Urbana came out on a mission Friday night against visiting Kenton Ridge in a Central Buckeye Conference football contest. After a moment of silence for Urbana school board member Warren Stevens, who was killed in a car accident Wednesday night, UHS appeared sharp and motivated to win one for the long-time public servant as clear skies parted the persistent day of rain.
But a poignant victory wasn’t in the stars for Urbana, as KR snatched away a 15-12 victory after the Hillclimbers had led the entire game except for the final minute.
The Cougars’ opening drive was plagued by penalties, but Urbana found success early through the air. Quarterback Preston Shields connected with Isaiah Fonseca and Kaleb Bowdle on a pair of key passes. The momentum set up a 3-yard TD run by Shields with 6:23 to play in the first quarter. Cooper Johnson’s extra-point kick was wide right and ended up stuck in a tree in the end zone, but UHS held a 6-0 lead.
Kenton Ridge continued to struggle on offense. Urbana punt returner Devin Trent took advantage of the Cougars’ doldrums by tearing off a 30-yard run to start a promising drive, but a fourth-down pass from Shields to Nic Dorsey in the end zone was incomplete and KR took over on downs.
The Cougars fumbled early on their ensuing series and Bowdle grabbed the pigskin and returned it 46 yards to paydirt and a 12-0 Urbana lead at the 8:19 mark of the second quarter. The conversion run failed, but the Hillclimbers’ 12-0 lead was intact at the intermission.
On an increasingly muddy field, neither team could establish a steady offense in the second half. It was until the Cougars broke a key run along the left side to the Hillclimber 27-yard line that any offensive activity hit its stride. On the next play from scrimmage, Cougar quarterback Noah Schleinitz completed a 27-yard TD pass to Drew Wichael to finally light up the visitors’ side of the scoreboard with 52 seconds left in the third quarter. Cameron Kettler’s PAT was accurate, and the Hillclimber lead dwindled to 12-7, which held up by the end of the third quarter.
The Cougars had two viable passing plays toward the end zone by the 4:53 mark of the fourth quarter, but completed neither. Urbana took over on downs at the UHS 45 but couldn’t stay in control offensively.
KR ended the game by finding new strength on the run. On fourth down and 4 with one minute to play, Schleinitz completed a 21-yard TD pass to Wichael to quiet the home crowd. Schleinitz connected with Calvin Dibert for the two-point conversion and the Cougars (4-2, 1-0) escaped with the 15-12 CBC/KTD win despite a valiant UHS comeback effort in the final 50 seconds. KR defender Shaki Marshall intercepted a deep Urbana pass to thwart the attempted comeback.
Urbana (1-5, 0-1) hosts Bellefontaine next Friday night on homecoming.
Indian Lake 50, Graham 6
LEWISTOWN – Unbeaten Indian Lake cruised past winless Graham, 50-6, Friday night in CBC/MRD football
The Lakers (6-0, 1-0), led by the passing and running of quarterback Alex Jacobs, jumped out to a 43-0 lead at the half.
Trailing 50-0 early in the fourth quarter, Graham’s Lane Thompson scored on a 5-yard run.
Graham (0-6, 0-1) hosts Greenon next Friday night.
Triad 48, Cedarville 7
CEDARVILLE – Dylan Rice rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown as Triad earned its first victory of the season convincingly Friday night, 48-7, over winless Cedarville in OHC action.
For the Cardinals, Riley Louck had a pair of rushing TDs and Isaiah Bruce added two receiving touchdowns.
“It feels good to win, but I’m most excited for our players, who had a brutal first half of the season,” said first-year Triad Coach Joe Cardinal.
The Cardinals (1-5, 1-2) host Southeastern next Friday night.