FAYETTE CROSS: Fayette’s boys team, along with Melani Seiler, will advance Saturday to the regional cross country meet in Tiffin.
The boys placed fourth overall to move on for another week, while Seiler placed 11th—good enough to qualify as an individual.
The boys have wanted to defeat Pettisville all season, coach Bryan Stambaugh said, and they got the job done Saturday at Tiffin.
“We really missed Chandler Sanford who is out with mono and Dalton [Goeltzenleuchter] had been hurt for the last three weeks,” Stambaugh said. “I felt we really stepped up and ran the best we could have.”
Hilltop placed first, followed by Coldwater, Columbus Grove and then Fayette.
Darrell Randall didn’t come through with his best effort, placing seventh at 17:14. He had some breathing problems, but Stambaugh expects to see an improvement this weekend.
“To me, it seems like he’s never been as focussed and determined to go after someone,” he said.
Other Eagles runners were Trevor Cox (17:22, 12th); Tim Stoltzfus (18:17, 26th); Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (18:34, 37th); Tyler Keefer (18:42, 40th); Dusty Lantz (19:33, 61st); and Clay Burkholder (20:06, 74th).
Mike Seas of Coldwater won the race at 16:26. Five others finished below 17 minutes.
Seiler made the cut among the top 16 finishers, but teammate Jill Stuckey missed by one place—four seconds away.
After Seiler’s 11th place finish at 20:31, Stuckey crossed the line at 20:57 for 16th.
Following were Madelyn Maginn (22:17, 38th); Alexa Kessler (23:13, 45th); Baker, Ashtyn Baker (23:48, 52nd); Sarah Kovar (24:22, 57th) and Sydney Brown (25:15, 71st).
Ottoville’s Shayla Siefker was first at 19:05, one of five runners to break the 20-minute mark.
Liberty Center, Bluffton, Kalida and Pettisville qualified for the regional run, while Fayette placed seventh.
FAYETTE SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Thirteen Fayette students qualified for Scholar Athlete status for fall season sports.
Members of the golf team who qualified are seniors Nelson Barnhiser and Chase Hookstadt, and juniors Kevin Ferguson and Jonathon Boesger. Boesger also qualified as a member of the cross country team.
Other cross country scholar athletes are seniors Hunter Colegrove and Darrell Randall (both 4.0 students), Clay Burkholder and Alexa Kessler, and juniors Trevor Cox, Tim Stoltzfus and Sarah Kovar.
Volleyball scholars are juniors Reba Rash and Kayla Wagner.
To make the scholar athlete listing, a student be a junior or senior, a varsity letter winner and have at least 3.25 GPA.
MORENCI CROSS: Morenci’s cross country teams are trading shorter milage for stiffer competition in this year’s regional tournament.
Last year, the Bulldogs traveled a park south of Detroit and squeaked into the state meet. This time around, Morenci travels only as far as Hudson, but there they will face three top-10 Div. IV teams.
The boys squad runs at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the girls. The Div. IV regional race is the only one scheduled this year in Hudson.
Based on previous times, coach Brad Brown expects senior Tyler Guelde to have a good chance of qualifying for state by placing among the top 15 runners, and sophomore Luke Spaulding could make it out if he cuts some time off his previous best.
On the girls side, freshman Mariah Gillen might make the cut.
SAND CREEK—Morenci’s boys placed third among 11 teams Monday at the Sand Creek Invitational. Guelde led the way with a fifth place finish at 17:52.
He was followed by Luke Spaulding (10th, 18:05), Jake Spaulding (16th, 18:58), Micah Gillen (19th, 19:20) and Reagan Stowell (34th, 20:29).
The winner from Hanover-Horton ran the course in 17:09.
Gillen placed 18th in the girls race at 22:40, followed by Kortney Cousino (51st, 26:50), Barbara Hollstein (53rd, 27:07), Taylor Baugh (55th, 27:21) and Mary Margaret Hollstein (67th, 29:48).
WHITMORE LAKE—With Guelde absent Saturday, Luke Spaulding was first for the Bulldogs at the Whitmore Lake Invitational. He placed 22nd overall at 17:58.
Other Bulldogs were Jake Spaulding (51st, 18:44), Gillen (76th, 20:08), Stowell (82nd, 20:47) and Logan Drummond (83rd, 20:52).
Coach Brown was pleased with Gillen’s showing in the large meet with her 18th-place finish at 21:56. Other finishers were Cousino (49th, 24:50), Barbar Hollstein (62nd, 26:19), Baugh (67th, 26:52) and Mary Margaret Hollstein (73rd, 29:19).
MORENCI FOOTBALL: Whiteford, the specialists in come-from-behind victories, thought they might pull off another one Friday night in Morenci.
The Bobcats came back from a 16-0 deficit, tied the game at 16-16 and again at 22-22, then tightened things up once again at 38-28.
But then it stopped.
After that, only Morenci continued to score. The Bulldogs played spoilers to Whiteford’s playoff bid and finished the season with a 52-28 victory.
“It was a great game,” coach Tom Saylor said, “from the first quarter into the second quarter and into the third and fourth. We played four solid quarters of football.”
Whiteford (5-4, 5-3) has a talented team, Saylor said, but they fell short of a come-back win this time. In four games this season, the Bobcats have erased second-half deficits to post victories.
“I’m glad the seniors got to go out with a win,” Saylor said. “They didn’t quit and they really took it to them. They weren’t to be denied the win.”
The Bulldogs (4-5, 4-3) lost the ball on a fumble on their first possession, but soon came back to take an 8-0 lead. Max Gautz broke loose for a 66-yard gain to the nine-yard line and Brett Bovee scored on a keeper. Bovee also ran the conversion.
Jordan Bach made several gains on the next drive before Gautz scored on a sweep around the left end. Bovee made it 16-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Whiteford tied the game with only 57 seconds remaining in the half, but the Bulldogs made good use of their time. Gautz grabbed a pass by Bovee, shifted across field and broke a tackle on his way to a 58-yard score.
Nick Wilson sacked the Whiteford quarterback to prevent a replay by the Bobcats.
Morenci looked as if it might start to crumble in the third quarter. They punted on their first possession, allowed a Whiteford score to tie the game at 22-22, lost ground on a holding call and a fumble, and finally lost possession on an interception.
With second and 11 on Morenci’s 35-yard line, Whiteford’s quarterback was intercepted in a play that seemed to be a tipping point.
A pass went right into the hands of Austin VanBrandt who traveled 56 yards for a touchdown. Bach ran for two and a 30-22 lead. The Bulldogs soon took over on the Bobcat 46 and needed only four plays to score. Gautz made a pair of first downs before scoring from 14 yards out. Bach added two points for a 38-22 lead.
Whiteford added a touchdown, but the Bulldogs still had two to go. Gautz scored from 19 yards out and Jay Howard capped a drive with a seven-yard run for the final 52-28 tally.
“Max played up to his potential and then some,” Coach Saylor said.
He also cited Wilson for his seven solo tackles and seven assists, and Howard for eight solo tackles at his inside linebacker position.
Summerfield is the only Tri-County Conference team to advance in the playoffs.
JV FOOTBALL: Morenci’s junior varsity football team claimed its final victory of the season without even stepping onto the field.
Bulldog coach Ryan Love said that Whiteford decided to forfeit the game, citing injuries and ineligibilities that left too few players.
Morenci ended the season with an 8-1 record.