Genoa, Lake face off in Game of the Week

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

When local sports fans think of the rivals for Genoa, Woodmore and Eastwood might come to mind. For years, the Eagles and Comets have been the class of the Northern Buckeye Conference and the old Suburban Lakes League, and Elmore and Genoa are located so close to one another and have had great games in the past.
As for Lake, there is the Lemoyne Road rivalry with Northwood.
But the Comets and the Flyers have had some good teams in the last decade or so and have played in some big games.
The schools, which are less than six miles apart, have good teams this season.
Lake is 1-2, but it’s losses have come to teams with an overall record of 5-1 in Leipsic, 25-19, and Delta, 38-28. The Flyers defeated Lemoyne Road rival Northwood, 33-0, in week two.
In the loss to the Panthers, Lake quarterback Carter Behlmer completed 17-of-27 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns, Jay Blazevich caught nine passes for 162 yards and a touchdown, David Parsons finished with four receptions for 112 yards and a score and Gavin Kohlhofer caught two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Delta dominated on the ground, rushing 54 times for 249 yards.
First-year Lake coach Lane Bishop, who was the Elmwood offensive coordinator last year, talked about how his team has played.
“We lost two tight games, games that if we had cleaned up the self-inflicted mistakes, we could be 3-0 right now. Despite dropping those games, I feel like our attitude and energy and spirits are still really high,” Bishop said. “They know that if we can clean up some of these mistakes, we can be real good. We feel optimistic and confident about where we are — if we show up and play good football, we like our chances against anybody.”
Bishop is happy with Carter Behlmer being the quarterback for the foreseeable future.
“Carter Behlmer has started the last two games at quarterback for us. Likely, unless there’s an injury, he’s probably going to be our starter moving forward,” Bishop said. “Things can change, but as of right now, we feel pretty comfortable with Carter going forward.”
The Comets, who are 2-1, lost, 24-14, to Archbold in the opener, defeated Bowsher, 42-6, and rallied to defeat Huron, 21-20 in week three. Like the Flyers, Genoa is not that far from being undefeated.
“We’re extremely excited about the performance in week one, even though it wasn’t how we wanted the scoreboard to end,” Genoa coach Bill Fisher. “Against Huron, it was an incredible game. After getting down 20-0, it’s very easy to have a lack of energy or feel sorry for ourselves, and we did not do that. As the game went on, we felt like we were starting to wear them down and keep the ball out of their hands with our long drives. Our defense stepped up huge with two to three minutes to go and forced a fumble. Luke Clement forced the fumble.”
Fisher, now in his second season coaching the Comets, talked about the rivalry.
“I know it’s a big game for our guys, being so close,” said Fisher. “It has that area rivalry, and they’ve always had guys that are capable of playing at a high level. It’s a game where you have to make sure you’re prepared and have high energy. Some of the records and stats go out the window and it just comes down to pride and heart. We’re always excited about it on the schedule.
“We’re excited to be in the position that we are. We’re willing to accept any challenge week in and week out. Our best will always be ready to perform on Friday night,” he said.
The win over the Tigers was sweet revenge for Genoa as it avenged a 55-49 loss last year in their matchup.
The Comets, who trailed 20-7 at halftime, held the ball for the vast majority of the second half, running 40 plays to Huron’s 12 in the final two quarters.
Genoa running back Aidan Antry carried the ball 28 times for 110 yards and tied the game on a 2-yard touchdown run with 6:45 to play before Camron Agler’s PAT accounted for the final points. Comet wide receiver Alex Spencer caught 10 passes for 129 yards, and caught the first touchdown for Genoa, coming on a 14-yard reception from Aiden Brunkhorst late in the first half, and Brunkhorst ran it in from one yard out in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 20-14.
“They’re one of the premiere teams in our league, and they have really good athletes. The Brunkhorst kid is super talented, has played a lot of football, has a strong arm, a ton of weapons and they have good size up front on both sides of the ball with tough, physical, athletic kids,” Bishop said. “Every year, they’re towards the top of the standings of the league.”
This rivalry has plenty of history. Coaching legends like Mark Emans, Mike Vicars and Tim Spiess have patrolled the sidelines for both teams, and great players such as Kyle Nutter, Jared Rettig, David Nutter and Branden Short have played at a high level in this rivalry.
The preeminent game in the rivalry took place 10 years ago when the teams faced off in week seven and Genoa rallied from an early deficit and won, 49-35. The Comets were one of the best teams in Division IV and had a 6-0 record. Lake, meanwhile, was 5-1.
The game started with Flyer quarterback Jared Rettig connecting with Todd Walters for a 77-yard touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and after the Comets turned the ball over at their 34, Lake scored three plays later on a 29-yard run by Marcel Bryan, pushing the lead to 14-0 just 1:44 into the game.
The teams traded touchdowns, with Genoa running back Jake Wojciechowski scoring on a 10-yard run just before the end of the first quarter.
But the Flyers responded when Rettig scored on a 2-yard run less than two minutes later to make it 21-7 before the Comets scored 29 unanswered points.
Casey Gose returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Lake 27, and he scored seven plays later on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-2. Gose then caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Logan Scott, and after the Comets recovered an onside kick at the Lake 46, Scott scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with eight seconds to play, giving the Comets the lead for good at 28-21.
Genoa took a 36-21 lead on a 26-yard touchdown run by David Nutter, and the teams traded two touchdowns apiece.
Rettig, the most decorated quarterback in Flyer history, connected on 19-of-29 passes for 313 yards, passing for one touchdown and running for another, Adam Duncan caught 13 passes for 201 yards, and Branden Short rushed for 37 yards and two scores. For Genoa, David Nutter rushed for 170 yards and three scores, Scott passed for 117 yards and a score, Gose carried the ball five times for 107 yards and a touchdown and Wojciechowski had nine carries for 73 yards and one score.
Last year, Genoa beat Lake, 41-0, but this game will undoubtedly be much more competitive.
The winner will gain some valuable computer points, with both teams being in Division V, Region 18.


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