COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove can call their win over rival Pandora-Gilboa a total team effort.

The Bulldogs offense, defense and special teams all pitched in to get Columbus Grove a season opening 30-28 win over the Rockets Friday night at Clymer Stadium.

In a game that was back and forth all night, the Bulldogs scored twice in the final 2:30 of the game for the win.

With the contest tied 22-22, the Rockets took a 28-22 lead as Jacob Basinger scored on a 10 yard run with 3:33 left to play. A two-point conversion pass fell incomplete giving the Rockets a 28-22 lead.

Columbus Grove started their next possession on their own 25 yard line and needed just three plays to reach the endzone, with the aid of a persona foul penalty on the Rockets.

Sophomore quarterback Reid Stechschulte completed three straight passes for the Bulldogs with the final one being a 39 yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Aidan Fortman on the left sideline. On the touchdown pass, Fortman outjumped a Rocket defensive back for the ball, then back peddled into the endzone to tie the game at 28-28 with 2:30 left as the extra point attempt sailed wide right.

The Bulldogs defense came up big as they forced a three and out by the P-G. On the ensuing punt, the snap from center sailed over the head of the Rocket punter and into the endzone where he was tackled for a safety and a 30-28 Grove lead with 1:09 left.

P-G elected to kick the ball away to Grove as they had all three of their timeouts remaining. The Rocket defense forced a punt after three three plays as they got the ball back at their own38 with 39 seconds left. On the first play from scrimmage senior cornerback David Bogart intercepted a pass and the Bulldogs had to kneel down once to run out the clock.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter on an 11 yard run by Joey Warnecke.

The Rockets answered right back as Jacob Basinger found a seam and went 71 yards to paydirt. With Basinger's extra point the Rockets were up 7-6 with 9:27 left in the first half.

Columbus Grove scored over just two minutes later as Stechschulte hit Bogart with an 11 yard scoring pass in the left corner of the endzone. The two point conversion pass fell incomplete leaving the Bulldogs up 12-7.

Pandora-Gilboa pulled with 12-9 when Stechschulte was tackled in the endzone after chasing down a bad snap from center as he was in the shotgun at the seven yard line. Just before halftime, the Rockets went up 15-12 as Jacob Miller hauled in a 50 yard scoring pass from Basinger. The extra point was no good.

Late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs regained the lead when Stechschulte and Bogart hooked up on a 46 yard scoring pass. With the extra point it was 19-15 in favor of the Bulldogs.

It didn't take long for the Rockets to regain the lead as Basinger took the kickoff 84 yards for a score. With the extra point it was 22-19 P-G with 1:57 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs tied the game with 17 seconds left in the quarter as Warnecke kicked a 34 yard field goal.

“You can tell our off season program is pretty good because our guys just didn't quit,” Grove coach Andy Schafer said. “I'm not saying Pandora-Gilboa did by any means, those guys played their hearts out. The fans definitely got their monies worth. I can't even talk about the team unity we have this year. I've been coaching for 18 years and I never had this type of team unity like we have on this team. I just had that feeling we could get through adversity and we did. It's a credit to our kids. We just played.”

Stechschulte was 11-of-25 passing for the Bulldogs for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Warnecke had 84 yards rushing for the Bulldogs, while Fortman caught three passes for 111 yards and Bogart caught four passes for 78 yards.

The Bulldog defense forced six turnovers in the game, four interceptions and they recovered two fumbles. One of the fumble recoveries came in the endzone as the Rockets were trying to stretch their lead in the third quarter.

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Scoring Summary

CG—JOEY WARNECKE 11 RUN (KICK FAILED) 11:40 2ND

PG—JACOB BASINGER 71 RUN (JACOB BASINGER KICK) 9:27 2ND

CG—DAVID BOGART 11 PASS FROM REID STECHSCHULTE (PASS FAILED) 7:16 2ND

PG—SAFETY BALL CARRIER TACKLED IN END ZONE 3:03 2ND

PG—JACOB MILLER 50 PASS FROM BASINGER (KICK FAILED) :51 2ND

CG—DAVID BOGART 46 PASS FROM STECHSCHULTE (WARNECKE KICK) 2:10 3RD

PG—BASINGER 84 KICKOFF RETURN (BASINGER KICK) 1:57 3RD

CG—JOEY WARNECKE 34 YARD FIELD GOAL :12 3RD

PG—BASINGER 10 RUN (PASS FAILED) 3:33 4TH

CG—AIDEN FORTMAN 39 PASS FROM STECHSCHULTE (KICK FAILED) 2:30 4TH

CG—-SAFETY TACKLED RUNNER IN ENDZONE