SYLVANIA — It took one drive to propel Perrysburg into sole possession of first place in the Northern Lakes League Friday night at Northview High School.
|Perrysburg’s Gus Dimmerling (10) runs the ball after escaping an attempted tackle by Southview’s Michael Bronson Friday night. (Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Nate Patterson’s 4-yard touchdown pass from Gus Dimmerling with 5:16 to play in the game, gave the Yellow Jackets enough cushion as they held on for a 16-13 win over Southview at Cats Stadium.
Nursing a 9-6 lead and facing fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Perrysburg head coach Matt Kregel elected to go for the dagger and put Southview in a hole, rather than kick a field goal.
It turned out to be the right choice.
Rolling to his right, Dimmerling found a wide-open Patterson on a crossing route in the back of the end zone to complete the broken-play touchdown, which gave the ’Jackets a 16-6 lead.
“I was looking for my tailback in the flats and he wasn’t open, so I was going to try to run it in,” Dimmerling said. “Once I realized I couldn’t run it in, I looked back and Nate Patterson came across the middle and was wide open.”
The touchdown capped a 17-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in five Perrysburg first downs — three of which came on third or fourth down. The ’Jackets had just nine first downs and 99 yards of offense prior to the game-clinching drive, which took 6:34 off the clock.
“When they want it that bad, when they want to win that bad, they’ll do anything to win,” Kregel said of his team’s determination.
Southview returned the ensuing kickoff to Perrysburg’s 47-yard line, setting up a 19-yard scoring pass from Griffin McDonald to JJ Pinckney with 3:21 remaining. The 6-foot-3 Pinckney leaped for the jump ball, bobbled it, hit the ground and managed to hang on for the score.
But Perrysburg milked the final three minutes off the clock, clinching its second consecutive win over Southview. It is the first time the ’Jackets have beaten the Cougars in back-to-back years in Kregel’s eight years as head coach.
Before its 23-16 loss to Perrysburg last year, the Cougars had won four straight over the ’Jackets, dating back to 2007.
With this year’s playoff and NLL-title implications, is this Perrysburg’s biggest win in recent memory?
“Without a doubt it’s right up there,” Kregel said.
The win moved Perrysburg to 4-2 overall, but more importantly to 3-0 in the NLL. It is the only undefeated team in the league. Southview is 3-3, 2-1.
“This was, of course, our biggest league game of the year,” said Dimmerling, who accounted for 176 of Perrysburg’s 196 total yards. “We had to come out fighting our butts off, fighting as hard as we could, knowing that if we won this, a lot more was in store.”
Dimmerling was electric in the second half after gaining just 44 yards in the opening 24 minutes.
Trailing 6-0 at halftime, the ’Jackets came out poised, scoring on their first two drives of the second half.
Scott Freeman got Perrysburg on the board with a 22-yard field goal, and then Mark Delas gave it a 9-6 lead after a 2-yard rush to the left side.
“We worked so hard coming in and we just proved ourselves,” Dimmerling said.
Dimmerling, a 6-foot junior, collected 80 of Perrysburg’s 100 rushing yards and was 11-of-19 passing for 96 yards.
“It’s been a rough couple weeks for Gus,” said Kregel. “On Tuesday, he didn’t execute well and we got on him a little bit and he took it to heart. He came out to play.”
Defensively Perrysburg was stout, holding an athletic Southview team to 219 yards, including just 83 on the ground. The Cougars averaged 22.2 points per game in the first five weeks of the season.
Pinckney, a standout receiver with scholarship offers from numerous Division I programs, was limited to four catches for 53 yards.
“The defense was awesome,” Kregel said. “The defense has been awesome for two weeks.”
But when asked if this win gives Perrysburg an inside track to the NLL title and a playoff spot, Kregel put it simply and bluntly — “One week at a time.”
The ’Jackets host Anthony Wayne (3-3, 2-1) next Friday at 7 p.m.
PERRYSBURG 16, SOUTHVIEW 13
PERRYSBURG 0 0 9 7 —16
SOUTHVIEW 3 3 0 7 —13
S — Parsons, 44 field goal
S — Parsons, 36 field goal
P — Freeman, 22 field goal
P — Delas, 2 run (pass failed)
P — Patterson, 4 pass from Dimmerling (Freeman kick)
S — Pinckney, 19 pass from McDonald (Parsons kick)
Category P S
First downs 14 11
By rushing 7 5
By passing 6 6
By penalty 1 0
Total net yards 196 219
Rushing 100 83
Passing 96 136
Attempts 19 17
Completions 11 8
Interceptions 0 0
Punts/average 2/37.5 2/47.5
Penalties/yards 2/15 5/36
Fumbles/lost 2/0 1/0
RUSHING: (P) Dimmerling, 21-80; Delas, 12-10; Llewellyn, 3-10. (S) Gilmore, 12-41; S. Stout, 6-28; Lockett, 8-16; McDonald, 1-2; Pinckney, 1-(minus 4).
PASSING: (P) Dimmerling, 11-19-0—96. (S) McDonald, 8-16-0—136; Gilmore, 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING: (P) Freeman, 2-26; Patterson, 3-22; Delas, 2-15; Fleming, 1-12; Honsberger, 1-11; Kaczinski, 1-10; Thomas, 1-0. (S) Hall, 3-64; Pinckney, 4-53; El Houssami, 1-19.