PORT CLINTON – Fifth-seeded Keystone faced a big and physical side of fourth-seeded Port Clinton in a Division IV, Region 14 quarterfinal.
In the second half, Redskins running back Garrett Cornell rushed for nearly 150 yards and three touchdowns to defeat Keystone 44-13 and advance to a regional semifinal.
To start the third quarter, Port Clinton (11-1) quickly rolled on the field. Cornell was the running back on all 7 plays and 57 yards that culminated in his 4-yard touchdown run on the Keystone defense (9-2).
“They are a very good football team,” said Keystone coach Don Griswold. “For the past two years, we’ve lost to eventual champions of state (Clyde in 2019, Van Wert in 2020). It could be three years in a row. We could continue this trivial question.
Cornell finished with 216 yards and four touchdowns.
“That offensive line was on average (274 pounds). They’ve imposed their will on us, but that doesn’t take away from what we’ve done this year, ”said Griswold.
Keystone allowed 20 points in the third quarter and another touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter when Port Clinton quarterback Cam Gillum completed a touchdown pass to Josh Hurst for 20 yards.
The first quarter was not a good start for Keystone. Their first practice resulted in an interception on the second scrimmage play.
The Redskins faced a third on their own 47-yard line. Wildcats linebacker and running back Gideon Lampron missed what could have been a sack but resulted in a 53-yard touchdown from Port Clinton quarterback Cam Gillum to wide receiver Anthony Aukerman for the 7-0 lead.
“This (game) was everything to me,” Lampron said. “I should have collapsed more to secure the tackle.”
Redskins kicker Andrew Hanson hit a 31-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar twice before splitting the amount to give them a 10-0 lead.
Keystone scored a first-half touchdown, which came from Lampron’s 5-yard touchdown run in the typical manner of him bulldozing over defenders in the end zone.
Lampron, in his last game, finished with 60 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“Gideon Lampron is a Hall of Fame human being,” said Griswold. “He’s won all the prizes you can win. His diploma will leave a great void in a number of areas. Attack, defense, leadership, mentoring, friendship. It has been a blessing to be with him for the past four years.
His second touchdown came in the third quarter from 24 yards, but a missed extra point made it a three-possession game as the Wildcats trailed 30-13.
Keystone QB Konner Rodick threw for 143 yards and two interceptions. One on the first disc and the other at the end of the fourth quarter, throwing it at Cornell of Port Clinton, who is also playing both ways.
Lampron finished his career with over 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 this season.
Keystone’s running game struggled throughout the night, accumulating 105 yards compared to last week’s 271 against Huron.
Port Clinton played their last home game of the season, closing it with an unbeaten 7-0 home record. They have an average home win margin of 32 points.
Next week, Port Clinton will qualify to face Perkins, the team that left them their only loss this season in Week 3 to Perkins, 21-20. The game will take place on a neutral site this time on November 12 at 7 p.m.