Clay’s 15 seniors up to the task in opener at Maumee

J. Patrick Eaken

Clay’s 15 football seniors appear to be up to the task.

In the season opener at Maumee’s Kazmaier Stadium, it was mostly the senior class that excelled during a 41-22 win over the Panthers as the Eagles rolled up 444 total yards.

“Our kids played well. We definitely got our running game going — we scored six rushing touchdowns and we had 255 yards rushing,” Clay coach John Galyas said. “Defensively, we were up 34-0 so our defense played real well. I’m just real happy with how our guys played.

“(Senior quarterback) Luke Kolinsky, making his first varsity start, scored three touchdowns and rushing for over 100 yards (104),” Galyas continued. “(Senior running back) Jordan Pettaway scored two touchdowns and averaged over nine yards (9.3) a carry.”

Kolinski, who was responsible for 233 total yards, scored on runs of 11, 5, and 4 yards, plus he completed 10 of 13 passes, including a 42-yarder to junior wide receiver Evin Baker. Pettaway had touchdown runs of 9 and 10 yards, and carried the ball nine times for 84 yards with his longest covering 29 yards. 

Even more seniors got in on the action.

“(Running back) Owen Gibbs, another senior, scored our other touchdown,” Galyas said. 

“(Senior running back/linebacker) Donovan Coughlin led us in tackles (two solo, six assists) and also catches (5) and receiving yards (63), so I mean a lot of seniors contributed for sure. Senior D-Lineman Logan Werner (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) had a great game for us. Our seniors really stepped up.”

Gibbs ran for 47 yards on five carries, also averaging over nine yards per attempt, and he scored on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. Werner had two solo tackles, four assists, and one tackle for a loss, and he even carried the ball one time for 22 yards and caught a pass from senior quarterback Jackson Schultz for a 60-yard gain.

Sophomore defensive back Blake Kamelesky had four solo tackles and an interception. Senior Aiden Dickens was 5-for-6 in conversion kicks. Getting used to his new position, 6-2, 230-pound senior Ty Cobb had one tackle and three assists after switching from defensive end to linebacker.

“Ty Cobb is getting a lot of (collegiate) interest. He played well, too, and I think (week two) against Northview you will probably see him play better. Northview’s offense wants to run the ball and with him playing linebacker he is going to make some plays,” Galyas said.

“No one has a better work ethic than he does and his motor is always running. He is a really high-effort guy. We never have to worry about him taking plays off because he doesn’t do it. For his size, he is athletic and he can run.”

Galyas promised he would have a strong senior class.

“We love our senior group,” Galyas said. “Numbers-wise, it is the largest senior group that we have had. They’ve been great this year in our preseason with the leadership effort. I think last year the way we finished the season, winning our first playoff game in school history, and then in round two we played Brecksville, which is a really good football team, and we played them really tough. Even though we lost, we kind of had some momentum going.”

Clay opens its non-league schedule against three Northern Lakes League schools, Maumee, Sylvania Northview and Anthony Wayne. Obviously, Maumee have been challenged after not winning a game last year. Maumee will begin playing in the Northern Buckeye Conference the same year, 2023, that Clay switches to the Northern Lakes League, but Northview and AW are future league opponents.

AW lost its season opener at Donnell Stadium to one of the Three Rivers Athletic Conference favorites, Findlay, 24-14. Six of eight Press soothsayers picked AW to defeat Clay Friday, and there is a reason why. The Generals are expected to be contenders for an NLL title this year behind a strong senior class of their own, so we’ll see which senior class is more up to the challenge.

“Obviously, they have been one of the premier programs in Northwest Ohio the last five or six years,” Galyas said. “We know that it’s a great program and it is a huge challenge for our guys. We get through this week (Northview) and we’ll definitely really be looking forward to playing them and ready to accept the challenge. It will be a good measuring stick to see where we are at with our program.”



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