McNicholas defeats Bethel-Tate to advance to Region 16 semi-finals
The last game of the first half between the Rockets of Archbishop McNicholas and the Tigers of Bethel-Tate characterized the whole game.
After recovering from a missed kickoff by the sixth-seeded Tigers, McNicholas senior quarterback Pierce Taylor slammed junior tight end Jay Dietz into the end zone.
The game clock only read zeros. The touchdown was the best possible way for third-seed McNicholas to enter the intermission in front of his home fans, and he pushed the game into race clock territory for the start of the second half. time.
That streak was one of many examples of McNicholas (10-1 overall) punishing Bethel-Tate for mistakes in a 49-13 Rockets win on Friday at Penn Station Stadium in a tournament quarterfinal. ‘State OHSAA Division IV Region 16.
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Following: Here’s coverage of the Cincinnati Enquirer High School sports playoffs, November 1-7.
McNicholas will next face the No.2 seed (11-1 overall) Eaton at 7 p.m. on November 12. The location of the neutral ground was not announced by the OHSAA on Friday evening.
“A win is a win. By 36 points or one point we’ll take it,” McNicholas head coach Mike Orlando said. “I thought our kids came out and did what we asked them to do… We figured out some things. Our defense played the limelight. I loved our efforts. If we get that on a basis. weekly, we will AGREE. “
For McNicholas, junior running back Tyler Snyder scored twice on the ground while senior Isaiah Helphinstine blocked a punt in the first quarter and returned a 65-yard interception in the second half for a score from the other. half-time side.
Taylor ran for a touchdown and had three assists, and enjoyed watching most of the second half from the bench as Orlando pulled out his starters with time to spare.
Defensively, the Tigers had six turnovers and didn’t allow Bethel-Tate to score until their ninth possession of the game.
Orlando said the defensive performance was one of McNicholas’ best in 2021, adding: “We played better technically. Adjusting the right fit and the right communication, and that sort of thing. The result is probably one of the better. “
Tigers second-year quarterback Cameron Snider completed his only touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter against senior Ethan Carter.
Senior full-back Mikey Molloy added another score on a two-yard dive with 2:11 left in regulation for Bethel-Tate.
At the very first meeting between the schools, Bethel-Tate’s final counts offered only consolation.
The Tigers, who were the Southern Buckeye Conference national division champions, ended their season 9-2 and tied a program record for single-season wins.
“These (seniors) mean everything for this program where we’re trying to take it,” said Tigers head coach Jeff Essig. “There are a lot of four-year-old beginners… Fortunately, we have other big kids who are younger who are going to take up a few spots, but the legacy of the elders they leave behind is something these kids can be proud of, and something to make these young kids see that ‘hey, man, we can do this.’ ”
Bethel-Tate’s senior class left their program after losing just four league games.
The McNicholas seniors may nitpick Friday’s performance ahead of Eaton’s showdown.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Taylor said. “The last game of all time the seniors will play here (at Penn Station Stadium). I thought we played really well together tonight and gelled. You know, it’s a little bittersweet to not being able to play here anymore, but we came out big and I’m very grateful for that. ”
Towards the end of the first quarter, McNicholas opened the scoring. The Rockets traveled 60 yards in 10 games, with Snyder finishing the last three yards. His dive into the end zone, along with the extra points conversion by first-year kicker Rollie Gabriel, put the hosts up 7-0.
Gabriel went 6-for-6 on his after-kick kicks before giving way to Carson Zurmehly, who converted his only attempt after the Tigers’ last goal.
Halfway through the second quarter, Taylor led a goal attack almost entirely on his own after McNicholas’ defense stuffed a Bethel-Tate fourth baseman attempt, giving the Rockets the ball in midfield.
Taylor had runs of 25 and 19 yards, respectively, with the latter ending up in the end zone.
With less than three minutes to go in the first half, Taylor struck again, this time in the air as he connected with junior wide receiver Ben Bobo in touchdown passes on back-to-back practices.
The second of those scores came with 35 seconds remaining until halftime, and they still weren’t over.
The ensuing kickoff was swung and knocked down by the Tigers, and McNicholas used the opportunity to establish Dietz’s scoreline as time drew to a close in the first half.
Immediately after the break, Bethel-Tate continued to return the ball. An interception ultimately led to a 51-yard touchdown from Snyder.
The next interception rejected by Bethel-Tate ended up in Helphinstine’s hands. He then zigzagged and zapped on his 65-yard return to the end zone.
This score marked the end of the Rockets’ scoring, but also to keep Bethel-Tate off the scoreboard.
The Tigers used their next two possessions to break McNicholas’ shutout and close the final margin.
Taylor returned to the game on final possession to bleed what little was left on the game clock.
“I think we did a great job tonight,” said Taylor, “but I think we can always be better.”
BETHEL-TATE 0 0 6 7 13
MNICHOLAS 7 28 14 0 49
M – Snyder’s 3-yard run (Gabriel kick)
M – Taylor 19-yard run (Gabriel kick)
M – 12 yard pass from Taylor to Bobo (Gabriel kick)
M – 31-yard pass from Taylor to Bobo (kick from Gabriel)
M – 29-yard pass from Taylor to Dietz (Gabriel kick)
M – Snyder’s 51-yard run (Gabriel kick)
M – 65-yard INT return from Helphinstine (Zurmehly kick)
B – 26 yard pass from Snider to Carter (missed kick)
B – Molloy’s 2-yard run (Sandker kick)