Dutchmen defense helps tame Logan-Rogersville

Will Johnson

Earning the fourth seed and a first-round home game for the MSHSAA Class 3, District 3 football tournament, Dale Long’s Owensville Dutchmen opened their quest for back-to-back district titles against Logan-Rogersville’s Wildcats.

Facing them for the first time ever, OHS nearly made it a not-so memorable event.

Holding off a very game Wildcat squad, Owensville survived and advanced to the district semifinals following a 34-28 win.

“We survived tonight,” Long said. “We played just good enough to win. We have to come out next week and get better for a tough St. James team that will look to beat us again.”

Winning the opening coin toss and defering to the second half, the Dutchmen saw the Wildcats take their first shot on offense.

Driving 65 yards in nine plays, Logan-Rogersville (L-R) quarterback Bronson Tavenner found AJ Craft for a 21-yard touchdown pass at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter. Craft’s kick gave L-R an early 7-0 lead.

Not even a minute later, the host Dutchmen had an answer.

One play after Wyatt Ellis delivered 10-yard completion to Colton Moore, the OHS signal caller finished the drive with his legs.

Calling his own number from 54 yards out, Ellis found the end zone at the 6:58 mark of the opening quarter. This left the Dutchmen trailing 7-6 after River West-Derby’s missed kick into a strong wind.

On the ensuing kickoff, the wind helped the home team.

Sophomore Trevor Abernathy recovered the football keeping the Owensville offense on the field at the Wildcat 45-yard line.

Highlighted by two more completions to Moore, Ellis found Tanner Rector for a four-yard TD connection at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter. Dustin Faragher’s run for two points gave the Dutchmen their first lead at 14-7.

Keyed by a Sebastian Dixon sack, OHS forced the Wildcat offense into a three-and-out situation.

Needing just one play, the Dutchmen added to their lead.

Delivering a perfectly thrown ball, Ellis found Faragher for a 74-yard TD strike at the 2:00 mark of the first quarter. West-Derby’s kick gave the Dutchmen a 21-7 lead. Faragher had four catches for 96 yards receiving and a score for OHS.

Taking that lead into the second quarter, Owensville saw the Wildcats cut it in half.

Tavenner ran one in from 23 yards out at the 10:43 mark of the first half. Craft’s kick cut the OHS lead to 21-14.

Turning the ball over on downs at the midway point of the second, Owensville nearly saw L-R tie the game on their next drive.

With the Wildcats going for it on fourth-and-five from the OHS 25, Tavenner’s pass was picked off by senior linebacker Richard Nelms with 1:11 for the first half.

Overcoming a myriad of penalty flags and incomplete passes, the Dutchmen went into halftime with their 21-14 lead intact.

Unable to open the second half with a score, Owensville gave the ball back to the Wildcats.

Chewing up over six minutes of the third quarter driving 72 yards in 12 plays, Tavenner scored his second rushing touchdown on the night from a yard out. Craft’s kick knotted the game at 21-21 with 4:18 for the third quarter.

In just over two minutes, the Dutchmen answered when Ellis capped an eight-play, 74-yard drive with a 1 yard TD run. West-Derby’s kick at the 1:37 mark of the quarter put Owensville back on top 28-21 as the third period ended. Ellis ended the game with 210 yards rushing on 14 carries and two scores.

Turning the Wildcats over on down at the Dutchmen 17, OHS looked to add to their lead with the ball at the 7:25 mark of the fourth.

Helped by runs of 31 and 28 yards from Ellis, OHS soon found themselves facing a third-and-goal from the Wildcat 8 yard line.

On that play Ellis found Grant Steever for an 8-yard TD pass and a 34-21 lead with 4:08 remaining.

In spite of another Tavenner rushing TD with 2:06 left, Nelm’s second interception of the night with 30.2 left iced OHS’ victory.

Garrett Jahnsen and Dustin Faraghers both had 12 tackles each.