VW Cougars beat Bath for win No. 6

LIMA — On a cold and rainy night, Van Wert held Bath to -5 yards rushing and 118 yards of total offense in a 33-0 win at Bath Stadium on Friday.

Weather conditions also affected Van Wert’s offense, as the Cougars tallied 236 total yards, including 162 yards rushing on 49 carries.

“Obviously both teams had to play in the weather, but it did make us one dimensional and allowed them to put seven or eight guys in the box to stop the run,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “Bath was an above average defense and they really made us earn everything we got on offense.”

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Van Wert’s Owen Treece played well on offense, defense and special teams against Bath on Friday. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“We had to do a good job converting possession downs and sustaining drives, and for the most part we did that,” Recker added.

The Cougars scored all the points they would need in the first quarter. After forcing the Wildcats into a three and out to start the game, Nate Place led Van Wert on an eight play, 46 yard drive that was capped off by Place’s four yard touchdown run, plus the PAT by TJ Reynolds with eight minutes left in the quarter.

The Cougars struck again at the 4:17 mark of the opening period when Place scored his second touchdown of the night on a 46 yard run that increased Van Wert’s lead to 13-0. The score came after Van Wert’s defense forced a Bath turnover.

Place injured his shoulder early in the second quarter, prompting Owen Treece to come in and lead the Cougar offense for the remainder of the game. Place’s status for next week is unknown.

With 4:40 to go in the second quarter, Keagon Hammons recovered a fumble in the end zone to increase Van Wert’s lead to 19-0, a score that stood at halftime. In addition to the defensive touchdown, Hammons had four sacks in the game, increasing his total to a team high 10 on the season. 

Treece accounted for Van Wert’s next touchdown by throwing a four yard touchdown pass to Dru Johnson with four minutes left in the third quarter.

The final score of the game came with 3:40 left when Jake Hilleary raced in from 26 yards out. The PAT by TJ Reynolds accounted for the final margin.

Place finished with 13 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and completed 5 of 6 passes for 28 yards. Treece connected on 6 of 9 passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and had 15 carries for 35 yards.

Burden was held to 9 of 23 passing for 123 yards and two interceptions, with four of his completions going to Lex Boedicker for 48 yards. Burden finished with -24 yards rushing on nine carries.

“Defensively we played a good game,” Recker said. “We got a lot of pressure on the quarterback, which really helped our secondary in coverage.”

In addition to keeping Van Wert in strong playoff contention, it was the fifth straight victory for the Cougars (6-2, 5-2 WBL) heading into next Friday’s game against Celina.

Bath dropped to 0-8 (0-7 WBL).

Scoring summary:

Bath          0  0 0 0 –  0
Van Wert 13 6 7 7 – 33

8:00 1st qtr: Nate Place 4 yard run (TJ Reynolds kick)
4:17 1st qtr: Nate Place 46 yard run (kick no good)
4:40 2nd qtr: Owen Treece fumble recovery (kick no good)
4:00 3rd qtr: Owen Treece 4 yard pass to Dru Johnson (TJ Reynolds kick)
3:40 4th qtr: Jake Hilleary 26 yard run (TJ Reynolds kick)