The Columbus Academy football team celebrated the school’s 100th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 23 by defeating Newark Catholic 20-10.
Academy improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division. Newark Catholic dropped to 2-3 and 0-2.
With Academy holding a 13-3 lead with 4 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Vikings put the game away with a 21-play, 87-yard drive that was capped by a 3-yard pass from Jacob Wilson to R.J. Watters with 4:59 left in the game.
“Coming into halftime we were talking about we got a big drive coming in the second half,” Watters said. “We held the ball, mixed it up a bit and stayed composed. We really had a great drive.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Academy offense scored quickly as Wilson and Ben Bechtel connected on a 67-yard pass play to give Academy a 7-0 advantage.
On its ensuing possession, Academy again found success through the air. Wilson connected with Bechtel for a second touchdown pass of 33 yards to give the Vikings a 13-3 lead at halftime. Bechtel finished with four receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson passed for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
“I’m happy we came away with a win,” Academy coach Jim Collis said. “We did what we had to do in the second half. We controlled the ball and it was nice to do what they did to us in the first half. The kids fought and found a way to win.”
Newark Catholic’s offense was able to move the ball against the Academy defense but was unable to convert long drives into points. The Green Wave turned the ball over on downs on back-to-back drives to open the game that consisted of nine- and 12-play drives, respectively.
“We had our opportunities against a fine ballclub, and we came up short,” Newark Catholic coach Bill Franks said. “We had opportunities to score, and we burned up grass. First down after first down led to no points and we’re going to have to be better in the red zone.
Connor Shook opened the scoring for the Green Wave with a 37-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 7-3 with 5:18 remaining in the half.
Newark Catholic’s lone touchdown was scored by running back Kevin Bourne on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Garrett Vernau to close the scoring.
NEWARK CATHOLIC 0 3 0 7 -- 10
COLUMBUS ACADEMY 0 13 0 7 -- 20
CA – Bechtel 67 pass from Wilson (Long kick)
NC – Shook 37 FG
CA – Bechtel 33 pass from Wilson (kick failed)
CA – Watters 3 pass from Wilson (Long kick)
NC – Bourne 25 pass from Vernau (Shook kick)