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A Game We'll All Be Talking About

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#1 Rocketcorner News

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:08 AM

By Eric Lessig

FINDLAY – Kenton and Bryan were ranked 1-2 in the final Associated Press football poll and their Region 12 matchup was greatly anticipated throughout the week.

The game lived up to its billing and then some.

The shootout everyone expected finally materialized in the second half and ended with Grant Sherman's 11-yard touchdown pass to Justin Sawmiller with just 21 seconds remaining to give Kenton a thrilling 46-43 victory over the Bryan Golden Bears at Findlay's Donnell Stadium.

Kenton's score came just 57 seconds after Bryan took a 43-40 lead on Austin Schimmoeller's 2-yard run with 1:18 remaining.

Kenton got the scoring started on its second offensive possession after Bryan failed to cash in on a Sherman interception on the opening drive. Sherman completed a 25-yard pass to Conner Jones on 4th and 10 to give the Wildcats an early 6-0 lead.

Bryan needed just three plays to answer. Schimmoeller wove his way through the Kenton defense for a 36-yard run to give the Golden Bears a 7-6 lead and then increased its lead to 10-6 on Andrew Rupp's 25-yard field goal with 1:49 remaining in the opening quarter.

Kenton finally retook the lead at 12-10 at the 6:05 mark of the second quarter after Sherman's 4-yard run finished off an 11-play, 90-yard drive. The lead became 20-10 after Sherman connected with Colyn Blackford with just 38 seconds remaining until intermission.

Bryan struck back quickly in the second half. Touchdown passes of 55 and 60 yards to Brandon Ponscak gave the Golden Bears a 23-20 lead. The first touchdown came after Ponscak jumped high and made a phenomenal one-handed grab on his way to the end zone.

The teams traded touchdowns for the remainder of the game. Sherman threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to Justin Sawmiller, including the game-winner. Schimmoeller himself accounted for three more touchdowns, two more on the ground and one through the air.

Bryan and Kenton combined for 1,128 yards of total offense, 163 plays from scrimmage, and 114 pass attempts.

Grant Sherman completed a national record 56 passes in 78 attempts for 468 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. His top receiver was senior Justin Sawmiller, who caught 24 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Colyn Blackford contributed 17 receptions for 147 yards. Sherman was also Kenton's leading ground gainer with 77 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Bryan's senior quarterback Austin Schimmoeller did a little bit of everything. He was the Golden Bears' leading rusher, with 145 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 26 of 35 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns. His top target was Brandon Ponscak, who caught six passes for 145 yards and two long touchdowns. Derek Knisely and Sean Culler caught six passes each, for 88 and 81 yards, respectively.

Bryan ends its season with a 12-1 record. Kenton, now 13-0, advances to next Friday night's state semifinal versus Clinton-Massie, who defeated Kettering Alter 21-14. The site will be announced by the OHSAA on Sunday afternoon.

Score by Quarters

Kenton -- 6 14 8 18 -- 46

Bryan -- 10 0 19 14 -- 43

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

K -- Jones 25-yard pass from Sherman (pass failed), 8:19
B -- Schimmoeller 36-yard run (Rupp kick), 7:22
B -- Rupp 25-yard FG, 1:49
Second Quarter

K -- Sherman 4-yard run (pass failed), 6:05
K -- Blackford 13-yard pass from Sherman (Sherman run), 0:38
Third Quarter

B -- Ponscak 55-yard pass from Schimmoeller (Rupp kick), 10:38
B -- Ponscak 60-yard pass from Schimmoeller (kick blocked), 7:03
K -- Sawmiller 2-yard pass from Sherman (Sawmiller pass from Sherman), 3:08
B -- Culler 21-yard pass from Schimmoeller (pass failed), 0:52
Fourth Quarter

K -- Sherman 3-yard run (pass failed), 9:12
B -- Schimmoeller 3-yard run (Culler pass from Schimmoeller), 6:05
K -- Jackson 24-yard pass from Sherman (run failed), 5:06
B -- Schimmoeller 2-yard run (kick blocked), 1:18
K -- Sawmiller 11-yard pass from Sherman (run failed), 0:21


Bryan. Kenton

First Downs. 22. 35
Rushes-Yards (net). 32-173. 17-79
Passing Yards (net). 370. 506
Pass Att–Comp–Int 35-26-0. 79-57-1
Total Offense(plays-Yds). 67-543. 96-585
Fumble Returns – Yards. 0-0. 0-0
Punt Returns – Yards. 0-0. 0-0
Kickoff Returns – Yards. 6-62. 7-101
Interception Returns -Yds. 1-0. 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg). 1-58. 1-16
Fumbles-Lost. 2-1. 2-2
Penalties – Yards. 8-73. 3-14
Possession Time. 20:21. 27:39
Third Down Conversions. 5 of 12. 12 of 17
Fourth Down Conversions. 2 of 5. 2 of 4
Red Zone Scores – Chances. 3-3. 5-6
Sacks by: Number – Yards. 3-14. 2-19

Individual Statistics


Bryan: Schimmoeller 21-145, 3 TD; Pendergrast 3-21; Minor 6-6; Nye 1-2; Culler 1-(minus-1)

Kenton: Sherman 15-77, 2 TD; Jackson 1-2; Bahr 1-0


Bryan: Schimmoeller 26-34, 370 yards, 3 TD; Azzarello 0-1, 0 yards

Kenton: Sherman 56-78, 486 yards, 5 TD, INT; Jackson 1-1, 20 yards


Bryan: Poncsak 6-145, 2 TD; Knisely 6-88; Culler 6-81; Rau 5-18; Nye 1-19; Minor 1-14; Pendergrast 1-5

Kenton: Sawmiller 24-165, 2 TD; Blackford 17-147, TD; Bahr 9-87; Jones 5-86, TD; Jackson 2-2, TD


Bryan: Dakota McNany 1-0

Kenton: None

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