Findlay allows season-low 13 points on Senior Day
By Kevin Schrock
The Oilers got back to .500 on Saturday after they knocked off the Northwood Timberwolves 28-13. Findlay jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead on Rhys Gervais’ first rushing touchdown of the season followed by a five-yard Chauncey Bridges’ touchdown run. It appeared the Oilers might cruise to a senior day victory until an astonishing final 30 seconds of the half left Findlay wondering where their lead went.
“I liked the start because we talked about Northwood being a team that would have a tough time coming back if we got ahead just because of their offense,” said Findlay coach Rob Keys. “We had what we wanted, it was 14-0 early in the second quarter and we had the ball several times with a chance to make it 21.”
Then disaster. After the Timberwolves worked their way into field goal range early in the second quarter to cut into the Findlay lead, they scored two more times in the final thirty seconds of the half. The Oilers were left clinging to a 14-13 lead at halftime.
Northwood had capped off a seven-play drive with a five-yard touchdown run before kicking it back to the Oilers, still down 14-10. With 13 seconds on the clock Gervais overthrew his senior receiver Dylan Blunk and it landed in the hands of Austin Jones. He returned the interception 15 yards across midfield to the Findlay 45 yard line. Only ten seconds ticked off the clock in the time it took Northwood quarterback Joe Garbarino to complete a pair of passes for 36 yards. The Timberwolves knocked home the field goal to complete the crazy sequence of events that ended the second quarter.
“I wasn’t very happy at halftime to say the least,” said Keys. “I didn’t like the way our guys looked. I told them that we have to get things straight around here – let’s move forward and take care of business.”
Business was taken care of. The Oiler defense forced Northwood to go three-and-out at the start of the half and Gervais found Jason Moore in the end zone on the subsequent drive for another Findlay touchdown.
That would be plenty of cushion for what transformed into an Oiler defense shut down in the second half. Still, Bridges added one more score when he ran into the end zone untouched on a third and goal from the one yard line.
“I liked the fact that we came out in the second half and gave up no points,” said Keys. “If you can come out of the half and shut a team out you’re probably going to win.”
Both Bridges and Moore surpassed the 1,000 yard mark during the course of the game, making this Findlay team the only one ever to have a 1,000 yard rusher, a 1,000 yard receiver, and a 2,000 yard passer (Gervais).
“Chauncey (Bridges) was great but the offensive line deserves even more credit,” said Keys. “The three young guys and the two old guys in the middle continue to get better every day.”
The Oilers will now set their sights on Michigan Tech. Both teams need a win in their season finale to secure a .500 record, setting the stage for a barnburner in Michigan on Saturday.