Tyler Toledo’s statistics weren’t the prettiest Sept. 21 as the Canal Winchester High School football team held off visiting Westland 24-14, but the 5-foot-9, 155-pound sophomore running back carried the day when the Indians needed it the most.
Held to 12 yards on six carries with a touchdown in the first half, Toledo carried the ball seven times on what became the biggest drive of the game and capped it with a 6-yard touchdown run to give Canal Winchester the lead for good with 8 minutes, 37 seconds left at 21-14.
Toledo finished with 66 yards on 21 carries. Tanner Conley added 98 yards on 21 carries to lead an Indians backfield that is expected to be without leading running back Jacob Robertson for the next several weeks because of a left ankle injury.
“The plan was just to win the game, not for me to carry the team,” Toledo said. “Our line did a great job. I ran the ball and Tanner ran the ball pretty well. We have some guys who are hurt, but it’s the ‘next man up’ (mentality). We did great and we got the win.”
The winning drive began after Westland quarterback Tyquwone Workman fumbled near midfield at the end of a 20-yard run. Cornerback Zach Akarri stripped the ball and safety Dominic Davis recovered.
“(Workman) pulled the ball and he ran up the middle, then he bounced out behind me,” Davis said. “When he turned, I tried to take an angle, then Zach came and stripped the ball out and the ball went flying. I’m glad I was there.”
Jack Beeler threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Stanton Smith in the first quarter, and Trevor Thompson’s 25-yard field goal with a minute left iced the win for Canal Winchester, which improved to 3-2.
Matt Bailey rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries for Westland, which fell to 1-4.
“That was the best game we’ve played as a team all year,” Cougars coach Kyle Goebbel said. “We had a few bad breaks on the fumble and the roughing the punter penalty, but we hung with them. We just had to put the ball in the end zone a few more times.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WESTLAND 0 7 7 0 14 CANAL WINCHESTER
7 7 0 10 24
CW—Smith 19 pass from Beeler (Thompson kick)
W—Bailey 8 run (Rains kick)
CW—Toledo 1 run (Thompson kick)
W—Bailey 5 run (Rains kick)
CW—Toledo 6 run (Thompson kick)
CW—Thompson 25 FG