PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — After 48 minutes of regulation and three overtimes, the game hinged on the right foot T.J Hoggard. The first-year kicker, who made a 30-yard field goal in the first extra session, split the uprights from 34 yards out, sending the home crowd in a frenzy as the West Senators knocked off the Minford Falcons 12-6 in a rain-filled contest Friday night.
Despite making his first attempt, Hoggard entered the third session coming off a missed field goal from 31 yards out in the second overtime. However, facing a 4th-and-4 at the Minford 14-yard line, Senators head coach Ben Johnson never even thought about going for the first down.
“This is his first year kicking,” Johnson said. “He started last summer. He came to all the work outs. He’s played soccer his whole life, never thought about playing football; he came all summer and has worked his butt off. He’s gotten better everyday. He continues to get better and better. He hit his first 50 yarder of his life yesterday in practice and as hard has he’s worked, I had no problems letting him have that chance.”
Playing on a wet field throughout the night, yards were at a premium. West (2-4, 1-0) ended the night with 174 yards of offense while Minford (3-3, 0-1) finished with 228 yards. Both teams turned the ball over twice.
“We had so many opportunities and our offense could not get anything going, but give credit to their defense,” Johnson said. “We knew they were tough on defense and they lived up too it. What a great defense they’ve got there. So, it had to come down to our defense and our special teams.”
Falcons head coach Brent Daniels wasn’t pleased with his team’s offense out put at the end of the game as Minford has scored one offense touchdown over its last two games.
“Inefficiency on offense,” Daniels said. “Inefficiency on offense — bottom line.
“The defense did the same thing they’ve done for us all year. They played great for us, they gave us the opportunity but it’s inefficiency on offense.”
West got on the board first with a 6-play, 46-yard drive in the second quarter, which was capped off by a Wesley Robinson 11-yard touchdown run.
The lead would appear to hold up over the next two quarters until a costly turnover changed the complexion of the game. The Senator defense stopped the Falcons on their own 15-yard line after Minford attempted a 4th-down conversion. However, West fumbled on the first play of the next series, which gave the Falcons new life.
After the turnover, Minford only needed three plays to cover the 15 yards as Sean Gambill scored from 6 yards out to tie the game. Despite the late touchdown, Johnson was elated with his team’s defensive effort throughout the game.
“They just did amazing,” Johnson said. “We put them in bad situations all night and they just kept playing, kept stepping up and making plays. Hats off to them, just an outstanding effort.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.
|1||2||3||4||OT||2 OT||3 OT||Final|
West — Robinson 11 yd run (PAT blocked), 4:24
Minford — Gambill 7 yd run (PAT blocked), 3:57
West — Hoggard 30 yd field goal
Minford — Perry 29 yd field goal
West — Hoggard 34 yd field goal
Rushing — Minford: Compton 8-92, Gambill 15-68, Stiltner 6-41, Kennedy 6-14, Muck 1-0, Caudill 1-0, Gaines 3-(-2), Gray 8-(-3); West: Robinson 40-119, Bailey 5-20, Carver 1-(-7), Douthat 5-(-26).
Passing — Minford: Gray 0-6; West: Douthat 6-12-68.
Receiving — Minford: N/A; West: Bays 2-30, Kegley 1-24, Bailey 3-14..
Minford 3-3 (0-1), West 2-4 (1-0).