MISHAWAKA — Holding onto a 20-7 buffer in the third quarter, Glenn’s chances of a sectional reprisal against Marian were looking pretty good.
But the Knights scored 28 points in a span of less than 10 minutes, and the hosts handed the visiting Falcons a 42-20 season-ending defeat in a Sectional 17 semifinal Friday in Mishawaka.
“I thought the third quarter was slow,” said Glenn head football coach Justin Bogunia. “We took that drive down and scored, and we held them for a little while… That quarter kind of surprised me. It seemed like the second half went a lot slower for us obviously than the first half.”
“I thought our kids did a good job coming over here and playing hard,” he added. “The second half we just didn’t get it done. The first half we did, but I guess the wheels kind of fell off about halfway through the third quarter.”
With the two teams knotted at 7-all at the half, Glenn opened the second half with an eight-play, 88-yard touchdown drive set up by a fake punt and pass interference call at the 10:02 mark of the third and capped off by an 8-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Sean Liedtky to Derek Hiler to give the Falcons a 14-7 lead at the 9:29 stop of the quarter.
Energized by the long drive, Glenn’s defense held Marian to three and out, and Zach Combs — back after sitting out his team’s sectional opener with Culver Military last week — returned the ensuing punt 62 yards for a score that gave the visitors a 20-7 advantage with the failed kick with 7:59 remaining in the frame.
With Marian facing a third and long at its own 31, it looked like the Falcons defense would hold again, but Marian quarterback Vince Ravotto hit Devin Cannady on a 69-yard catch and carry into the Glenn end zone to cut the cushion to 20-14 exactly one minute after Combs’ punt return, Glenn went three and out, and the Knights punched in another big-play score on a 24-yard run by Michael Whitfield to give the home team its first lead of the night, a tenuous 21-20 advantage with Michael Farkas’ third extra-point kick at the 3:18 stop of the period.
“The third and 10 play was huge. We stop them and get that play on that ball, and we’re getting the ball back,” said Bogunia. “The momentum swung on that play and they capitalized on it. They held us to three and out and got the ball back in good field position, and it just went down from there.”
Marian defensive back Ryan Schafer picked off Liedtky’s pass on second and 16 on the ensuing Glenn possession, and five plays and 41 yards later, Ravotto hooked up with Cannady in the end zone again, this time on a 9-yarder to stretch Marian’s lead to 28-20.
The situation went from bad to worse when Glenn coughed up a fumble on its own 43, and Marian took advantage of the short field with a quick two-play scoring drive as Whitfield ran 30 yards on a cutback, and Tyran Ottbridge ran it in from 14 yards out to stretch the lead to 35-20 with only 9:02 left to play.
Liedtky was picked off again on the Falcons’ next drive, and after Marian was forced to punt for the first time in the second half, Glenn failed to convert on a fourth and long at the Falcons’ own 49 with 1:49 on the game clock. Whitfield broke away for a 32-yard run with 1:09 remaining to bring the score to its final margin.
“We did a great job in the first half containing them, and I guess pursuing to the ball, and the second half they got a couple good runs and started running those powers inside, and we were kind of scrambling from there. We had a linebacker (Christian Porter) go out, so we were kind of putting band-aids on a little bit halfway through the third quarter. But hey, you do what you’ve got to do. They played a good football game. Both teams played hard tonight,” Bogunia said.
Glenn was led in rushing in the loss by Adam Dodson’s 88 yards on 18 carries, and in total offensive yards by Hiler’s 73 ground yards and 30 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Hiler is one of 10 seniors along with quarterback Liedtky who bid goodbye to the team.
“It’s hard every year when you see those guys walk away from you and it’s over, and you feel sorry for them because of the way it ends. Unless you end with a championship it’s always hard,” said Bogunia. “I know right now they probably feel like it’s the end of the world, but football’s a great metaphor for life, and if this game’s the hardest thing those guys have to go through in their life, they’re going to have a really good life.”
The program also says farewell to 15-year head coach Bogunia, who retires with a record of 101-67 after leading the school to two of its three sectional championships and its only regional title in 2004.
“I’ll always consider myself a Falcon, no matter where I go or what happens from here,” he said. “I feel like I’ve left a positive mark on this, and whether as a person or a coach, that’s what you hope for. I’ve always told my players, those guys who played for you, those are your trophies. Any of the wins and losses and trophies that we’ve gained since I’ve been here compare nothing to a guy giving me a call, saying ‘Hey Coach, good luck tonight,’ or the emails I get or when they stop by. To me that’s what it’s all about. Put it in perspective, this is high school football. It’s about teaching lessons and growing them up to be young men that you can be proud of and that can have a positive impact on your community or other communities.”
• MISHAWAKA MARIAN 42,
JOHN GLENN 20
Score by quarter
Glenn: 7 0 13 0 — 20
Marian: 0 7 14 21 — 42
G — Derek Hiler 7 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 1:39
M — Vince Ravotto 14 run (Michael Farkas kick), 11:08
G — Hiler 8 pass from Kyle Liedtky (Schmeltz kick), 9:29
G — Zach Combs 62 punt return (kick failed), 7:59
M — Devin Cannady 69 pass from Ravotto (Farkas kick), 6:59
M — Michael Whitfield 24 run (Farkas kick), 3:18
M — Cannady 9 pass from Ravotto (Farkas kick), 10:08
M — Tyran Ottbridge 14 run (Farkas kick), 9:02
M — Whitfield 32 run (Farkas kick), 1:09
First downs 11 12
Yards rushing 182 231
Yards passing 65 110
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-16-3 5-10-0
Punts-avg. 3-34 4-31
Fumbles lost 1 1
Yards penalized 37 40
Rushing: Hiler 20-73, 1 TD; Adam Dodson 18-88
Passing: Liedtky 7-16-3, 1 TD
Receiving: Hiler 3-30, 1 TD; Schmeltz 2-29; Jake Strong 2-17
Record: Marian 8-3, Glenn 5-6 (final)