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October 16, 2021

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Ada gridders fall to undefeated Grove

By Cort Reynolds

Visiting league-leader Columbus Grove raced to a 42-0 halftime lead and beat Ada 58-7 in a Northwest Conference game on a rainy Homecoming Friday night.

The game was delayed at the start for an hour by strong rain and lightning.

Grove senior running back Colin Metzger tallied five first half touchdowns to pace the victors.

The purple and gold Bulldogs fell to 1-7 and 0-5 in the NWC with the defeat.

League leader Grove improved to 8-0 and 5-0 in league play with the convincing win.

"We are in the same boat with kids trying hard and doing the best they can," said first-year Ada head coach Toby Smith. "We were in position a lot but didn't make plays.

"Grove is a good football team but we can compete better within each series, each quarter and each play," he continued. "We showed glimpses of what we are capable of, we just need more consistency.

"The answer is to just keep fighting. We have to keep fighting," he added.

CG drove 80 yards in seven plays to score on its first possession. Metzger ignited the march with a 39-yard run to the Ada 40. 

A few plays later Metzger grabbed a Trenton Renner screen pass to the left and waltzed 32 yards to paydirt 4:12 into the fray. Strong-legged Rece Verhoff booted the point after kick.

Senior quarterback Kadin Phipps returned to the Ada lineup after a two-game absence due to a shoulder injury. On fourth and one at the Bulldog 40, Phipps was stopped on a run to turn it over on downs.

On the next play Metzger veered right and tightroped the sideline for a 40-yard TD scamper. Verhoff's PAT kick made it 14-0 with 4:51 to go in the opening stanza. 

On the next Ada possession, a third down pass deflected off an Ada receiver's hands and was picked off by a leaping Luke Kaufman. He righted himself and returned the pick 30 yards to the end zone with 3:19 to go in the first stanza for a 21-0 cushion.

Grove took over again at the Ada 40 following a short punt out of bounds. Puerto broke up a long pass on first down. But on the next play, Metzger burst off right tackle and sped 40 yards to the end zone for his third TD with 35 ticks to go in the first quarter.

Grant Preston got off a 52-yard rolling punt after the next Ada possession fizzled. CG took over at its own 31 and marched 69 yards in five plays to score again. 

Metzger capped the drive with a 35-yard TD run up the middle to extend the margin to 35-0 with 9:07 remaining in the half. 

Ada put together a couple first downs via the ground on their next drive. But on fourth and one, a low shotgun snap caused Phipps to be tackled for a loss, and Grove took possession at the Ada 48.

Five plays later Metzger took a pitchout, ran left and then cut back nicely for an 18-yard TD jaunt. Verhoff's extra point kick made it 42-0 with 59 seconds left in the half. 

Grove recovered the on-sides kickoff to start half two at their own 46. A 15-yard run by Trenton Barraza and a personal foul penalty on Ada advanced the ball to the 22. 

Zach Reynolds then took a pitchout screen, cut back and scurried 23 yards to paydirt for a 49-0 lead at the 9:47 mark of the third stanza.

Barraza then intercepted a Phipps aerial and returned it for a pick six and a 56-0 margin with 1:36 left in the third quarter.

A high snap on an Ada punt sailed through the end zone for a safety to extend the CG lead to 58-0 with 9:12 left in the fourth period.

Ada scored its TD on a 33-yard pass from Phipps to Levi Sousley with 1:51 remaining. Max Puerto's extra point kick made the final score 58-7.


1 2 3 4 F

Ada 0 0 0 7 7

CG 28 14 14 2 58

Notes and stats

Grove won the total yardage battle, 332-192. Ada ran 53 plays and averaged 3.6 yards per snap. CG ran just 26 plays, and averaged a whopping 12.8 yards per try.

The host Bulldogs compiled 13 first downs, while Grove moved the chains 14 times.

Ada ran the ball 43 times for 142 yards, an average of 3.3 yards per carry. CG netted 252 yards on 19 carries, an average of 13.3 yards per rush. 

Phipps ran 19 times for 56 yards, and he completed five of 10 passes for 50 yards and one TD with two interceptions.

Jalee Bolden netted 76 yards on 17 carries to pace the Ada ground game.

Sousley snagged one reception for 33 yards and a TD. Puerto caught four passes for 17 yards.

Grove QB Renner completed four of six passes for 80 yards and two TDs. 

Metzger rushed 11 times for 197 yards and four TDs, and also caught one scoring reception. Barraza added 28 yards rushing on three tries.

Ada was flagged twice for 20 penalty yards, while the visitors were guilty of four penalties for 30 yards.

The Bulldogs turned the ball over twice on pick-offs, while the visitors committed no miscues.  

Verhoff, being recruited by Cincinnati among other schools, was 7-7 on PATs and had a 55-yard punt.

Ada converted five of its 12 tries on third down, and went 1-4 on fourth down. CG was successful on 1-2 on third down and didn't go for it on fourth down. 

The purple and gold dominated the time of possession, 36:13 to 11:47.

Ada has played a tough schedule against eight teams with a combined record of 41-23. 

The purple and gold visit tough league foe Crestview next Friday.

Crestview (5-3, 2-3 NWC) lost a 29-28 nailbiter to visiting Spencerville Friday night.

"Crestview will be a tough game," agreed Smith. "But our biggest competition is against ourselves. We have to learn how to compete every snap.

"I love this football team, we just have to keep fighting, keep working, keep going," he said. "We have two weeks left and I am excited about playing those two games."

Kickoff against Crestview is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, October 15.