Seniors leave gridiron victorious
Bulldogs thrash Elmwood, 42-14, in finale
By Michael Krieger
At the end of Rossford’s final football game of the season, the 12 seniors remained on the field together one last time to release football-shaped balloons into the night sky.
It was a reminder of how fleeting four years of high school is, but the senior leaders and their underclass teammates enjoyed one last game, finishing the 2013 season with a resounding victory over a struggling Elmwood team, 42-14.
The team fought as one on both sides of the ball. While the offense racked up 425 total yards, the defense forced three turnovers and sacked the Royals’ quarterback four times.
Elmwood only converted one of eight third down plays and frequently was forced into awkward punting predicaments that gave the Bulldogs the short field on several occasions.
Prior to the game, senior linebacker Ryan Reed told other players, “Just keep hitting. The tackle you just made might be the last one you make for your career.”
Reed’s actions added volume to his words as he and sophomore Nick Wagner combined for 14 tackles to lead the Bulldogs in shutting out the Elmwood offense for three quarters.
Reed not only provided plenty of key hits, but he sacked the quarterback twice and seemed to inspire the entire defensive unit.
Deadlocked most of the first quarter, Rossford scored late in the period on a 68- yard swing pass from John Allen to Dylan Losiewicz. This was the first of four quick scores by the Bulldogs.
Allen led the way completing 14 of 22 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns on the night.
Four passes were completed to senior Losiewicz, who amassed 121 receiving yards and scored twice.
Leading 7-0 in the second quarter, Allen broke into the clear and weaved through tacklers for a 25- yard touchdown run. With Hector Aguirre’s point after, the lead increased to 14-0.
A defensive stop by the Bulldogs forced Elmwood to punt from near their own goal line. The short punt gave RHS the ball at Elmwood’s 25-yard line.
On the very next play, Allen connected with Losiewicz and raced through tacklers for another touchdown. Aguirre added the point after, and the lead swelled to 21-0.
The Bulldog defense stepped up again and forced another punt. This time the Bulldogs took over on their own 46-yard line, and from there began a grueling drive of 12 plays before Allen tossed a six-yard pass to Reed, who made a diving grab for the score and a 28-0 lead with a minute remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs made one more scoring threat in the waning moments of the first half when sophomore Chase Baney intercepted an errant Royal pass at midfield.
The subsequent drive provided a couple of quick passes by Allen to Andrew Myers and Noah Asmus before the offense gave way to the field goal unit. Aguirre’s 36-yard attempt fell short, and the teams entered the locker rooms with RHS leading 28-0.
The Bulldogs opened the third quarter by relying on the short passing game and on a running attack that picked up yardage in chunks.
With a third down and 12 to go, Allen threw long over the middle to tight end Nathan Childress, who raced the remaining yardage for the touchdown.
After forcing another short Elmwood punt, the offense returned to the field. Three plays later, Asmus broke free down the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown run to complete the Rossford scoring for the evening.
After substituting so that all of the seniors could be on the field at once, Rossford went to the bench. While the younger Bulldogs were competitive and held their own, the Elmwood varsity eventually found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter on touchdown runs by Austin Isaacs and Nick Gillett, respectively.
“You visualize how you want the game to go,” Coach Todd Drusback said. “We wanted to get people involved and give the seniors a chance to be recognized. It was a great night because of all those things. It was a great night for our seniors.”
Drusback went on to say that this senior class faced a lot of adversity but the coaching staff is proud of the end result.
“I’ll miss them; they are a special group of players,” he said.
The senior class gets the honor of being the first Bulldog team to post back-to- back winning seasons since the 2004 season, as they finished with a 6-4 overall record and fourth place in the Northern Buckeye Conference.
The importance of the team’s senior leadership was evident not only their play but in reactions by underclassmen as the players lingered on the field long after the final whistle.
Senior football players competing in their last game were: Charlie Moore, Jacob Burlage, Dallas Johnson, Christian Goldsmith, Josh Maas, Nolan Duly, Ryan Reed, A.J. Santellana, Dylan Losiewicz, Noah Asmus, Aaron Kolbe and Josh Ladd.
“At the start of the season, we were concerned about lack of experience,” Drusback said. “During the season, we developed some confidence, even though we ran into some adversity with some tough games against Eastwood and Lake and due to some injuries.”
While the absence of the seniors will leave some big shoes to fill, the Bulldog coach is especially pleased with what this season’s effort means for next year.
“We played a lot of young guys who can help us build for a bright future.”
With so much game experience coming back, Coach Drusback is excited about Rossford’s possibilities to continue to build a program and develop a winning climate in which to compete year after year.
Bulldog seniors celebrate their last game together–a victory over Elmwood. From left are: Josh Ladd, Nolan Duly, Josh Maas, Christian
Goldsmith, Dallas Johnson, Jacob Burlage, Aaron Kolbe, Noah Asmus, A.J. Santellana, Ryan Reed, Charlie Moore and Dylan Losiewicz.
Photo by Coach JB