New Bremen falls a point shy of Fort Recovery

NEW BREMEN – During the week New Bremen Cardinals head football coach stated that the New Bremen-Fort Recovery game would likely be close.  

He likely didn’t know just how right he’d be.

Fort Recovery won that close match-up 34-33 at New Bremen on Friday night.

Two big interceptions by Fort Recovery in the fourth quarter put the nail into the coffin for New Bremen as freshman Cole Hull intercepted an Elliot Westerbeck pass with 1:21 to end the Cardinal threat and cap a wild contest.

“We came up with some big plays when we needed to tonight,” Indians head coach Brent Niekamp said. “We challenged Aaron Vagedes at halftime and he knows that we expect big plays from him and he came up with some in the second half.”

“Cole Hull’s interception at the end was huge for us,” Niekamp said. “He is a freshman and has been thrown into the fire. He has had a rough couple weeks where he has played good but he is out there matched up with the big guts and for him to step up and make that kind of play is huge.”

Both teams had touchdowns early in the fourth quarter. After stopping New Bremen on fourth and three on the second play of the fourth quarter, the Indians started at their own 32 and it took only three plays before Jason Pottkotter completed a 67-yard pass to Aaron Vagedes with 10:26 left. The pass for two was no good tying the score at 27-all.

“The scored two fourth quarter touchdowns,” Cardinals head coach Rob Messick said. “They made a lot of plays.”

After the kickoff, Elliott Westerbeck completed a 39-yard pass to Alec Frideger to put the ball at the 26 where Aaron Clune did the rest for a 26-yard touchdown run up the middle. The extra point kick by Westerbeck was missed which proved crucial. New Bremen regained the lead 33-27 with 10:07 left.

The Indians struck quick after the kickoff. Pottkotter ran for three yards and then Kenny Wenning went the remaining 54 yards for the touchdown. The kick by Vagedes gave Fort Recovery a 34-33 lead with 9:17 left.

New Bremen got down to the Indians 38 but a pass from Westerbeck was intercepted with 6:11 left.

“The overall effort from our guys meant a lot,” Niekamp said. “They were physical up front and Kenny (Wenning) running good allowed us to battle back in the game.”

The Indians took the opening kickoff and went right down the field and scored on a six-yard halfback pass from Wenning to Pottkotter for the touchdown. The kick by Vagedes made the score 7-0 with 9:04 left.

On the first play from scrimmage by New Bremen Westerbeck fumbled the snap and Ryan Gaerke recovered at the 33. Seven plays later Derek Gaerke received a 23-yard pass from Pottkotter for the touchdown to make the score 14-0 with 7:15 left.

“It was a back and forth game,” Messick said. “The kids got down 14-0 and turned around and battled them. We came back and tied the game at halftime.”

Westerbeck completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williams and the two-point run by Westerbeck trimmed the lead to 14-8 with 11:52 left.

The Cardinals struck right back when Neven Frazee intercepted an Indian pass and went in for a 40-yard touchdown. The run for two was no good tying the game at 14-all with 11:33 left.

Fort Recovery went on the longest scoring drive of the night culminating a 15-play, 69-yard drive with a one yard run by Kenny Wenning to make the score 21-14 with 5:49 left.

New Bremen came right back with Westerbeck completing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ben Chaney with 26 seconds left to tie the score at halftime at 21.

The Cardinals took their first lead in the third quarter when Westerbeck ran for a yard touchdown. The extra point kick was no good making the score 27-21 with 7:11 left leading to the wild fourth quarter.

“It was a battle between two pretty evenly matched teams,” Messick said. “It was back and forth and they have some real nice kids who took advantage of some of our breakdowns.”   

The Cardinals (0-4, 0-2) entertain Minster next Friday.

FR                14     7     0   13 – 34
NB                 0   21     6     6 – 33
First Quarter

FR – K. Wenning 6-yard pass to Pottkotter (Vagedes kick); 9:04; FR 7-0.
FR – Gaerke 23-yard pass from Pottkotter, (Vagedes kick), 7:15, FR 14-0.
Second Quarter
NB – Williams 37-yard pass from Westerbeck, (Westerbeck run for two); 11:52; FR 14-8.
NB – Frazee 40-yard interception return; (kick failed); 11:33; Score Tied 14-14.
FR – Wenning 1-yard run, (Vagedes kick), 5:49, FR 21-14.
NB – Chaney 4-yard pass from Westerbeck, (Westerbeck kick), 0:26, Score Tied 21-21.
Third Quarter
NB – Westerbeck 1-yard run, (kick failed), 7:11, NB 27-21.
Fourth Quarter
FR – Vagedes 67-yard pass from Pottkotter, (pass for two failed), 10:26, Score Tied 27-27.
NB – Clune 26-yard run, (kick failed), 10:07, NB 33-27.   
FR – Wenning 54-yard run; (Vagedes kick); 9:17, FR 34-33.

First Downs                     13            17
Rushes                      34-143       39-182
Passing                 10-19-164   12-25-203
Interceptions                    3              3
Total Offense                305            385
Fumbles-lost                 2-1             0-0
Penalties-yards            7-55           7-50    

RUSHES – FR – Wenning 22-134, Pottkotter 16-52, Vagedes 1-(-4). NB – Westerbeck 17-50, Skinner 8-17, Clune 7-48, Frideger 1-(-1), Chaney 1-27.
PASSING – FR – Pottkotter 11-24-3-197, Wenning 1-1-0-6; NB – Westerbeck 10-19-3-164.