LINESVILLE, Pa. – Trailing 18-16 at halftime of Thursday’s Region 5 game at Conneaut, there was no panic from the young Oil City Oilers.
Led by Ethan Knox, Oil City (1-1) outscored Conneaut 22-0 in the second half for a 38-18 win. Knox had his hands all over the victory, rushing for 285 yards and three touchdowns while also scoring on a punt return in the first half.
Listen to Knox talk about the win afterward:
It was a game with several major shifts in momentum, with the key turn coming early in the second half. Conneaut (0-2) got the ball to start, but the Oil City defense stood tall and moments later Knox was off to the races on a 45-yard touchdown run to give the Oilers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish at 24-18.
It was a game of big plays, featuring touchdowns of 52, 77, 41, 80, 18 and 19 yards in addition to Knox’s go-ahead score in the third quarter.
The Oilers went ahead two scores on Dane Ley’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Pearsall on 4th-and-16 on the first play of the fourth quarter and put the game completely out of reach on Knox’s fourth touchdown of the game, a 19-yarder.
It was all Oil City early and late, but in between, there was a big shift in Conneaut’s favor.
Knox scored just over two minutes into the game on a 52-yard run and again at the 3:33 mark of the first quarter on an electrifying 77-yard punt return, that coupled with a pair of 2-point conversions, made it 16-0.
The Oilers remained in control until under five minutes to go before halftime, only to watch as the Eagles score three times in three minutes to take an 18-16 lead.
Ethan Stright punched the ball in from a yard out to get the Eagles on the board after a 32-yard pass play from Logan Groover to Stright.
It was the Groover to Groover connection that made it 16-12, with Logan finding Braden Groover for a 41-yard score, with Braden alluding several Oil City defenders as he raced down the sidelines.
The Oilers looked as if they may punch the ball in and take a two-score lead before halftime, but Conneaut’s Dylan Lehmann had reservations for six on the other end. Lehmann recovered a fumble and raced 80 yards for a touchdown with just 51 seconds left in the half to put Conneaut up two.
Stright had 55 yards on the ground for the Eagles and Braden Groover 50, with Logan Groover completing five passes for 123 yards.
CATHEDRAL PREP 49, ERIE HIGH 0
ERIE, Pa. – In a game that was called in the third quarter, Cathedral Prep beat Erie for the second time in as many weeks, 49-0 at Veterans Stadium.
The game was called after an altercation in the stands sent fans scattering, per WJET-TV’s Mike Fenner.
— Mike Fenner (@Fenner_6) September 3, 2021
On the field of play, it was once again all Ramblers, as they led 35-0 at halftime. Quarterback Carter Barnes completed 4-of-8 passes for 134 yards, including a 68-yard strike to DeMario Crawford for a touchdown that got the scoring started.
Barnes also scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in the first half, finishing with 53 yards on the ground. Michael Parks led the Ramblers with 84 yards rushing, including a 27-yard scoring scamper.
Suhtaun Lewis scored on a 27-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Jamari Curlett ended the night with an interception return for a touchdown.
Cole Constable connected on three field goals for the Ramblers on kicks of 22, 32 and 38 yards.
Jermaine Selby led the Royals with 55 yards rushing on 10 carries.