Turnovers cost Dutchmen in road loss

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

PACIFIC — Leading for most of the first half on the road, Dale Long’s Owensville Dutchmen football team appeared on their way to running their record back to .500 at 3-3 Friday night in Pacific.

Unable to overcome a late interception return for a touchdown, OHS suffered their first loss to the Indians in six years by a final score of 28-21.

“We just didn’t play real well,” Long said. “We had to mix some different guys at different positions due to injury.”

Losing starting quarterback Trevor Abernathy to a shoulder injury late in the first quarter, the young duo of freshman Brendan Decker and sophomore TC Fisher had to step up under the Friday night lights.

“Both Brendan and TC stepped up and did some good things for us,” Long said.

Trading three-and-outs to open the game, Owensville finally gained momentum towards the middle stages of the first quarter.

Sparked by runs of 13 and 52 yards from junior quarterback Trevor Abernathy, OHS broke the scoreless tie on third-and-goal from the one when Abernathy dove across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run at the 5:02 mark of the first quarter. Trevor finished the night with 82 yards rushing on six carries and a touchdown.

Sebastian Dixon’s extra point gave the visiting Dutchmen an early 7-0 lead on the road.

Taking their 7-0 lead into the second quarter, it did not last for long with Pacific cashing in an Owensville fumble for points.

With 11:08 for the first half, Indian sophomore quarterback Colton Thompson found the end zone on an 18-yard TD run.

Bailey Hoehne’s extra point tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.

It stayed deadlocked until the closing seconds of the first half.

Pacific was driving for a possible score before halftime when Cason Gray picked off a Thompson pass returning it 47 yards for a touchdown with :08 ticks for the half.

Owensville led 13-7 following a bad snap on the extra-point attempt going into halftime.

Gray finished with eight tackles to go along with his pick six. Garret West paced the Dutchmen defense with a team-high 11 total tackles. Bryor Bogle also reached double digits in tackles with 10.

Jarett Payne added eight stops and two tackles for loss.

Moments past the midway point of the third quarter, Pacific’s defense returned the favor after Gray’s pick-six ending the first half.

Indian defender Nathan Midkiff picked off a Fisher pass returning it 29 yards for a touchdown at the 4:20 mark of the third quarter.

Hoehne’s kick gave the host Indians a 14-13 lead after his previous failed attempt was negated by a personal foul penalty on Owensville.

Penalties hampered the Dutchmen on their next drive forcing them into as much as a fourth-and-40 in the latter stages of the third quarter.

Taking advantage of a short field, Pacific added to their lead on a Thompson 1-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Hoehne’s extra point pushed Pacific’s lead to 21-14 early in the final 12 minutes.

In for the injured Abernathy at quarterback, Decker led the OHS offense on their next drive starting at the 46-yard line thanks to a nice return from Seth Scheidegger.

Rushing three times for 19 yards and completing a pass to Cason Gray for 30 more, Decker capped the drive on a 7-yard TD run with 9:16 for the game. Brendan finished with 65 yards through the air on 5-16 passing and an interception.

Gray led the OHS receiving corps with three catches for 50 yards.

Running in the ensuing two-point conversion, Decker helped the Dutchmen knot the game at 21-21.

Seconds later, Dallas Heckelmann recovered a Pacific fumble giving the OHS offense the football at the Indian 31-yard line.

Unable to cash that turnover in for points, a missed Dixon field goal left the game tied and gave Pacific the ball back.

Forcing the Indians to punt, Owensville once again had a chance at a game-winning drive with 4:46 left in regulation.

On the very next play, those hopes were dashed when Pacific’s Trevor Hill intercepted a Decker pass returning it 45 yards for the eventual game-winning score.