Creech's FG in 2OT gives Rockets first win of 2011
By Jim Horvath
The Bay football team had to wait a little bit longer Friday night for its first win of the season.
Jack Creech, denied in the first overtime period, drilled one home from 33 yards out in the second extra period to give the Rockets a 17-14 win over Fairview at Memorial Stadium.
On fourth down and 11 yard to go at the 21-yard line, the Rocket coaching staff called a timeout. In a similar situation in the first overtime, a low snap had led to a Warrior block of Creech’s first attempted game-winner from 26 yards out.
This time around, the Rockets’ field goal unit was able to draw Fairview offsides, moving Creech five yards closer to the 16. The junior’s kick sailed between the uprights, giving Bay its first win of the 2011 season.
“We have a lot of confidence in Jack,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Gorius after the win. “I’m really excited for him, because he splits his time between us, the soccer team and school work. He’s got the toughest job out there being the kicker, and he really came through tonight.
“We practice with our special teams a lot because they’re a big part of our formula for winning. Tonight, we got a punt return for a touchdown and made a field goal to win it, so that turned out to be a huge part of our game. And our defense really stepped up to hold them out in overtime,” he said.
Fairview had taken a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 61-yard touchdown run from Anthony Santos. The Warriors took that lead into the halftime locker room, but the Rockets answered with a 14-point outburst in the third quarter.
Midway through the quarter, Bay’s special teams struck pay dirt as junior Ryan Voiers returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown. Creech added the conversion kick, and the game was tied at 7-7. Later in the third, quarterback Ryan Kana, who had come off the bench for starter Chris Brajdic, topped off a drive with a 7-yard scoring run.
Creech’s kick was good, and the Rockets held a 14-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Fairview tied it early in the fourth, however, on a 1-yard plunge by John Doherty. Adrian Bendo’s kick tied the game at 14-14.
Fairview had field goal opportunities in both overtime periods, but Bay’s defense held. That allowed Creech to have his game-winning opportunity.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Gorius said. “In our first two games, we’ve had the lead, but both times some things happened that led to a loss. We didn’t respond to those situations at the time, but we did tonight.
“I think our team grew up tonight. We haven’t been losing games because of something physical. It’s been more of the mental game we’ve needed to work on. And I thought our coaches did a great job and kept their cool.
“It was a total team effort,” he added.
With the win, the Rockets moved to 1-2 on the season. They’ll have a bye in the first week of West Shore Conference play next Friday night, traveling to Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin for their final non-conference game.