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The Daily



10-04-03: Bulldogs slip back over .500 with victory


The cold, damp and breezy weather didn’t stop Celina from celebrating on Friday night following the homecoming game with Ottawa-Glandorf.
Celina’s senior duo of Brady Bonifas and Brian Gagle combined for 198 yards rushing in leading the Bulldogs to a 20-16 win over the Titans in Western Buckeye League action.
Celina slips past the .500 mark again improving to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the WBL while Ottawa-Glandorf falls to 2-5 on the year and 2-4 in league play.
Bonifas led the way for Celina’s offense from his running back position with 21 carries for 104 yards and the game-winning touchdown while Gagle made the most out of his 12 carries in the game, amassing 94 yards and one score. Gagle also added 29 yards passing.
Gagle and Bonifas made their presence felt most in the third and fourth quarters when the Celina running game began to take control.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Justin Conn caught a 23-yard pass from Jay Laubenthal at the 8:49 mark of the third quarter to give the Titans a 16-8 lead.
Celina responded right away behind the running game. Bonifas, Kelly Mallory and Andy Harner each carried the ball once for a total of 20 yards and then Bonifas again carried for six yards bringing the Bulldogs deeper into Titans territory.
The Titans defense again looked for one of the running backs to carry the ball, but instead, Gagle ran a bootleg and outran a host of O-G defenders on his way for a 38-yard touchdown run. Celina elected to try for a two-point conversion to try and tie the score, but the run failed and O-G still held a 16-14 advantage.
Late in the third quarter, a 25-yard punt return by Gagle set up Celina’s final score of the game.
Gagle gave Celina the ball at the O-G 20-yard line and Bonifas did the rest as he carried the ball on three straight plays with the final carry covering four yards for the score putting the Bulldogs on top, 20-16 as another two-point conversion run failed.
With 11:07 left in the game, O-G looked prime to regain the lead behind a strong running attack.
The Titans took over on their own 45-yard line and slowly milked the clock while picking up crucial first downs.
A Laubenthal pass to Kyle Kuhlman covering 14 yards highlighted a 12-play drive that ended in frustration for the Titans.
On fourth-and-goal from the five-yard line, Laubenthal dropped back to pass and found a wide open Kuhlman in the end zone, but the pass bounced right off the chest of the Titan receiver and to the ground for an incomplete pass turning the ball over on downs with 4:25 left in the game.
“I saw the ball in the air and I started thinking about how much time was left in the game to where we could try and mount a comeback but the ball dropped,” said Celina head coach Mike Fell. “We didn’t have many breaks in the game, but we got a break there in a big situation.”
“That play was just one of those things where we did everything right but catch the ball,” said Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Ken Schriner. “One play doesn’t lose a game for a team and I told the kids that. We missed several opportunities to score earlier in the game and that’s where the (Continued from page 6B)
game was lost.”
It was back to the Bonifas and Gagle show for the next 4:13 of the game as the senior duo kept the chains moving for the Bulldogs while chewing up valuable time off the clock. Gagle and Bonifas combined for seven carries covering 38 yards before the drive stalled.
A strong Tim Homan punt pushed O-G back to its own 34-yard line with just 12 seconds to play in the game when two incomplete passes hit the ground and sealed the win for Celina.
“We moved people on the drive at the end of the game and the kids knew that we had to take some time off the clock,” noted Fell.
“We used our timeouts earlier in the second half and that hurt us late in the game when they were taking time off of the clock,” said Schriner.
Kelly Mallory got Celina on the board in the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run. O-G’s Derek Patrick carried the ball a game-high 25 times for a game-high 144 yards and one score to pace the Titans offense.
Celina is back in action on Friday at home against Defiance while O-G hosts Shawnee.


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