By DENNY SROKA
MOUNT UNION —
The Mount Union football team had many big second-half come from behind wins this season, but not Friday. Forest Hills answered the call by stopping the Trojans inside 2 minutes in the fourth quarter to eliminate Mount Union 14-13 in a quarterfinal District 6-AA matchup Friday night.
A blocked point-after kick and an end-zone interception by the Rangers’ Joe Donoughe maintained the slim margin.
“The extra point that we blocked turned out to be a big play for us,” stated Rangers head coach Don Bailey. “I was worried about them kicking a field goal at the end being in so close. Mount Union is a good team and we expected to have to play hard to win. They played very hard in the second half. It was an emotional game and both teams made some mistakes.”
On the Trojans’ first possession of the game after a 45-yard kickoff return by Klayton Heffner to the 20-yard line, Dylan Smith took it down to the 9. Two big motion penalties pushed the Trojans back and then four incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs.
Forest Hills took advantage of two Trojan mistakes in the second quarter to score all of its points for the game. During the Trojans first drive of the second quarter, a fumble after a completed pass was recovered for Forest Hills by Ian Shugars.
The Rangers moved the ball from their 41 to the Mount Union 35-yard line.
Joe Donoughe connected with Dustin Ohler in the flat for a
35-yard touchdown pass to get on the scoreboard first at the 2:42 mark.
On the next Rangers drive, Donoughe found Quinn Diflauro for a 60-yard pass at the
2-minute mark for the second Ranger score. Donoughe found Ohler in the end zone on the conversion to put the Rangers on top 14-0 at the end of the half.
In the third quarter B.J. Loner broke loose on the left side for a touchdown run to get the Trojans on the board. Austin Low added the point after.
Mount Union mixed the play calling from running in the middle and with Trevon Walker going outside. Walker connected with Loner for 42 yards on a pass play as well.
At the 7:40 mark in the fourth quarter, the Trojans worked the ball to the 2-yard line with Devon Kylor catching a pass in the end zone for the score.
The point after was blocked, setting the final.
On the next Ranger possession Kole House picked of a Donoughe pass and the Trojans were on the 47-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage the center snapped early and the Rangers recovered. Forest Hills burned nearly five minutes off the clock with their ground game with 2:24 showing left in the game when the Trojans took over on downs at the 21-yard line.
Walker broke off a 32-yard run followed by a 22-yard pass to Nate Goodrich to move the ball to the nine-yard line with over one minute left on the clock. On a first and goal play Donoughe picked off a Walker pass in the end zone to bring the ball to the 20-yard line. The Rangers took a knee to end the contest 14-13.
GAME NOTES: Smith led the Trojans with 94 yards rushing while Walker added 82 and 127 yards passing ... Heffner caught four passes for 30 yards ... Forest Hills had only 98 yards rushing ... Donoughe threw for 174 yards.