, Courtier launched a long ball to Records, who tipped the ball to himself for a 59-yard score.
On the Pacers’ penultimate drive, senior Brendan Miller hit Wallace for a big 12-yard loss to set up 4th-and-17. SC went right back to Wallace, who was just shy of the sticks around the 2-minute mark.
Switz Co. had the ball back within 31 seconds after a Martin pass was picked by Joe Earls. The Pacers made it interesting, getting down to OA’s 39 before the final turnover on downs.
OA was whistled for 9 penalties totaling 80 yards; the Pacers had 2 for 25 yards. SC had 11 first downs.
Lehman and Peetz each had 44 yards on the ground and Sedler caught 3 balls for 45 yards. Courtier completed 20 of 34 passes for 208 yards and added 53 rushing. Records hauled in 10 passes for 134 yards and Wallace had 7 grabs.
OA (2-1 in the Mid-Indiana Football Conference) travels to Indianapolis Friday to face Park Tudor.