Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
By Mark Ruschau
Pottkotter scores late TD for Indians
WAYNESFIELD - The Fort Recovery Indians overcame a disastrous first 24 minutes by scoring 22 second-half points, including the final eight with just 19 seconds left, to defeat the Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers 34-30 on Friday night at Tiger Field.
Fort Recovery is now 2-0 on the season while Waynesfield falls to 0-2.
It was a drastic difference for Fort Recovery on both sides of the ball between the first and second half. In the first half, Waynesfield outgained Fort Recovery 242-169 and the Tigers' defense came up big as well by forcing three Indians' turnovers.
In the second half, the Fort Recovery defense came up big as they shut out Waynesfield, limiting the Tigers to just 64 yards of offense while forcing a pair of turnovers.
Fort Recovery found its ground game in Kenny Wenning, who carried the ball 19 times for 125 yards. Indians' quarterback Jason Pottkotter chipped in 55 yards on nine carries, all in the second half.
Pottkotter also had a nice night passing as he threw for 215 yards and a score. Derek Gaerke caught nine passes for 119 yards and a score to lead the Indians' receiving corps.
"We had a young cornerback that they were picking on, and give them credit as well, they came up with some nice throws in the first half," said Fort Recovery's coach Brent Niekamp. "We just told the kids that they have to just keep playing and some of the plays were going to bounce our way and they did.
"In the second half we did not turn the ball over and make mistakes and that allowed us to stay ahead in down and distance and we were able to run the football like we wanted to," continued Niekamp. "I am really proud of the way the offensive line - tackles Trent Kaiser and Jacob Whitacre, Ryan Gaerke, Trent Dues at the guards and center Gabe Riegle - played in the second half. They were very gutsy, they were physical and they finished blocks. We won the game because those guys played so hard and Kenny Wenning running the football."
The Indians got their comeback underway late in the third quarter as they went 65 yards in nine plays with Wenning scoring his third touchdown, a 43-yard scamper to cut the deficit to 30-18 with 3:18 remaining in the third period.
The Fort Recovery defense came up big on the next series as they forced a three-and-out, giving the offense the ball at their 34 after a punt. The Indians then marched 66 yards in seven plays with Pottkotter hooking up with Derek Gaerke on a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth period. Pottkotter then ran up the middle for the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 30-26.
Fort Recovery's defense came up big again on the ensuing series by stopping the Tigers on downs at the 24 with 7:57 left.
The game-winning drive did not start well as the Indians were called for an illegal block on their first play which moved the ball back to the 18. Two runs by Pottkotter and an encroachment penalty by Waynesfield gave the Indians a first down at the 39.
Again the drive took a step back as the Indians were called for holding which moved the ball back to the 32. Pottkotter then completed his only pass of the drive to Wenning, good for a 20-yard gain to midfield.
Three running plays gave Fort Recovery a first down at the Waynesfield 32. Again the Indians had to overcome a penalty, this time a delay of game, but two carries covering 18 yards by Wenning and a 13-yard run by Pottkotter gave them the ball at the Tigers' nine-yard line.
A two-yard run by Wenning on first down moved the ball to the seven before a five-yard QB sneak by Pottkotter moved the ball to the two. On third down, Wenning moved the ball to the one with 32 seconds left and on fourth down, Pottkotter busted into the end zone, to give the Indians their first lead of the night.
Fort Recovery opens up Midwest Athletic Conference play next week, playing host to undefeated Versailles.
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