By SAM AMEEN
For the Star Beacon
Yards and points were tough to come by in the match-up between the Grand Valley Mustangs and the Southington Wildcats on Friday night at Hiram College. As each team’s defenses limited their opponent’s offense, the Mustangs came out on top 14-6 over the Wildcats.
The Wildcats scored the game’s first points in the third quarter. It was the Wildcats’ first possession of the second half, as Southington established a magnificent 14-play 90-yard drive that took 7 minutes and 15 seconds off the clock. The lengthy drive was highlighted by hard-nose running by quarterback Austin Casper, running back Jordan Dickey, and fullback Brendon Baugher. Casper later punched it in from a yard out for the touchdown. Southington was up 6-0 after a failed two-point conversion by the Wildcats.
It was not until the fourth quarter that Grand Valley was able to score. The Mustangs first possession of the quarter led to an 8-play 62-yard scoring drive. The scoring drive was led by Mustangs quarterback Kyle Orgovan as he completed three passes on the drive and ran the ball three times, including a 3-yard touchdown rush that put Grand Valley up 7-6 in the fourth quarter.
A critical play in the fourth quarter came as Southington was marching down field to try and take the lead. The Wildcats fumbled the ball, and the Mustangs’ Josh Kovats recovered and took it in for a 38-yard scoop and score, putting Grand Valley up 14-6.
Mustangs head coach John Glavickas thought the defensive play was a momentum changer.
“Oh yeah, I think it was, definitely,” Glavickas said. “But before that even, when we went into our no huddle offense and marched it down it seems as though we started getting the momentum back and being able to move ball, and then when that fumble came, it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Southington (3-5, 0-2) had one last possession to try and tie the game, but the Mustangs defense held the Wildcats in check. Southington turned the ball over on downs and Grand Valley (5-3, 2-0) was able to kneel down to run the clock and close out the game.
Although the Wildcats lost, Southington coach Ryan Slone was impressed with the way his team played.
“We both knew what we were going to do to each other,” he said. “They were going to try and run, we were going to try and run, and we took that away from them.”
The Wildcats held Grand Valley to 91 yards rushing on 27 carries.
“They’re a tough football team, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team giving them everything they can handle,” Slone said.
Each team’s defense played exceptionally well, limiting each other’s offense to less than 175 total yards. Southington allowed just 120 yards of offense, where as Grand Valley gave up 174 yards.
Dickey led the way offensively for Southington as he had 21 carries for 77 yards.
Orgovan completed 5 of 11 passes for 29 yards and had 10 rushes for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Ameen is a correspondent for the (Warren) Tribune Chronicle.
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