CONCENTRATION … Carter Dominique looks to haul in a pass near the goal line for Bryan. (PHOTO BY RICH HARDING, STAFF)
By: Daniel Cooley
Last week against Maumee, Bryan nearly blew a 21-point lead, as Maumee came back to cut the Bryan lead to just seven points. However, Bryan scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away to a 48-20 win.
That led to Bryan head coach Grant Redhead preaching to his team about playing a complete game against Fairview, going hard for all four quarters. He got his wish with Bryan winning over Fairview at home, 56-13.
“I talked all week to the guys about playing a complete game, not jumping out to a lead and then letting the other team back in it and I thought we played more of a complete game against Fairview,” Redhead said.
“We put our twos (second stringers) in late in the second quarter and Fairview got some momentum going against us.”
“But we put our ones back in in the second half and then we were back up where we needed to be. And the twos also played well late in the game. We just have to keep getting better and we’ll be all right.”
Bryan scored the first five times it had the ball, to take a 35-0 lead. Drew Hahn started things off by catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jase Kepler.
Kepler then ran in the next two TDs from five and 11 yards out, respectively. Next, Sam Herold hit paydirt from 16 yards away and Ayden Pelz then scored from the five-yard line.
Fairview was able to get on the board with 25 seconds left in the first half on quarterback William Zeedyk’s 13-yard TD pass to Jeffrey Smith. That cut Bryan’s halftime lead to 35-6.
Each team punted on its first possession of the second half, but Bryan’s Cole Uran then set up the Golden Bears’ next score when he intercepted Zeedyk’s pass at the Fairview 25-yard line.
Pelz kept the drive going with a 19-yard pass reception from Kepler on fourth down and four yards to go from the Fairview 19-yard line. Kepler then ran the ball in from the four-yard line on the next play.
Uran then intercepted a Zeedyk pass and returned it 36 yards for a TD, to put Bryan up 49-7.
After Fairview scored on a 32-yard TD by Kaiden Kern, Bryan backup quarterback Dylan Dominique scored a TD from the three-yard line to make the final score 56-13.
Pelz led the Bryan rushing attack with 141 yards on 15 carries, with 114 of those coming in the first half. It was the senior Pelz’s second straight 100-yard rushing performance.
“The offensive line blocks for me and I just dig my feet in and just keep my legs going as hard as I can,” Pelz said.
Backup running back Dameon Wolfe added 60 yards on seven carries, while Kepler had 52 yards rushing on seven carries and passed for 72 yards.
Carter Dominique caught three passes for 33 yards and also completed a 69-yard pass to Maddox Langenderfer, as Bryan had 429 total yards. Most of the second half was played with a running clock.
Bryan (2-1) now travels to state ranked Archbold (3-0) for its NWOAL opener.
“I was out with COVID last year when we played them, so I’ve had that game circled for this year and I can’t wait to get to it,” Pelz said.
The game marks the second state ranked team that Bryan will play in the first four weeks.
“Everybody has to play somebody good, so let’s play and get it done.”
First Downs 7 23
Rushes-Yards 26-75 37-288
Passing-Yards 73 141
Passes 7-13-3 6-9-0
Total Yards 148 429
Penalties-Yards 4-20 3-29
Fairview 0 6 0 7 – 13
Bryan 27 8 14 7 – 56
B – Hahn 24-yd pass from Kepler (Devlin kick)
B – Kepler 5-yd run (kick failed)
B – Kepler 11-yd run (kick failed)
B – Heroid 16-yd run (Kepler run)
B – Pelz 5-yd run (Pelz run)
F – Smith 13-yd pass from Zeedyk (kick failed)
B – Kepler 4-yd run (Devlin kick)
B – Uran 36-yd interception return (Devlin kick)
F – Kern 32-yd run (Lashaway kick)
B – D. Dominique 3-yd run (Devlin kick)
Dan can be reached at email@example.com