NEW MADISON — National Trail was looking to play the role of spoiler when it traveled to Tri-Village for the final regular season game of the season.
However, Tri-Village’s football team earned a share of the Western Ohio Athletic Conference Championship on Friday night (Oct. 15) with its 40-14 victory over National Trail.
Although the score looked lopsided, the teams fought to a stalemate for three quarters of the game. The Patriots broke through in the fourth quarter with 26 points to secure the win.
The Blazers got on the board first with a 46-yard run from Chase Ruebush on their first play from scrimmage. It didn’t take long for the Patriots to even up the score. A couple minutes later, Braden Keating found Noah Finkbine in the endzone on a 13-yard pass to tie the score at 7-7.
The defenses took charge of the game for the next 14 minutes of the game. Trail was able to move the ball to first and goal at the two-yard line with 3:35 left in the half and that is when Burgan Hoffman got a push from his offensive line and put National Trail on top. With the extra point, the Blazers were up 14-7.
With time running out in the half, Keating connected again on a 12-yard touchdown pass to another Finkbine. This time it was Justin Finkbine who was able to get control of the ball and a foot inbounds for the score.
It took another quarter for Tri-Village to finally get on track. With 10:45 left in the game, Keating found Noah Finkbine in the endzone again for a 22-yard touchdown pass and went up 21-14.
After stopping Trail on their own 45, the Patriots took over and so did Reed Wehr. He took the ball 45 yards for the score and a 28-14 lead.
The Blazers started pushing and the mistakes started coming. National Trail fumbled on their own 47-yard line and Noah Finkbine came up with recovery. With 3:01 left in the game, Keating found the endzone on the 20-yard run. The extra point was no good, but the Patriots were up 34-14.
Keating got the final score of the game on a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, but Tri-Village would get the 40-14 victory.
Depsite the loss, National Trail (6-4, 5-3) still qualified for the playoffs and will travel to Versailles for its opening round game on Friday, Oct. 28.