Hopes of a much-needed homecoming win to turn around an 0-5 season were dashed Friday as Olmsted Falls rolled over Amherst 19-14.
“I think our defense played their tails off and they were bend-but-not-break in the second half,” noted Comets head coach Bill Fishleigh, though he characterized the loss as getting “punched in the mouth.”
The Bulldogs opened with a pair of touchdowns built on the backs of big runs.
Trailing 13-0 (Olmsted Falls missed a PAT kick), the Comets had a chance to convert on a key fumble that left them with a short field. But backed up on fourth-and-13 from the 17 yard line, quarterback Nick DeJesus’ bullet across the center was batted down.
Touchdown leader Cooper Cotterill gained traction with a running foray into Bulldogs territory before the half. He was hit hard for a fumble.
The Comets got on the board before heading to the locker room as tight end Reno Kruman pulled down a 10-yard DeJesus toss to the end zone. Ryan Sturgeon put the ball through the uprights for the point after.
“It stinks we spotted them 13 points throughout the game. I look at that… You know, our offense sputtered (as it) started out the game. We had this blank look on our face but we came out in the second half and did a lot better job of that,” said Fishleigh.
The Amherst defense, pressed by Olmsted Falls in the red zone early in the third quarter, held the line and forced the Bulldogs to kick a field goal, making it 16-7.
Minutes later, Cotterill found some distance and carried the ball 39 yards to the one yard line, setting up a Todd Hastings touchdown run certified by Sturgeon.
The Falls boys notched another three points in the fourth quarter to put Comet thoughts of a field goal victory out of the question.
“The message today is trust in the process and believe what we’re doing. And I think the kids are,” Fishleigh said after the clock expired. “They’re 16, 17, 18-year-old kids. They see their record. It’s tough for them to trust what they’re doing is the correct thing… I think us, being in ball games, they trust that. We’re going to get that W and we’re going to start rolling.”
The Comets travel to Avon Lake this Friday for a 7 p.m. start in Southwestern Conference action versus the Shoremen.
Fishleigh called it a “winnable” game against a solid opponent.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times The Comets’ Nick Malloy and Bobby Deskins try to crack down on defense Friday as the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs barked up a 19-14 win.