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Norwalk football 125 flashback: Truckers top Port Clinton 17-10 in overtime

By JOE NOWAK • Updated Sep 10, 2019 at 6:24 PM

PORT CLINTON — Ron DeLuca’s Norwalk football team made history Friday when it went into overtime with the host Port Clinton Redskins.

More important than that accomplishment, though, is that the Truckers are in the win column in 1999.

In the first extra session game at Port Clinton, Norwalk topped the Redskins, 17-10, when junior running back Jeff Torrence scored on a one-yard run.

Junior safety/quarterback Kelly Still then picked off quarterback Jeff Baumer at the Norwalk 10-yard-line as the Truckers’ defense forced their second turnover of the night.

DeLuca’s team improved to 1-2 as the Truckers closed out their non-conference portion of the season. Port Clinton dropped to 0-3.

“This was a great win tonight between two teams I thought were pretty equally matched,” DeLuca said. “The guys really learned something about themselves and what it takes to win.”

The overtime started with Norwalk receiving possession of the ball. DeLuca said he wanted to see his offense spread the field and attack Port Clinton through the air.

Still did just that. After two incomplete passes, both of which were thrown into the end zone, the junior found senior split end Bart Bergstedt for a 19-yard completion to the Redskins’ 1-yard line.

“Coach was calling for pass plays in the overtime and Bart did a great job breaking free and getting so close to the goal line,” Still said. “This is one of the best feelings ever.”

Torrence scored on the play after the completed pass, and Still’s interception came three plays into Port Clinton’s overtime possession.

“I really think we’re improving each week,” said Torrence, who scored both of Norwalk’s touchdowns and finished with a team-leading 60 yards on the ground. “We really tried to run the ball right at them in the second half and the line and the backs are starting to perform like a well-oiled machine.”

Still, 6-of-21 through the air, ended up with 92 yards passing and was not intercepted.

The teams battled to a 3-3 tie at the half with both field goals coming in the final minute of the second quarter.

After senior kicker Kevin May booted a school-record 32-yard field goal with 55 seconds left in the half, Still drove Norwalk 50 yards in seven plays to set up Bergstedt’s 25-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.

Torrence gave the Truckers a 10-3 lead with just under eight minutes to go in the third quarter. The junior capped off an 11-play, 65-yard drive that took 4:05 off the clock with a five-yard touchdown run.

Port Clinton answered in the fourth. After a Brad Roland punt put the Redskins at their own 32, they needed only two plays to tie the game.

Baumer hit May, who had kicked the field goal, for a 64-yard touchdown pass with nine minutes left in the game.

May split several Trucker defenders at the Norwalk 40 as the two Redskins provided the longest play of the night. Port Clinton had the ball for less than a minute, but the game was tied until Norwalk’s offensive heroics in overtime.

Both teams finished with 239 yards of total offense. Norwalk outgained Port Clinton, 146-126, on the ground. But the Redskins held a 113-92 edge in tasing yards.

Norwalk returns home Friday to open Northern Ohio League play against Galion (1-2) at Whitney Field.



Norwalk overtime history (5-4)

Sept. 9, 1988: Won vs. Huron, 14-6 (2OT)

Nov. 4, 1988: Won vs. Bucyrus, 21-14

— Sept. 10, 1999: Won at Port Clinton, 17-10

Sept. 15, 2000: Lost at Galion, 41-34 (2OT)

Aug. 24, 2001: Lost at Edison, 27-21

Sept. 26, 2003: Won at Fostoria, 37-36

Oct. 30, 2009: Won vs. Upper Sandusky, 27-21

Nov. 8, 2013: Lost at Columbian, 34-28 (2OT)*

Oct. 19, 2018: Lost vs. Clyde, 32-31

* denotes Division III playoff game

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