Keys: ‘I still wasn’t pleased with the way we ran the ball’
By Kevin Schrock
Three records were shattered on Saturday afternoon, all broken by sophomore quarterback Rhys Gervais. The Oilers put the game out of reach early but the focus turned to the records. Gervais broke the team’s single season records for passing yards (2,981), touchdowns passes (28), and completions (211). He led the Oilers route of the winless Malone Pioneers, the final score ended up 49-17.
After falling behind 3-0 early, Gervais broke record number one with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Tim Szabo to propel him past Verlon Reed on the career passing yards list. A quarter later he hit Anthony Federico for a touchdown to give him 28 touchdown passes to break the 18-year-old record set by Bo Hurley.
By halftime the Oilers had built their lead up to a comfortable 21-10, but they were just getting started.
“We didn’t really do a good job of taking them out of the game early,” said Findlay coach Rob Keys. “After giving them the ball on the 2-yard line to start the game though, it was huge for our defense to hold them to a field goal to keep the momentum on our side.”
In the second half it was Daiquone Ford getting a touchdown run early in the third quarter to give the Oilers a 28-10 lead, but soon after Gervais threw a pick-six to Jordan Johnson to keep the door open for the Pioneers. However, the Oiler defense shut Malone down and the offense continued to roll for three more scores.
“I can’t say enough about our defense today,” added Coach Keys. “The first drive of the game really became important because the last thing you want is for a defense that has been somewhat inconsistent to give up a touchdown that wasn’t yours with the ball starting at the two. With seven freshman playing it could have messed with their psyche, but they got the stop.”
Jason Moore got into the action with a 32-yard touchdown reception toward the end of the third quarter, and Ford and Mitchell Campbell each ran the ball in for scores in the fourth quarter. Despite the forty-nine-point outburst there were still some concerns on offense for the Oilers.
“I still wasn’t pleased with the way we ran the ball,” said Keys. “I thought we weren’t quite as consistent in the run game as we needed to be. We had too many one or two yard gains. We need to do a better job on first down of putting ourselves in second and four or second and three situations.”
Still, the Oilers cruised to the 49-17 victory, and all who left Donnell were buzzing about the performance of Gervais not only that day but all year. He will have one more game this year and the Oilers will look to get over the .500 mark in 2015.
With the victory over the Pioneers the Oilers move to 5-5 overall and 4-5 in the GLIAC Conference. Their final game will take place Saturday at noon right back at Donnell Stadium against Northern Michigan who will also come in with a 5-5 overall record and 4-5 in the conference.