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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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You will have to excuse Genoa's players if they felt like that should have been them taking on Ottawa-Glandorf last Saturday night in the Division IV regional finals.

Seven days earlier, the fourth-ranked Comets nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback against Orrville, which took a 29-8 first-half lead but had to hold on for a 36-35 victory in the regional semifinals in Ashland.

"In the Orrville game, we didn't play our best defensive game of the year," third-year Genoa coach Mike Vicars said. "We had some blown assignments and we didn't tackle our best. Our three turnovers really hurt us. We ended drives that we should have gotten points on, and it robbed us of valuable energy. You need energy - emotional energy - in these big games."

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Tyler Pickard was a rugged running back and punishing linebacker for the Genoa

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Comets' 11-1 state-playoff football team, even though as a back-up.

Don't think for second that the 5-10, 177 pound sophomore was merely content to pace up and down the sidelines.

One season ago, as a still-wet-behind-the-ears freshmen, Pickard was already toting the rock to glory for both the JV and freshmen squads and picking off last-minute, last-ditch passes by the Flyers to seal the deal for the ninth-graders on the SLL title.

This year on the Friday night varsity stage, he played a different role. Pickard personally accounted for a good number of the Comets' record-breaking 600 points as their chip-shot PAT ace.

Pickard took over the reigns of the Comets' kicking duties once the dust finally settled on a disappointing state final four loss to Kettering Alter in 2008. Then-incumbent PAT man James Leach was lost to a move to North Carolina, and both Blair Skilliter and starting punter Marcus Vicars to graduation.

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Fremont Speedway handed out awards and prize money to the drivers who finished in the top 10 in points in the 410 sprints, 305 sprints and dirt trucks at a packed banquet on Saturday, Nov. 21.

Crowned champion in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 sprints is Liepsic, Ohio's Todd Heuerman.

2. Paul Weaver from Fremont, Ohio. The two-time Fremont 305 sprint champion competed in all 17 A-mains recording an astounding 15 top 10 finishes. He scored 6 top 5 runs, including three wins - on July 4, July 18 and the NRA 305 challenge on Aug. 15. Finishing just one point behind champion Todd Heuerman, Weaver also scored a runner-up finish.

His average A-main finishing position was 7th.

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