PDT Sports Contributor
Waverly, Ohio – On opening night, the Waverly Tigers (1-0) faced off against their longtime rivals the Piketon Red Streaks (0-1). When all was said and done at the end of this season opener, the Tigers came out victorious, 9-8 taking their rivalry win streak up to three.
The game was ended in the last six seconds by a field goal from Waverly sophomore Clayton Howell.
“There was a lot of pressure,” Howell said. “In a situation like that you have to stay focused for your team, this was for everyone and I had to get my team the W.”
This rivalry is not only understood on both sides as important for its traditional and nostalgic value, but also for its promotion of working in unison to address the issues the communities face.
The game was opened by a tribute to players lost before their time and both the Piketon and Waverly crowd payed their respects by way of a moment of silence.
Waverly received the kick off and took off. Waverly presented a strong first drive that was ended near the red zone by a firm defensive stand. Piketon returned with some strong attacks through the air but were shut down. This was how the game went for most of the evening.
A few big plays got the crowd on their feet but as both coaches commented, the night was decided by the turnovers.
“We definitely have to clean up our mistakes that killed a lot of potential points we could have put on the board,” said Waverly head coach Chris Crabtree.
Piketon head coach Tyler Gullion said, “We played hard, but there were a few key turnovers that hurt.”
Piketon senior quarterback Devon Brewster broke the zeroes midway through the first quarter by rushing for a goal line touchdown. He then put the ball into the end zone for a two point conversion.
The score remained locked at 8-0 until Waverly’s junior Drew Harris rushed the goal line for a solid six points. Waverly went for the conversion and fell short.
In the end it was ended by a Piketon turnover in the last minute that put Waverly within range to take the win. They made a quick advance and stopped the clock, putting Howell on the field.
The kick was good and the rivalry continues. It was a long night for the two teams. Crabtree commented, “I’ll take an ugly win any day.”
Reach Cody Leightenheimer at 740-981-2486 or on twitter @leightenheimer
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