Last Monday evening the best senior high school football players from the Sandusky Bay Conference and the Suburban Lakes League met in another all-star showdown at Clyde’s Bob Bishop Field.
Last year the SLL won in a close game, but the SBC holds a 9 to 7 lead in the series.
This year’s game was again very competitive with 13 first downs by each team and only 20 yards difference in total yards, but the SLL failed to repeat as champs in an 18-14 loss to the SBC.
“It was a beautiful night and there was a great turnout. There were no serious injuries and everyone had a good time,” said Sandusky St. Mary’s Central Catholic coach Jason Ziegler. “It’s nice to see the kids who were trying to run over you all last season working together on your side. It takes a week away from your family but I believe the coaches all had fun and the talent level is so high you don’t need to spend time on fundamentals or conditioning, you can jump right into serious, fun football.”
Eastwood coach Jerry Rutherford of Eastwood added that the game was a great experience and everyone had lots of fun.
The SBC voted Cody Koening (Huron) for the offensive and Jarad Branski (Clyde) for the defensive MVP awards. The award winners for the SLL were Tony Egbert the 6-6, 180 pound quarterback from Gibsonburg and for defense, 6-3, 170 pound linebacker Mike Mathews, even though he also played quarterback offensively at Lake and was listed only for offense on the all-star game roster.
Even though it was an all-star game, the statistics that showed the difference in the final score were the penalties — 50 yards for the SLL and 10 yards for the SBC. While the SBC fumbled three times, they recovered all of them. The SLL fumbled twice, but one was on their one-yard line and it was scooped up by Cameron Fulford (Huron) for a touchdown. Each team had two interceptions.
The first half pretty much belonged to the SLL, which scored on a 12-yard pass caught by Genoa’s Zach Apel and a one-yard run by Eastwood’s Ashton Brown. Both extra point kicks by Jason Faykosh (Eastwood) were good. The halftime score was 14-6 with the SBC having scored on a pass from Michael Mielke (Huron) to Tyler Ludrowsky (Clyde). The extra point kick attempt failed.
The second half was a different story.
The SBC’s second touchdown came when Fulford returned the SLL fumble for a TD. The conversion pass failed, which left them trailing 14-12.
Unrestricted, a determined SBC team used a hard hitting defense and a tough running game and added the third touchdown on a long 35-yard run by Cody Koenig (Huron). The extra point run failed again, but the SBC had the lead 18-14.
The SLL scared their rival league with a sustained drive late in the game, but the SBC rallied and stopped it with an interception. The SBC ground game was well balanced with a total of 179 yards from a Huron-dominated backfield of Craig Thorne, Koenig, Mielke and Matt Acierto with (83, 36, 20, and 18 respectively). Cullen, of Margaretta, also accounted for 22 yards.
Passing was of secondary importance to the SBC, with only 73 yards, most of which came from a 38-yard play by Tyler Ludrowsky (Clyde).
On the other hand, the SLL dominated the air with Egbert’s 89 passing yards. Zach Apel (Genoa) was the receiver for 96 yards, including the SLL’s first TD and a second for a near TD as he was knocked out of bounds just short of the goal line. Eastwood’s Brown and Matt Schlumbohm, and Matt Forry (Otsego) contributed 44, 34, and 15 yards, respectively. The rushing for the SLL was a modest 43 yards.
Other local position players representing the SLL were RB/DB Nick Mikels (Lake), DB Nick Baker (Gibsonburg), QB/LB Michael Fahle (Woodmore), SE/DB Beau Lamb (Genoa), SE/DB Andy Gerbich (Gibsonburg), DL Josh Hillabrand (Genoa), RB/LB Blair Skilliter (Genoa), RB/DE Max Nussser (Woodmore), TE/DB Mark Schult (Eastwood), and RB/LB Marcus Vicars (Genoa). RB/DB Jimmy Vassello (Oak Harbor) played for the SBC.
Linemen included OL/DE James Cantrell (Gibsonburg), OL/DL Cody Schnabel (Woodmore), OL/LB Pat Cantrell (Gibsonburg), OL Callan Bialorucki (Genoa), OL/DL Dan Roepke (Woodmore), OL Brock Rentz (Eastwood), DL James Morlock (Eastwood), OL/DL Lucas Damscroder (Gibsonburg), OL/DL Jake Murphy (Genoa), OL Bryce Humbarger (Genoa), OL/LB Jake Griffith (Lake), OL/DL Josh Sampsel (Lake), and OL/DL Chris Repp (Gibsonburg).
Money from the game, after expenses, is used toward scholarships for the players. The allocation of the scholarships is not based on athletic achievement, however. The scholarships are awarded based on a letter that the athlete writes to a committee telling what football has meant to them during their high school career.
If voters approve the issue, a new elementary/middle school building would be constructed to replace Woodmore Elementary School in Woodville and a wing of the high school in Elmore which houses grades seven and eight.