BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee’s football team posted its first victory since October 27, 2017 when the Panthers came from behind to defeat the visiting Southview Cougars 14-10 last Friday.
“It was well deserved for the kids,” said first-year Maumee head football coach Cam Coutcher. “They were very excited. It was evident by their emotion. They really needed that. We’ve been preaching the process all year. We were in a close game in week No. 2 against Perkins and came out on the wrong side of that, and I think it prepared us to win a close game tonight.”
Trailing 10-7, Maumee forced a late fourth-quarter punt on timely defensive stops by four seniors in linebackers Alex Drown and Michael Henry, lineman Zach Knorr and back Zach Warncke.
Southview’s punt rolled out of bounds at the Panthers’ 21-yard line, giving Maumee just 1:35 to either tie things up with a field goal or score the go-ahead touchdown.
Senior quarterback Zach Marvin, who was crowned homecoming king during halftime festivities, began the drive with a 21-yard run.
He next completed first-down passes to classmate Jaelin McCoy (21 yards), as well as his younger brother – sophomore Derek Marvin (16 and 7 yards).
Now on the Cougars’ 8, Zach Marvin threw a pass to senior Blake Schneider, who made a great grab in the back left corner of the end zone for the Panthers’ second touchdown of the night.
“We practice the two-minute drill every week and we’ve been practicing the play that we ran at the end since July,” Coutcher said. “Zach is somebody that I really trust. If you’re at the end of the game and you’re in a situation where you have an opportunity to go get one, then you put it in the hands of the guy that you trust and rely on the other guys around him to make plays – and that’s what happened.”
Junior Logan Phillips’ extra point came with just 23 seconds remaining in the contest.
Needing a quick touchdown after starting on their own 20, the Cougars got an immediate 18-yard pass completion from junior quarterback Cam Young to junior receiver Josh Meek, but that’s all the yards Maumee’s defense allowed on the drive.
Warncke and junior back Carlton Mathis broke up Young’s next pass attempt and another sailed in and out of a receiver’s hands as the time ran out.
Southview senior back Nathan Taylor and sophomore linebacker Logan Moores helped to force an immediate Panthers three-and-out to start the contest and senior Jordin Sanderson blocked that punt attempt.
Four plays later, senior kicker Michael Mancy connected on a 26-yard field goal to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead over Maumee with 8:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Sanderson next recovered a Panthers fumble just over a minute later, but a lightning strike forced a 30-minute delay at the 6:55 mark.
When play resumed, the game saw five straight punts, as junior linemen Brayden Franklin and Joe Mena and classmate and linebacker Mike Pacer joined Drown, Henry, Mathis and Schneider in providing solid Maumee defense and Sanderson, Taylor, Young, senior Nathan Longsdorf, junior back Lorenzo Autman Jr., classmate and linebacker Nick Harshman and senior lineman Matt Meyer did the same for Southview.
It was Mena’s first start of the year.
Midway through the second stanza, Zach Marvin threw a first-down pass to Schneider and ran for another first down before completing a 64-yard TD pass to Jaelin McCoy – who broke three tackles while running to pay dirt.
“Zach saw that he had a little space out there, so he threw it to Jaelin and fortunately for us he was able to make a very big play,” Coutcher said. “He made a couple of guys miss and broke a couple of tackles. We got the ball in the hands of a playmaker and let him go make a play.”
Phillips’ point-after put the Panthers up 7-3 with 6:34 left in the first half.
Seemingly undaunted, Autman Jr. responded with a long kick return that placed the Cougars squarely on Maumee’s 43-yard line
The ensuing drive saw a 20-yard pass from Taylor to senior receiver Robbie Mackinnon and a 17-yard run from junior back Keith Reece, both of which set up an eventual 6-yard Taylor touchdown scamper.
Mancy’s extra point came with just 2:04 to go and gave Southview its 10-7 advantage.
Zach Marvin again led a long Panthers drive with a passes of 9 and 19 yards to Jaelin McCoy, but he was ultimately intercepted by Young on the Cougars’ 33.
The third quarter was scoreless, as it saw two punts by each team, a Maumee interception and fumble recovery by Henry and Pacer and a missed 41-yard field goal attempt from the Panthers.
It also saw additional tough defensive plays from Maumee’s Drown, Derek Marvin, Mathis, Jaelin McCoy and junior linebacker Noah Fowls and Southview’s Longs-dorf, Moores, Sanderson, Young and freshman lineman Zach Steinhauser.
Two more punts followed to start the fourth before Taylor came up with a Cougars fumble recovery with 5:30 left on the clock.
While things looked bad for the Panthers at this point, Maumee stepped up again and forced the night’s 13th and final punt.
Zach Marvin ended up completing 22-of-36 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and also ran 15 times for 38 more yards.
Jaelin McCoy caught eight of those passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, Schneider nabbed seven passes for 48 yards and a score, sophomore back R.J. McCoy grabbed three passes for 37 yards and Derek Marvin caught three passes for 23 yards.
“I think we’ve got a lot of guys who are very good receivers,” Coutcher said.
Senior Tyler Welter also contributed to the Panthers win by averaging 38.4 yards on five punts – with his longest sailing 49 yards.
Maumee had several standout defensive performers on the night, including Drown, Henry, Mathis, Mena and Pacer.
“Conrad Kolbow had a very good gameplan and I think the guys are starting to really trust each other,” Coutcher said. “All those guys you mentioned did an excellent job. At the end of the day, it’s a team effort on defense. You swarm the ball and one guy sets up another guy to make a tackle. I’m just really proud of the team defense we played and I really loved the energy they played with.”
Young totaled 68 yards of offense for the Cougars, Reece rushed for another 68 yards, Taylor totaled 43 yards and a touchdown, Harshman totaled 41 yards and freshman receiver Jake Schuele caught two passes for 39 yards.
Southview’s outstanding defensive performances came from Longsdorf, Meyer, Moores, Sanderson, Taylor and Young.
The Panthers improved to 1-4 (1-1 in Northern Lakes League play) and the Cougars dropped to 1-4 (0-2).
Maumee will next travel to Napoleon on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The 2-3 (1-1) Wildcats are coming off a 20-13 loss to Springfield (1-4, 1-1) on September 28.
“It’s kind of the same old same old for us,” Coutcher said. “We just try to win the day and trust in the process. I think we have a pretty good gameplan going in on both sides of the ball. The kids just need to continue to trust and support each other and the process will take care of the scoreboard.”