NORTH ROBINSON — Behind quarterback Nate Klingenberger, Colonel Crawford got on the scoreboard early with its fast-paced, no-huddle offense, creating a 22-0 first half lead en route to a 34-6 win against Upper Sandusky in a non-conference game at Gary Field on Friday night.
Klingenberger threw three touchdown passes — all of which came in the first half — and finished the night 21 of 33 for 292 yards.
“I thought (the Eagles’) quarterback was outstanding,” Upper Sandusky coach Jake Moyer said. “I thought he had ample pass protection, which concerned us as we were preparing for this team.”
Colonel Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic spoke highly not just of the junior gunslinger, but also the entire offense.
The Eagles (2-0) amassed 429 total yards of offense, compared to 305 yards by the Rams (1-1), most of which came in the second half.
“We think we have some quick guys,” Teglovic said. “We have some play makers. Those guys did a great job (Friday). Our receivers made plays. Our line gave us time. The quarterback made great decisions and Nate played extremely well and made plays when he had to make plays. We stretched the field and put a lot of pressure on their defense.”
Klingenberger got things going for Colonel Crawford on the team’s second possession of the game, when he completed three quick strikes to move his team into Rams’ territory. He capped off the drive on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Alec Hetzel, who reeled the ball in over the top of Rams defensive back Donald Barth. After the missed extra point attack, the Eagles held a 6-0 advantage with 4:01 to go in the first quarter.
The Eagles quarterback was instrumental in the team’s second scoring drive, as well, guiding the Eagles down field by spreading the ball around to three different receivers and ending the drive with an 11-yard strike to Hetzel. The Eagles opted to go for the two-point conversion, and were aided by a Rams’ defensive pass interference penalty to move closer for Klingenberger to find pay dirt to make it 14-0.
Upper Sandusky looked poised for a scoring drive before half as quarterback Tylor Pritchard got them into Eagles’ territory after a 23-yard pass to Donald Barth. But on the next play, Pritchard’s deep pass was intercepted by Hetzel.
Six plays later, Klingenberger found Nick Adams open over the middle for a 10-yard score to give Colonel Crawford a commanding halftime lead.
“When you get into a scoring battle, you have to meet them punch for punch and we didn’t do that,” Moyer said.
Trailing by three scores, the Rams took to the air to start the second half, but with the same result as the start. Three straight incompletions from Pritchard forced the Rams to punt.
Colonel Crawford capitalized and Klingenberger’s 21-yard pass to Marcus Gaverick set up the team’s next score. Klingenberger called his own number and looked to run the ball in for the score from the Rams’ 6-yard line, but fumbled near the goal line. Teammate Kameron Landin was in the right place at the right time and fell on the ball in the end zone for the score and after a failed extra point, the Eagles extended their lead to 28-0.
“We moved some kids around and did some different things, but unfortunately, I don’t think it did a heck of a lot of good,” Moyer said.
It was not until the fourth quarter when the Rams crossed their opponent’s red zone and threatened to score. But Upper Sandusky’s first scoring opportunity ended prematurely after Pritchard connected with tight end Tristan Reichelderfer over the middle on a 15 yard gain. However, as Reichelderfer turned to churn up field and head toward the goal line, an Eagles’ player knocked the ball loose and Landin recovered forcing the turnover.
“At moments we looked pretty good,” Moyer said. “But we couldn’t string the plays together for scoring drives and when you have this type of offense you have to do that.”
The Rams caught a break, though, with a punt block and getting the ball back at their opponent’s 10-yard line, resulting in a score three plays later as Pritchard scored on a 1-yard keeper to make it 28-6 after the failed two-point conversion.
Pritchard finished 16 of 26 for 152 yards in the air and added 74 yards on the ground on 14 carries.
“(Pritchard is) a great quarterback and we knew that he’s a great player,” Teglovic said. “Our main goal was to limit their big plays. We knew that they were going to be able to drive the ball and move the ball a bit, and we talked to our guys about being disciplined, changing looks and making sure to take away the big play. I thought for the most part they did that.”
Colonel Crawford’s Spencer Tackett, who finished with 106 yards on 17 carries, scored the final touchdown with 2:49 left on a 1-yard dive up the middle.
Upper Sandusky returns to action at home Friday against Mohawk, while Colonel Crawford is away against New London.
“We have to continue to go one week at a time,” Teglovic said. “(Friday was) a big win for us. Our guys understand it’s a big win for us. We have New London next week. We need to enjoy this (Friday) because our kids and coaches worked really hard for this.”
By BRANDON DRAKE
Score by quarters
Upper Sandusky 0 0 0 6 — 6
Colonel Crawford 6 16 6 6 — 34
CC — Klingenberger 26-yard pass to Hetzel (Kick failed), 4:01.
CC — Klingenberger 11-yard pass to Hetzel (Klingenberger run), 4:15.
CC — Klingenberger 15-yard pass to N. Adams (Klinberger pass to A. Adams), 2:12.
CC — Landin fumble recovery (Kick failed), 6:53.Fourth quarter
US — Pritchard 1-yard run (Pass failed), 5;35.
CC — Tackett 1-yard run (Kick blocked), 2:49.
Upper Sandusky: Pritchard, 15-25, 145 yards, 1 INT.
Colonel Crawford: Klingenberger, 21-33, 292 yards, 3 TDs.
Upper Sandusky: Pritchard, 14-74, 1 TD; Adelsperger, 5-51; Barth, 4-27; Frey, 2-1.
Colonel Crawford: Tackett, 17-106, 1 TD ; Klingenberger, 12-30; Burkhart, 1-1.
Upper Sandusky: Reichelderfer, 5-54; Barth, 4-41; Miller, 2-20; Mathews, 2-13; Adelsperger, 1-13; Dible, 1-7; Frey, 1-4.
Colonel Crawford: Hetzel, 7-140, 2 TDs; N. Adams, 6-53, 1 TD; Garverick, 2-31; A. Adams, 1-26; Tackett, 2-18; Landin, 1-12; Scott, 1-3.
First downs 14 20
Rushing 25-153 30-137
Passing 16-26 21-33
Passing yards 152 292
Passes Intercepted By 0 1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-0
Punts 4-38.5 2-27.5
Penalties 6-60 7-65