ZANESVILLE — A long way from home a fourth and final time this football regular season, Notre Dame did enjoy this particular lengthy bus ride back.
That’s because, buoyed by shutting the Zanesville Rosecrans Bishops out for the final two-and-a-half quarters and scoring the game’s final 34 points, the Titans returned home road winners from Friday night —62-26 victors over the battling Bishops in a non-league tilt.
For the now 2-3 Titans, perhaps their two-hour-plus trips —of which they had four through the first five weeks — turned them into road warriors, but also made them road weary.
Notre Dame — sandwiched around a 55-0 home shutout of Fisher Catholic — lost at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (42-24) and at Berne Union (26-14) in the opening two weeks, before being turnover-prone in a 12-7 loss at Meigs Eastern.
At Rosecrans, despite two turnovers on lost fumbles and each team committing six penalties for 61 yards, Notre Dame dominated the final 30 minutes and 16 seconds —scoring the final five touchdowns and 34 points.
The only thing preventing a perfect 35 points over that time frame was a blocked extra point, as NDHS kicker Coleman Shaffer successfully made his first seven attempts on the night —before also converting his final try.
Before the final 30:16, it was a see-saw shootout —with Notre Dame and Rosecrans racing up and down the field and trading touchdowns via big plays, sans a one-yard touchdown pass by Bishops’ quarterback Brendan Bernath and an 8-yard run by Notre Dame running back Gavin Hart.
The Titans held leads of 7-6, 14-12, 21-18 and 28-26 through the opening eight scores —with Shaffer going 4-of-4 on extra-point kicks and the Bishops missing three of their four PAT tries.
The closest Rosecrans got in the final 30 minutes was 28-26, when Mike Burkhart —who caught the one-yard TD pass from Bernath —hauled in the two-point conversion pass.
From there, though, Hart had two touchdown runs of 16 and 17 yards —as Notre Dame quarterback Wyatt Webb ran for a 29-yard score, before completing a 15-yard touchdown toss to tight end Carter Campbell.
The Titans tallied 42 points in the opening half, tacked on 13 in the third quarter, and finally Dylan Seison scored on a 10-yard run with 10:23 remaining.
In fact, that made it the reciprocal score of 62-26 —and put the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s running-clock rule into effect.
The Titans totaled 620 yards of offense and punted only once for 30 yards, overcoming the two lost fumbles by rushing for 11 yards shy of an even 500 — on exactly 34 carries.
The junior Hart, who at Eastern rushed for 155 yards on 15 carries with an 80-yard touchdown burst for ND’s only score in that game with a Shaffer extra point, was a mere five yards shy of an even 300 at Rosecrans.
Speaking of five, he had that many trips to paydirt on 16 touches —bookending the opening quarter with a 78-yard dash only 1:08 in, and a 60-yard sprint with 1:47 left to play.
His eight-yard run — with Shaffer’s extra point — made it 28-18 with six-and-a-half minutes left in the second quarter, followed by his 16-yard jaunt to make it 42-26 with only 67 seconds to go in the half.
Almost a full quarter later, with 2:16 to play in the third, Hart had his fifth and final touchdown —a 17-yarder to make it 55-26.
Webb was 4-of-4 passing for 131 yards —as Seison caught two passes for 46 yards, while Webb’s 70-yard scoring connection with Landon Barbarits made it 14-6 only three minutes into the game.
Of the Titans’ 38 plays, they chalked up 22 first downs.
The Bishops, which fell to 1-4, also lost at the Titans’ archrival East 52-20 in the season opener.
Against Notre Dame, they remained close through the first quarter-and-a-half —getting two big Brody Zemba TD runs of 65 and 80 yards, and a 69-yard pitch-and-catch from Brendan Bernath to Nick Bernath.
Zemba rushed for 140 yards on 14 carries, Nick Bernath caught four passes for 106 yards, and Brendan Bernath completed 16 of his 29 pass attempts for 221 yards without an interception.
The Titans return home, and open Southern Ohio Conference Division I action on Friday night, when they host Northwest.
* * *
Notre Dame 21 21 13 7 —62
Rosecrans 12 14 0 0 — 26
ND — Gavin Hart, 78-yard run (Coleman Shaffer kick), 10:52, 1st (7-0 ND)
BR — Brody Zemba, 65-yard run (kick failed), 10:34, 1st (7-6 ND)
ND — Landon Barbarits, 70-yard pass from Wyatt Webb (Coleman Shaffer kick), 9:07, 1st (14-6 ND)
BR — Mike Burkhart, 1-yard pass from Brendan Bernath (kick failed), 2:07, 1st (14-12 ND)
ND — Gavin Hart, 60-yard run (Coleman Shaffer kick), 1:47, 1st (21-12 ND)
BR — Nick Bernath, 69-yard pass from Brendan Bernath (pass failed), 9:13, 2nd (21-18 ND)
ND —Gavin Hart, 8-yard run (C0leman Shaffer kick), 6:33, 2nd (28-18 ND)
BR — Brody Zemba, 80-yard run (Mike Burkhart pass from Brendan Bernath), 6:16, 2nd (28-26 ND)
ND — Wyatt Webb, 29-yard run (Coleman Shaffer kick), 4:28, 2nd (35-26 ND)
ND —Gavin Hart, 16-yard run (C0leman Shaffer kick), 1:07, 2nd (42-26 ND)
ND — Carter Campbell, 15-yard pass from Wyatt Webb (Coleman Shaffer kick), 9:03, 3rd (49-26 ND)
ND — Gavin Hart, 17-yard run (kick blocked), 2:16, 3rd (55-26)
ND — Dylan Seison, 10-yard run (Coleman Shaffer kick), 10:23, 4th (62-26)
First downs 22 13
Scrimmage plays 38 52
Rushes-yards 34-489 23-141
Passing yards 131 221
Total yards 620 362
Cmp-Att-Int. 4-4-0 16-29-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-0
Penalties (No.-Yards) 6-61 6-62
Punts-Ave. 1-30 3-35.7
RUSHING — Notre Dame: Gavin Hart 16-295 5TD, Dylan Seison 6-86 TD, Myles Phillips 6-73, Wyatt Webb 1-29, Luke Cassidy 2-9, Brice McGraw 2-(-1), Marcellus Woods 1-(-2); Rosecrans: Brody Zemba 14-140 2TD, Brendan Bernath 4-6, Edan Lynch 3-2, Weston Hartman 1-(-2), Hayden Perdue 1-(-5)
PASSING — Notre Dame: Wyatt Webb 4-4-0-131 2TD; Rosecrans: Brendan Bernath 16-29-0-221 2TD
RECEIVING —Notre Dame: Landon Barbarits 1-70 TD, Carter Campbell 1-15 TD, Dylan Seison 2-46; Rosecrans: Nick Bernath 4-106 TD, Brody Zemba 4-50, Weston Hartman 5-43, Mike Burkhart 2-15 TD, Edan Lynch 1-7
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