It was a wild, wacky night Friday for the Grand Valley Mustangs as they journey almost an hour to take on the Windham Bombers.
However, it proved to be prove well worth it for coach John Glavickas’ Mustangs, who continued their defense of the Northeastern Athletic Conference crown they won last fall with a 56-40 triumph against the Bombers.
Considering Grand Valley trailed at one point, 14-0, then again going into the fourth quarter, 40-36, the journey home to Ashtabula County was understandably one hot ride for the Mustangs.
“It was just the absolute craziest game!” Glavickas, in his second season at the helm, said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. We were down big to start the game, then trailed (entering the fourth quarter).
“But the boys never quit. They stayed after it and got the job done. It was awesome to see and I and the entire coaching staff are very proud of them.”
On a strange night, Jake Vormelker was almost super natural.
The Mustangs’ quarterback rushed for 280 yards on 33 attempts and scored five touchdowns. He also completed 14 of 20 passes for 175 yards, including a 24-yard scoring toss to Jason Hart.
All totaled, Vormelker had 355 yards.
“Jake had an incredible night,” Glavickas said. “We went empty (backfield) and (Windham) kept leaving the middle of the field wide open.
“So we just had Jake run straight ahead and the offensive line was simply incredible. They dominated the game for us.”
Left tackle Jack Scott, left guard Glenn Zaller, center Jason Takacs, right guard Caleb Mathis (filling in for the injured Nick Watson) and right tackle Ray Marsch should definitely be credited with assists for Vormelker’s monster numbers.
“Absolutely,” Glavickas said. “Everyone will remember Jake’s performance tonight and the big numbers he put up, but he’d be the first to tell you the reason he was able to do that were the guys up front doing their jobs and leading the way for him.”
The 56 points put up by GV on Friday night are tied for sixth-most in school history.
Vormelker’s 280-yard performance is third-best in Mustang history and represents the eighth-most yards in a single game by an Ashtabula County ballcarrier in recorded history.
On top of everything else, there’s this — right guard Watson could not play because of an injured right ankle... and injury he sustained when he was, get this, struck by a car in the parking lot after school Thursday in the parkling lot.
“Thank goodness Nick is OK... it could have been so much worse,” Glavickas said. “But, thankfully, it wasn’t, Caleb did a great job filling in for him and Nick will be back next week.
“That should’ve shown us what kind of night we were in for, but in the end, while a crazy night, it was a great night for Grand Valley football.
“We’re all thrilled for the guys.”
— Don McCormack