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The Daily



08-30-03: Gagle’s big plays lift Celina


VAN WERT — Celina’s Brian Gagle is quickly being noticed as one of the top big-play threats on the football field in northwest Ohio.
Gagle made two huge plays Friday on the road at Van Wert and that was all that Celina needed as the Bulldogs shutout the Cougars, 13-0 in the Western Buckeye League opener for both squads.

“Brian Gagle is a big-time player and he made two great plays that led us to scores,” said Celina head coach Mike Fell. “One of the plays went for a touchdown and the other set up another touchdown. Teams have to be aware of where Brian is at on the field at all times.”
Celina is now 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the WBL while Van Wert falls to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The soggy field conditions kept both offenses in check for the first half as both teams went scoreless, although Celina failed on three solid scoring chances in the first 24 minutes of action.
The Bulldogs drove the ball deep into Van Wert territory on three different occasions in the first half only to see two interceptions and a turnover on downs halt the threats. The two interceptions occurred inside the red zone and the turnover on downs came at the 33-yard line.
“Van Wert played well up front and were beating us off the ball in the first half,” said Fell. “We didn’t execute and they played well defensively. We were deep in their territory and we just didn’t finish off those early drives.”
After Van Wert went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, Gagle turned a scoreless game into a 7-0 lead for Celina.
On second down, Joe Kanney threw the ball to Gagle on a wide receiver swing pass near the sidelines and Gagle broke a tackle and then used a perfect block by fellow receiver Jon Beougher before racing down the sidelines 60 yards for a touchdown. Gagle kicked the extra point to give the Bulldogs a seven-point cushion.
Then at the 5:15 mark of the third quarter, the Celina defense held strong and forced Van Wert to punt the ball. Waiting patiently for the punt was Gagle who promptly broke one tackle and broke outside for a 43-yard return to the Van Wert 17-yard line. The punt return by Gagle set up Celina’s only other score of the game.
On first down, Celina used a full-house backfield for the first time of the game and Kyle Schott took advantage as the senior running back raced to the right corner of the end zone from 17 yards out giving the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead after the PAT kick failed.
From that point on, it was Celina’s defense that kept the 13-point advantage safe.
Van Wert was only able to accumulate 82 total yards, including just 36 yards in the second half. The Cougars were only able to advance the ball into Celina territory four times the entire game.
“Celina stunted their linebackers a little more than we thought they might,” said Van Wert head coach Jeff Hood. “We’re not doing anything well on offense. We strive for balance on offense and we had it, only it was balance that we couldn’t run or pass. They absolutely dominated the game on defense and manhandled us.”
“Mick Gabes, Drew Braun and Jack Clouse did a great job preparing for our kids tonight and the kids just went out and executed the defensive game plan,” lauded Fell. “The secondary was outstanding, the pressure on the quarterback was there... I just thought that it was a tremendous defensive effort out there. Everybody was going to the ball and that’s what makes a successful defense.”
Gagle, on the otherhand, had more receiving yards than Van Wert had total yards as the senior wideout caught five passes for 133 yards. Gagle was the main threat through the air for Kanney as Tim Homan (four receptions, 29 yards) battled cramps throughout the game. Gagle, who didn’t play the entire second half of last weeks game due to a mild separated shoulder and a slight sprain to the AC joint, gave his teammates all the credit for his strong statistical performance.
“I iced my shoulder this week and there was no way that I wasn’t going to play in this game,” stated Gagle. “Jon Beougher had a perfect block on the touchdown reception and the punt return team made some big blocks to spring me.”
Schott was the top ground gainer for Celina picking up 93 yards on 18 carries.


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