By Patrick Elder
The BAY football team trailed for the first three quarters before scoring its second, and final, touchdown of the game, giving the Rockets a 13-12 victory in the West Shore Conference match-up against North Ridgeville.
Bay (3-6, 1-5 in the WSC) weathered an early storm both figuratively and literally, as North Ridgeville scored twice in the first quarter amidst a steady drizzle. The weather’s effects were apparent throughout the game, as turnovers and near-turnovers kept both offenses running on fumes.
According to Bay head coach Ryan Gorius, the weather limited the play calling and forced the game to be decided through one-on-one match-ups.
“It was nothing but running, but that’s what you do on a field like this,” he said. “If this was turf, I think there’d be different calls being made, but this was a perfect field. This is football.”
It may have been football, but it certainly wasn’t pretty football. There were a combined 16 fumbles in the game, 12 of which were Bay’s. Fortunately for the Rockets, they lost only two. Both of North Ridgeville’s first quarter touchdowns were off of turnovers, the first off a fumble, the second off an interception. Luckily for Bay, North Ridgeville missed both of its extra point attempts.
Bay seemed to be going nowhere fast until the last minute of the first half, when Bay quarterback Jake Best found running back Ryan Voiers behind him as he was almost sacked. Getting the shovel pass off barely in time, Voiers found an open field, running down to the 6-yard line, picking up 15 of his team-high 56 yards and avoiding a fourth down. Andy Barbour punched the ball in on a 1-yard touchdown run, putting the Rockets on the scoreboard, but still trailing 12-7.
The score remained 12-7 until two minutes into the fourth quarter when – after driving down the field on scrambles from Best and runs from Voiers and Barbour – Best hit tight end Scott Rapps in the endzone for the winning score.
“I knew the corner was open every time we ran that play,” Rapps said. “I just focused on the ball and brought it in.”
“I love nothing more for these guys than this win, because they earned it,” Gorius said. “It was nothing that the coaches did, because they knew what the call was on offense, and we knew what the call was going to be on defense. It was a matter of who wanted it more, and we wanted it more tonight.”
It was the first conference win for Bay this season.
“I told my boys yesterday that the team that wins tonight is the team that handles adversity,” Gorius said. “When we’re down two scores and win, to me, we handled the adversity.”
Bay will play its final game of the season at home against WSC heavyweight Midview High School Friday night at 7 p.m.