Eastwood routs Gibsonburg


GIBSONBURG — Eastwood took care of its own business Friday night.
Now, the Eagles are playing the waiting game to see if they’ll return to the state high school football
They did their part by posting a 34-6 victory over Gibsonburg.
Pernell Conner rushed 26 times for 166 yards and ran for all five Eagle touchdowns after Eastwood spotted
Gibsonburg a 6-0 lead. The Eagles finished the regular season 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the Suburban Lakes
League for second place.
But Eastwood still believes Oak Harbor must win at Sandusky St. Mary tonight for the Eagles to advance to
the playoffs. The Eagles originally thought they had made the playoffs after Clyde, Lake and Lorain
Clearview won Friday.
Eastwood and Clearview (7-3) are competing for the eighth and final playoff berth in the region.
As of early this morning, the Web site, www.joeeitel.com, had Clearview eighth and Eastwood ninth. The
site mirrors the computer rankings compiled by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
The computer rankings award points for each game a team wins and points for each game its defeated
opponents win. The bigger the school, the more points that are earned.
Oak Harbor is 3-6, while Sandusky St. Mary is 1-8.
Had the Eagles lost, they would have been eliminated from the playoffs. Gibsonburg finished 3-7, 1-5.
“We don’t know what has to happen for us to get in,” Eastwood head coach Jerry Rutherford said early this
morning, even raising the possibility of a tie for the final spot.
Rutherford didn’t know how the tie would be broken and the OHSAA Web site didn’t have any tiebreakers
Rutherford said if Eastwood makes the playoffs, it’ll finish eighth in the region and probably travel to
seventh-ranked and top-seeded Galion (10-0) in a first-round game a week from tonight at 7.
Eastwood is striving for its third straight playoff berth and sixth appearance in the last eight seasons.

The final computer rankings and pairings will be announced Sunday afternoon.
Eastwood played well in the second half to make up for a sloppy and unemotional first half. The Eagles
held a 20-6 lead at the half, but lost a fumble to set up Gibsonburg’s touchdown which was helped by
poor tackling.
But Eastwood was much sharper in the second half. The Eagles totaled 187 of their 351 total yards during
the final two quarters and held the Golden Bears to just 28 total yards, all on the ground.
“We had a rough first half and we knew we had to step it up in the second half if we wanted to be in the
playoffs,” said Conner, a 5-foot-10, 215-pound junior running back, who has a sweet mix of speed and
power. “We made a lot of silly mistakes in the first half.
“We came out in the second half and got the job done. We played the way we should.”
Rutherford ripped his team in the locker room at the half.
“I challenged our guys at halftime, especially the seniors,” said Rutherford, whose wife, Connie, won the
50-50 raffle at the game. “They had to step up and make plays. It was time. They needed some urgency.

“I told them I’ve stuck with them because they’re great kids. Everyone of them is a great kid. But it was
time to step up and make plays. No more excuses. Get the job done. We didn’t score every time, but we
moved the ball and we shut them out in the second half.”
Gibsonburg’s Avery Potridge opened the scoring with a 40-yard run with 9:35 left in the first quarter,
but the Golden Bear’s conversion run failed.
Eastwood rallied for a 13-6 lead as Conner scored twice on 2-yard runs later in the quarter. The first
came with 4:46 to play and the other came with 1:06 left. The Eagles increased the lead to 20-6 on
Conner’s 1-yard run with 1:06 to play in the first half.
Conner’s final two TDs came on a 22-yard run with 5:59 left in the third quarter and a 4-yard run with
10:51 to go in the game.
“Our level of play was better in the second half, both offensively and defensively,” Rutherford said.
Eastwood rushed for 320 yards in the game. Tony Tijerina added 10 carries for 74 yards, while Cody
Seifert ran 10 times for 59 yards.
EASTWOOD 14 6 7 7 —34
GIBSONBURG 6 0 0 0 —6
G — Potridge, 40 run (kick failed)
E — Conner, 2 run (Depew kick)
E — Conner, 1 run (kick blocked)
E — Conner, 2 run (Depew kick)
E — Conner, 22 run (Depew kick)
E — Conner, 4 run (Depew kick)
Category E G
First downs 16 8
by rushing 13 5
by passing 1 3
by penalty 2 0
Total net yards 351 117
Rushing 320 91
Passing 31 26
Attempts 11 11
Completions 3 3
Interceptions 1 0
Punts/average 1/54.0 7/30.6
Penalties/yards 2/15 4/43
Fumbles/lost 2/1 2/2
RUSHING: (E) Conner, 26-176; Tijerina, 10-74; Seifert, 10-59; Ruch, 2-(minus 4); Schmeltz, 1-5; 0;
Richardson, 3-10. (G) Fisher, 7-(minus 7); Binder, 3-3; Potridge, 23-105; N. Black, 1-(minus 10).
PASSING: (E) Ruch, 3-9-0—31; Schmeltz, 0-2-1—0. (G) Fisher, 3-11-0—26.
RECEIVING: (E) Rogers, 1-5; Seifert, 2-26. (G) Stahl, 1-4; C. Black, 2-22.

No posts to display