LEES CREEK – Once again, Minford made it through its non-league football slate undefeated.
Now, the Falcons face the welcome challenge of Southern Ohio Conference Division II play – and the all-anticipated matchup with the Wheelersburg Pirates coming to town.
Minford, in a classic trap tilt on Friday night, overcame a five-turnover performance to defeat the host East Clinton Astros 28-21.
The Falcons – for the second consecutive campaign – are off to a 5-0 start.
The Astros, which rallied from a 15-0 deficit to ultimately tie the game at 21-21 in the fourth quarter, are now 2-3.
The Falcons forged ahead 28-21 and earned the win with a 5-yard touchdown run by Ty Wiget, capping off his massive 194-yard rushing effort on a hefty 30 carries.
Wiget’s 5-yard run was his final of his three TDs– with the other two coming from a yard away in the second quarter and from two yards out early in the fourth.
Wiget’s first two touchdowns kept the Falcons in front 15-0 and 21-13.
The Astros took advantage of five Minford turnovers – two lost fumbles and three interceptions – to score all 21 of their points over the final three quarters, including tying the game at 21-21 on a 60-yard dash.
East Clinton did not have a turnover, and thus kept pace with the Falcons, but did not convert any of its four fourth-down attempts.
Minford outgained the Astros 376-252, including a 271-220 advantage on the ground.
In addition to Wiget’s 194, quarterback Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis added eight carries for 57 yards – and completed six of his 15 pass attempts for 105 yards.
Despite his three interceptions, Vogelsong-Lewis opened the scoring with a big pass play, hooking up with Matthew Risner for 54 yards in the opening quarter.
Risner caught two passes for 71 yards, while carrying twice for 13.
Minford made the two-point conversion for the early 8-0 lead, as Wiget – with the extra-point kick – ran in from one yard to make it 15-0 in the second stanza.
The Astros answered over the middle two periods to get within 15-13, reaching the end zone on runs of six and 14 yards, but missing the two-point conversion try which would have tied the game at 15-15.
The Astros did pull even at 21-21 with their long touchdown run – after Wiget ran in for his second score to remain ahead at 21-13.
The Falcons ran three more plays from scrimmage (60-57), as both clubs collected 16 first downs.
With another undefeated non-league campaign complete, Minford can now focus on the all-important SOC II championship chase – starting with the highly-touted and five-time defending champion Wheelersburg Pirates on Friday night.
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