(CONVOY) - Crestview showed up in a big way in the second quarter ripping off 28 unanswered points on their way to a 41-21 Northwest Conference victory over Bluffton. Dakota Bricker scored two first quarter touchdowns to stake Bluffton to a surprising 14-6 lead. From there the Knights took to the ground and pounded the Pirates into submission. Crestview clinched a playoff spot with the win and improved to 6-3. Bluffton dropped their fifth consecutive contest and fell to 3-6. The Pirates will close their season against Columbus Grove Friday evening.
Bluffton’s offense looked unstoppable in the first quarter. A 52 yard pass from quarterback Jason Bracy to Logan Rhodes setup the Pirates inside the Knight ten yard line. Bricker rushed in from five yards out to give Bluffton a 7-0 lead. The Knights were able to answer, scoring from one yard out. A missed extra point kept the Pirates out front by a 7-6 score. Bricker was back at it again on the next drive. The junior took a toss and outraced the Knight defense to the end zone for a 52 yard score. Kyle Koontz’ extra point made the score 14-6 Bluffton with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
At that point the Knights started to show why they will likely host a first round playoff game. Crestview, who defeated Allen East by a 40-9 score two weeks prior, put together impressive drives relying on the ground game primarily. When the Pirates would crowd the box with extra defenders to stop the rush, CHS quarterback Drew Kline would complete a screen pass or find tight end Chase Clark to keep the defense honest. The Knights scored on a four yard run by Trevor Gibson, an eight yard pass from Kline to Grant Schlagbaum and two Kline runs for four yards each. The last score of the quarter gave Crestview a 34-14 halftime advantage. CHS scored once more in the third quarter on a 16 yard pass to make the score 41-14. Jason Bracy got into the end zone from two yards out to round out the scoring.
The Pirates were outgained in total yardage by a 383-230 margin. The Knights put up 327 yards on the ground. Dakota Bricker was the leading Pirate rusher with 86 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. Kaleb Jefferson picked up 50 yards on 10 carries. Kaden Reneker had a nice 25 yard run in the fourth quarter. Jefferson racked up 8 solo tackles to lead the defense. Bricker added 4.5 and an interception in the end zone. Hunter Busch and Cole Wilson each contributed 4.5 tackles.
Bluffton will host Columbus Grove in the final game of the 2016 season Friday night at Harmon Field. The Bulldogs and Pirates are on similar trajectories as both teams started the year 3-1 and now find themselves at 3-6. BHS will try to make it two wins in a row over Grove as last year the Pirates won in dramatic fashion with a touchdown pass from Mitchell Ault to Joel Siefker in the game’s final minute. Kickoff is set for 7:00 and the 1966 Pirate team will be honored immediately before the game begins.