HARROD — Columbus Grove may have been tired of settling for field goals Friday night.

The Bulldogs consistently were able to drive into the red zone, only to drives fizzle out as they settled for field goals to get points on the scoreboard. Facing another such opportunity to start the fourth quarter the Bulldogs decided to go for a touchdown.

The move paid off as Blake Reynolds scored on a three yard run that helped Columbus Grove to a 30-21 win over Allen East in a battle of Northwest Conference East Division leaders. The win allowed the Bulldogs to finish round robin play at 3-0 and earn the top seed in the NWC playoffs that start next week. The Bulldogs will host Delphos Jefferson in the opening round in the tournament.

Allen East scored with 2:02 left in the third quarter on a Tyler Clum two yard run to pull the Mustangs (2-1) within two points of the Bulldogs at 23-21. The Mustangs then tried to surprise Grove with an onside kick that the Bulldogs recovered at midfield.

On the first play of the drive, Blake Reynolds found Jon Banal with a pass that the senior pick up 30 yards on. A late hit penalty moved the ball to the Mustang 10 where three Reynolds runs picked up seven yards as the third quarter drew to a close. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Reynolds again called his own number and he burst over the left side of the line and into the endzone. Verhoff's extra point made it 30-21 with 11:56 left to play.

The rest was up to the Grove defense and they were up to the challenge as they made the plays to prevent the Mustangs from reaching the endzone again.

Columbus Grove scored on their first possession of the night as they drove to the Mustang 18 before having to settle for a 37 yard Verhoff field goal to get on the scoreboard.

After stopping Allen East's first drive on downs at the Grove 45, the Bulldogs needed just one play to find the endzone. That play was a Reynolds pass to Gabe Clement that covered 60 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 Bulldog lead.

After a three and out by the Mustang defense,Clement returned the punt to the Allen East 28. The Bulldogs were unable to take advantage of the good field position as a penalty set them back. They settled for a field goal attempt by Verhoff that was unsuccessful as it sailed wide right. That was one of two misses by the junior kicker in the first quarter.

After another three and out by the Allen East offense, the Bulldogs put together an eight play, 53 yard drive that was capped off by a one yard plunge by Colin Metzger with 7:55 left in the opening half.

The Allen East then came alive as they drove 71 yards in 12 plays as Garrett Newland took a slant pass that turned into a 23 yard scoring play. With the extra point, the Mustangs were down 17-7.

The Mustang defense gave the offense good field position to start their next drive when Travis Wilson intercepted a Reynolds pass. Six plays later the Mustangs were in the endzone when Clum called his own number to score on a short run with 22 seconds left in the half to trail 17-14.

With limited time left on the clock, the Bulldogs put together a 70 yard drive that started with Metzger breaking off a big run on first down. After a pass to Banal for a first down, Reynolds hit Braylon Baxter with a 30 yard pass to the Allen East 10. With just two seconds left on the clock, Verhoff trotted out and kicked a 26 yard field goal for a 20-14 halftime lead.

After an exchange of punts to start the third quarter, the Bulldogs put together a drive that ended with Verhoff kicking a 26 yard field goal with 3:56 left in the quarter.

Allen East came right back as they drove 75 yards in seven plays as Clum scored on a two yard run. The Mustangs averted trouble when they recovered their own fumble at the Bulldog eight after a long gain on a pass play. That was the second big play on the drive that started with the Mustangs executing a hook and ladder play from their own 33 to the Grove 20.