By GARY R. RASBERRY
DELPHOS — Saturday’s 34-14 Coldwater win over
St. John’s was a big game in the eyes of Coldwater coach
John Reed and his team.
Coldwater turned things up in the final 24 minutes, scoring
20 points and holding the St. John’s rushing game to just
48 yards after giving up 157 in the first half.
The Cavaliers got the boost of winning on the road, in a very
tough place to play and beating a team that also is playoff
“I wasn’t sure we could execute that well against
that good football team,” said Reed, whose program makes
the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. “It
really gives me a lot of hope going down the road now because
that was an excellent team with so many weapons. For us to be
able to do the things that we needed to do to win the game,
I’m just proud of where we’re at right now.”
Coldwater’s defense was beaten early on Blue Jay running
scores by Kyle Spieles (67 yards) and Matt Shumaker (48 yards),
but as the game went on, the Cavs defense tightened. Shumaker
did get 114 yards rushing in the game but only 30 in the second
half while Spieles ended with 116 yards rushing with 41 coming
in the second half.
The secondary for the Cavaliers also put a noose on St. John’s
quarterback Jesse Kill, who is playing with two cracked vertebrae
in the lower back. Kill completed just eight passes in 23 attempts
for 109 yards with two interceptions.
“There’s certain thing you didn’t see us do
tonight (due to Kill’s injury),” said St. John’s
coach Todd Schulte. “We didn’t run the option more
than twice. That takes us out of our game. We had Dan McCormick
ready to go but he hasn’t seen the option all year. There’s
a big difference between practice and playing at game speed
in the option. It’s something that you have to get used
to over the course of the season. Jesse (Kill) will have to
play with pain the rest of the season.”
Coldwater picked up things on offense in the second half. Quarterback
Alex Hoyng, who was 12-for-21 for 129 yards in the first half,
found the rhythm in the second half after a great return to
start the third quarter put Coldwater on the Jays’ 21.
Hoyng broke the 14-14 tie just 97 seconds into the half with
a 12-yard pass to Craig Wellman.
After forcing St. John’s to punt, Coldwater put the cap
on the game as Hoyng completed all four passes in the next series
with the final pass going to Josh Fullenkamp for a 26-yard score.
Hoyng completed all seven passes he threw in the half and finished
with 238 yards.
“I wasn’t disappointed, but was surprised in his
first half because he wasn’t as crisp as he has been,”
said Reed. “His shoulder is getting better. Boy, in the
second half, he was on the money.”
Hoyng also got the running game going, leading Coldwater with
53 yards. The big play came in the final score for Coldwater
when Hoyng ran the draw for a 35-yard score with two minutes
left in the game to sew things up.
“We need that from our quarterback position, the way we
play,” said Reed.
Schulte did not make any excuses after the game.
“We just couldn’t get clicking,” said Schulte.
“We had good plays and some bad plays. It was a tale of
two halves. We couldn’t get it done in the second half.”
Coldwater ends the regular season at 9-1 and travels to Lorain
County on Saturday to face the 8-2 Wellington Dukes in the first
round of the state playoffs. St. John’s wraps up at 8-2
and gets to host Bluffton at Stadium Park on Friday to open
the Division V playoffs.