Five times the county bragging rights

Will Johnson

Able to erase a 13-0 first-quarter deficit, Dale Long’s Owensville Dutchmen overcame a slow start in the latest edition of the Gasconade County Bowl football game Friday night at Dutchmen Field against the visiting Hermann Bearcats.

Tied at halftime by a 21-21 score, OHS outscored their county rivals to the north 13-8 in the second half to retain county bragging rights and the trophy for a fifth year in a row, 34-29.

“Once we woke up and starting playing to our game plan, we did a great job and had a lot of young guys step up,” Long said.

In the early stages of the game, it appeared Hermann was going to leave Dutchmen Field with the trophy for the first time since the fall of 2013.

A Trent Gleeson blocked punt gave Hermann a short field at the OHS 25-yard line at the 10:55 mark of the opening quarter.

Three plays and 50 seconds later, Gleeson capped it with a four-yard touchdown run. Dalton Lotshaw’s extra point gave the visiting Bearcats an early 7-0 lead.

Another Dutchmen three-and-out led to fumbles by both teams at the midway point of the first quarter.

Hermann drove all the way to the OHS 4-yard line before Seth Scheidegger recovered a fumble at the 5:55 mark of the first period.

Two plays later, Gleeson recovered an Owensville fumble giving the Bearcats a first down at the Dutchmen 3-yard line.

Gleeson found the end zone on the very next play pushing Hermann’s lead to 13-0 following Lotshaw’s missed extra point with 5:40 for the first quarter.

Just under two minutes later, Hermann nearly added to their lead on a long 78-yard TD pass from Chase McKague to Chase Racherbaumer.

That play was called back by an illegal shift penalty on the Bearcats at the 3:53 mark of the quarter.

An intentional grounding penalty eventually forced the Bearcats to punt leaving the Dutchmen with a short field with 3:06 left in the opening period.

Brad Long led the OHS defense with 17 total tackles including 11 solo stops.

In the closing seconds of the quarter, Owensville thought they were on the board thanks to a Trevor Abernathy 9-yard TD run.

Erased by a false start penalty, OHS went into the second quarter trailing 13-0.

Overcoming yet another false start penalty forcing second-and-goal from the 18, Abernathy escaped two Bearcats before finding Bryor Bogle wide open in the end zone for an 18-yard TD pass with 11:31 until halftime. Sebastian Dixon’s extra point left the Dutchmen trailing Hermann 13-7.

“Trevor (Abernathy) is starting to see things a little bit more out on the field,” Long said. “He did a lot of good things out there tonight.”

Thanks to a quick three-and-out from the OHS defense, the Dutchmen offense got the ball back on the 20 with 10:06 for the half.

Eight plays and 80 yards later, Abernathy called his number on a 9-yard TD run at the 7:00 minute mark of the second quarter. Dixon’s kick gave Owensville their first lead of the game at 14-13.

“Our coaching staff did an awesome job making adjustments throughout the night,” Long said.

Trevor finished with 35 yards rushing on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

After both teams traded three-and-outs, the OHS special teams unit got in on the scoring parade.

Backing Hermann up in a fourth-and-23 situation, Linders blocked the Bearcat punt that went right into Dixon’s waiting arms.

Linders added seven total tackles including three of them for losses to his blocked punt.

Taking it 30 yards to the house for a touchdown, his third extra point of the game pushed the Owensville lead to 21-13 with 2:10 until halftime.

“Sea bass (Sebastian Dixon) had Christmas come early to him this year,” Long said.

OHS’ eight-point lead lasted all of 14 seconds.

Hermann’s Brennan Knipping found open field on a 63-yard touchdown run at the 1:56 mark of the first half. Keegan Head’s two-point conversion run knotted the game at 21-21 late in the half.

Jarett Payne ended the first half with a fumble recovery keeping the score deadlocked at 21-21.

In the second half, it would be a Dutchmen freshman stepping up his game on the defensive side of the ball.

With Hermann trying some trickery on fourth-and-seven, Derek Brandt intercepted Trent Anderson’s pass to set up Owensville’s offense on the Bearcat 25-yard line at the 2:42 mark of the third quarter.

“Derek Brandt played really well on defense tonight,” Long said. 

Faced with a third-and-16, Abernathy hooked up with senior wide receiver Dallas Heckelmann on a 30-yard TD pass. Dixon’s kick put OHS back on top 28-21 with 2:04 left in the third.

Abernathy finished his night 8-21 passing with 106 yards through the air and a pair of touchdowns.

Four plays later, Brandt struck again.

Finding themselves in a third-and-10 situation, McKague went back to the air only to be picked off a second time by the Dutchmen freshman.

In the closing seconds of the third quarter, Abernathy found Lucas Edwards for a 9-yard completion to convert a fourth-and-five into a first down at the Hermann 15-yard line to start the fourth quarter.

Helped by a Bearcat offsides penalty and a 10-yard reception from Heckelmann, Abernathy dragged three Bearcats into the end zone on a 3-yard TD run with 9:46 left.

Lucas Edwards led Dutchmen receivers with four catches for 35 yards.

In spite of Dixon’s kick hitting the left upright, Owensville had a 34-21 lead early in the final quarter.

Keegan Head answered for Hermann with a 33-yard TD run at the 7:44 mark of the fourth. His two-point run cut the Dutchmen lead to 34-29 to round out the scoring.

Scheidegger led the Dutchmen ground attack with 75 yards rushing on 20 carries.

After finishing their four-game homestand with a 2-2 mark, Long’s Owensville squad will take their 2-3 record on the road this Friday night into Franklin County against Pacific’s Indians.

Pacific will be celebrating homecoming and the 50th anniversary of their football program before the 7 p.m., kickoff of gridiron action.