Maybe members of the Jonathan Alder football team just like playing in pressure-packed situations.
The Pioneers (4-1) played yet another nail-biting classic and found a way to pull out the victory, this time it happened in the form of a 35-34 overtime victory Friday at Indian Lake. The win was Alder’s second this season in overtime and third in which the game was in doubt until the final play.
A game that was fist fight early, turned into a track meet in the second half as points started to light up the scoreboard. But for as much as offense was the name of the game in the second half, it was the Pioneers defense that came up with a tipped pass on a 2-point conversion try in overtime that helped to seal the win.
Alder senior quarterback Preston Eisnaugle scored on a 3-yard run in the overtime session. A successful PAT by Ethan Gordin made it 35-28 Pioneers. When Indian Lake got the ball it got a 27-yard scoring strike from Clay Jacobs to Colin Coburn, but instead of attempting a tying kick, the home team went for the win. Jacobs pass was deflected and fell incomplete giving Alder the thrilling win.
Eisnaugle scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, but Indian Lake answered back before the end of the period with a score but the PAT was blocked, making the score a 7-6. Eisnaugle’s second running touchdown of the game (9 yards) were the only points scored in the second quarter and Alder was ahead 14-6 at the half.
The only change on the scoreboard in the third quarter came from Indian Lake as it got a Jacobs to Colburn pass that covered 33 yards. A failed 2-point conversion left Alder with a slight lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Alder’s fourth quarter scores came on a Jamie Dye 25-yard run and a Eisnaugle to Bryan Blacka 9-yard pass.
Dye rushed the ball 36 times for 180 yards. Blacka had six catches for 87 yards and Drew Mires caught eight passes for 81. Eisnaugle was 19 for 25 for 236 yards passing.
The Pioneers improved to 2-0 in the Central Buckeye Conference and will stay on the road for a Week 6 date at Kenton Ridge at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. The Cougars (4-1) have been impressive this season scoring at least 40 points in all four of their victories. The only defeat is a 14-7 decision against Indian Lake.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.