HAMLER-- While Patrick Henry was unable to gain a share of the NWOAL title, the Patriots to earn their 10th consecutive playoff appearance with a 40-13 win over Wauseon on Senior Night Friday evening.
"Six weeks ago we had a tough loss to Liberty Center and were sitting at a 2-2 record," stated Patriot head coach Bill Inselmann. "If you would have told me six weeks later we'd beat three teams with a winning record and a very competitive Wauseon team, I would have said that is a good test of our character. I am very proud of this team and how they have held together these last six weeks."
Patrick Henry, which needed a win plus a Liberty Center loss to Archbold to tie for the league crown, got off to a quick start, jumping to a 13-0 lead after one quarter and increasing the advantage to 27-0.
Senior running back Lucas Rosebrook provided the first score of the game for the Patriots on a five yard run. Steve McGraw intercepted the Indians first play from scrimmage on their following drive to set up the Patriots at mid-field. Rosebrook hit pay-dirt six plays later on a seven yard touchdown run. In the second stanza, Anderson Okuley added a 1-yard touchdown and Rosebrook a 17-yard at the 6:02 mark.
"We're very pleased with how the team played tonight, especially in the first half," said Inselmann. "Both offensively and defensively we were executing well."
Wauseon, which closes at 5-5 overall and 4-4 in the NWOAL, finally made an appearance on the scoreboard when Ty Suntken connected with Adam Moose on a 71-yard bomb. However, Patrick Henry quickly dashed their momentum with a big pass play of its own on the next drive when Gabe Jones hooked up with Kyle Bergstedt on a 58-yard touchdown pass for a 34-7 lead at halftime.
The Patriot defense dominated the line of scrimmage, sacking the Wauseon quarterback three times and allowing only 27 rushing yards on 25 attempts. The Indians never entered the redzone in the first three quarters, with their closest drive dying out at the Patriots 30 yard line.
"In the second half our offense started to sputter," admitted Inselmann. "I don't know if we lost a little emotion or intensity there. But our defense continued to play well, especially up front."
Jones added a touchdown run late in the third quarter for PH while Axel Bueter scored the final TD of the game on a 1-yard run for the Indians.
"It was a tough game for us," said Wauseon coach Travis Cooper. "They're a very good football team.
"The lesson we learned here is that you have to play a whole game. We played well in spurts but to win in this league against high-caliber opponents we need to raise our level. My hat's off to them and I wish them the best of luck in the playoffs."
Despite missing out on a share of the NWOAL title this year, the Patrick Henry players are focused on the playoffs.
"The playoffs mean everything to us." explained Rosebrook, who paced the Patriots with 85 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. "It's all we have been wanting since we lost to Liberty Center. We wanted to keep the streak going and we're going to work extra hard next week."
PH's opponent will be announced today.
First Downs 16 9
Rushing Yards 46-266 25-27
Passing Yards 187 172
Total Yards 453 199
Passing 5-10-1 10-17-1
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties 5-40 4-26
Patrick Henry 13 21 6 0 - 40
Wauseon 0 7 0 6 - 13
P - Rosebrook 5-run (Gerschutz kick).
P - Rosebrook 7-run (kick failed).
P - Okuley 2-run (Gerschutz kick).
P - Rosebrook 17-run (Gerschutz kick).
W - Moose 71-pass from Suntken (Stewart kick).
P - Bergstedt 58-pass from Jones (Gerschutz kick).
P - Jones 12-run (kick failed)
W - Bueter 1-run (kick failed)
RUSHING: Patrick Henry - Rosebrook 12-85; Jones 10-89; Hernandez 4-44; Okuley 7-21; Okuley 5-38; Cole 6-19: Andonian 3-18. Wauseon - Makula 8-2; Lind 4-10; Stewart 1-7; Bueter 4 -18. PASSING: Patrick Henry- Okuley 3-7-0-108; Jones 1-2-1-58. Wauseon - Suntken 8-14-1-140; Robinson 2-3-0-32. RECEIVING: Patrick Henry- Kline 2-63; Bergstedt 1-58; Gerschutz 1-45; Hoops 1-21. Wauseon - Moose 4-101; Makula 2-20; Stickley 1-13; Blue 1-6; Bueter 2-32.