Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
By Mark Ruschau
St. Henry picks up third win
Redskins blow open tight game in second half
  ST. HENRY - The smiles on the faces of the St. Henry football players following their 28-6 Midwest Athletic Conference win over the Fort Recovery Indians on Friday night at the Wally Post Athletic Complex were of both joy and relief.
Joy in the fact that the Redskins were able to beat their rivals while giving the seniors a win in their last home game, and relief in that they were finally able to break through and win a football game to improve to 3-6 on the season (2-5 MAC), after losing five in a row.
The biggest smile of them all was on the face of head coach Jeff Starkey who got to bask in the glow of his players success, knowing that their hard work had finally paid off.
"You almost forget what is like to win and it was hard on the kids," said Starkey. "I am really happy for our kids, they worked hard and it was nice to see that they were able to put it together tonight."
In the other locker room, veteran Fort Recovery coach Brent Niekamp was at the other end of the emotional spectrum. He knew that his team played well enough to win, but were unable to come up with the big plays they needed.
"This game came down to a handful of plays that went their way," said Niekamp. "There were mistakes made, but I thought our overall effort was good and I thought we played hard. They are a good team and they made those handful of plays to pull the game out. You have to give them credit for that."
Two of those big plays by St. Henry came in the first half, one by the defense and one by special teams.
The play by the defense came on the first series of the game. After Fort Recovery drove to a first down at the St. Henry 31, Nathan Froning sacked Indians' quarterback Jason Pottkotter for a four-yard loss on first down and the drive stalled, with the Indians turning the ball over on downs.
After St. Henry scored the first touchdown of the game, a one-yard run by Zach Gottes, Fort Recovery came right back down the field and went 85 yards in eight plays with Pottkotter hooking up with Aaron Vagedes' on a 42-yard scoring strike. Senior Jason Hess then came up with a big special teams play as he blocked Vagedes PAT kick to keep the score at 7-6 at halftime.
The first two series of the second half helped bury the Indians.
After stopping St. Henry on the first series of the second half, the Fort Recovery offense took the ball at their own 20 and drove to a first down at the St. Henry 29. On first down, Pottkotter, under pressure by the Redskins' Cory Siefring, threw up a wounded duck that was picked off by Dylan Schwieterman at the 31.
On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Alex Post hooked up with Siefring on a 34-yard pass to the Fort Recovery 35. Three plays later, Gottes got his second touchdown of the night on a 23-yard scamper around left end.
"We knew that we had to come up with big stops defensively and we were able to get them when we needed them," said Starkey. "We gave up just one big play, credit to them, they broke a tackle.
"I was really happy with the way we responded in the second half," continued Starkey. "We were able to establish the running game and the guys up front controlled the line of scrimmage. The backs ran hard and Alex Post did a good job of managing the game at quarterback. I saw a lot of good things. We played a lot of kids, it was a good win."
St. Henry closes out its next season next Friday on the road at Versailles. Fort Recovery returns home to close out its season against the Marion Local Flyers.
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