Senior running back Mason Minnich rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries to lead the Ashland Crestview High School football team past host Grandview Heights 45-29 on Friday, Nov. 4, in an opening-round Division V playoff game.
The Bobcats finished 10-1 overall and set a record for the most wins in program history.
Crestview improved to 10-0 and advanced to play Lucasville Valley on Friday, Nov. 11, in a regional semifinal.
The Cougars led 24-23 but broke open the game with 21 points in the fourth quarter, starting with a 73-yard run by Minnich on the first play of the final 12 minutes.
“We made some blocks, and they had their defensive backs up on the line,” Crestview coach coach Chad Coffman said. “We knew if we could get past them, (Minnich) could go.”
Crestview also had a 53-yard run from senior fullback Garrick Montgomery, who finished with 109 yards on 15 carries. That score put the Cougars up 38-23 with 6 minutes, 40 seconds to play.
“They made plays, and we didn’t,” Grandview coach Jason Peters said. “They are a good football team, and they are very good at what they do.”
Grandview answered with a 42-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Oliver Rouch to Luke Snider. Rouch also connected with Payton Jones on a 34-yard score on the opening drive of the second half.
The Bobcats had 141 yards rushing the first half as Jones scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter and Andy Nocar added a 1-yard run in the second. But Grandview was limited to 24 rushing yards in the second half. Jason Franks, the team’s leading rusher, didn’t play after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter of the Bobcats’ 20-17 victory over Liberty Union on Oct. 28.
Rouch led the team with 75 yards in 17 carries, but had only 16 yards after halftime.
“(Rouch) is a good player,” Coffman said. “We tried to simulate his speed in practice, but we didn’t. It took us a half to get used to his speed.”
Crestview quarterback Troy Stimpert was 5-for-10 passing for 126 yards, including a 58-yarder with 10.6 seconds left in the first half to Tyler George. The long gain set up a 28-yard field goal by Tanner Graybeal with one second left in the half to tie the game at 17.
Dakota Williams had just kicked a 34-yard field goal into the wind that gave Grandview a short-lived 17-14 edge with 34 seconds left.
“Troy has made plays for us all year,” Coffman said of his quarterback. “Everyone keys on our running backs, but Troy helped us win a couple of games.”
The Cougars finished with 419 yards of total offense, including 293 yards rushing on 46 carries. The Bobcats had 251 total yards with 165 on the ground.
Jones finished with 32 yards rushing on eight carries and Nocar added 37 yards on nine carries.
ASHLAND CRESTVIEW 7 10 7 21 -- 45
GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS 7 10 6 6 -- 29
AC -- Gar. Montgomery 3 run (T. Graybeal kick)
GH -- Jones 6 run (Williams kick)
GH -- Nocar 1 run (Williams kick)
AC -- Minnich 5 run (T. Graybeal kick)
GH -- Williams 34 FG
AC -- T. Graybeal 28 FG
GH -- Jones 34 pass from Rouch (kick failed)
AC -- Minnich 73 run (T. Graybeal kick)
AC -- Gar. Montgomery 53 run (T. Graybeal kick)
GH -- Snider 42 pass from Rouch (kick failed)
AC -- Minnich 2 run (T. Graybeal kick)