It started out as your typical game, teams were moving the ball on eachother, exchanging scores, etc. The Findlay running attack was looking sharp. Brian Almond was running like a horse and refused to be brought down on the first hit. Almond poured out everything he had last Friday night. I don't think his legs ever stopped churning. He piled up almost 190 yards on the night adding in a TD run. When Almond wasn't running the ball, Danny Baker was spreading the ball out to his receivers. Baker finished the night 23-43 for nearly 250 yards and 3 TD tosses. Catching most of those balls was playmaker Tyler Curliss. Curliss was doing everything Friday night. He hauled in 11 balls for 129 yards and a TD. He also returned punts and kickoffs. His punt returns were a big part of Findlay's great field position they held all night.
While Findlay's offense was moving the ball pretty much at will, Coffman wasn't having too much trouble either. Jack Rafferty, formerly of Columbus St Charles, was having his way with the Findlay defense for the most part. Rafferty connected on 16 of his 31 attempts for 239 yards and 4 touchdowns. He showed great courage and leadership throughout the game. He was flushed from the pocket on a regular basis but kept his composure and still made the plays. Rafferty fired one of the best looking passes I've seen in a while to help keep his 'Rocks in the game. Trailing 35-21 late in the fourth quarter, the Rocks decided it was time to put the game faces back on. They notched a quick score and cut the deficit to 35-28, but Findlay appeared to have the game in hand. With a little over 3:00 to play, Findlay coughed up the football on Coffman's 2 yard line and the Shamrocks recovered. Although they went 3 and out on their possession, it kept Findlay from scoring. They were forced to punt and they needed a big stand from their defense. The Coffman 'D' stepped up. They forced Findlay to punt the ball after three non-successful plays. With just over a minute-thirty left, Jack Rafferty had to lead his team down the field 85 yards to tie the game. Rafferty kept a cool head and played the John Elway role perfectly. He connected on a few short passes moving the ball to the 32 yard line. Out of nowhere, Coffman threw all the chips down. Rafferty uncorked a 68 yard bomb to Matt DiPoala with 1:15 left on the clock. The PAT was good and evened the score at 35-35. Findlay was able to get down to about the 40 yard line and threw two unsuccessful attempts into the endzone. This baby was going to OT.
Findlay started out on offense and after the first play, things looked bad. Tyler Curliss took an end around and looked to pass the ball. He was wrapped up for a 10 yard loss and the Trojans were in trouble. After three straight failed pass attempts, it was Coffman's turn. Rafferty kept up his big-play attitude and took the first play down to the 9 yard line. The Rocks had a bit of a scare on the next play....a 6 yard rush resulted in a fumble, but Coffman pounced back on it. The very next play sent the green wave of Coffman fans into a sea of excitement. Clark Koury took the rock from Rafferty and scampered 3 yards into the endzone and ended the game.
OPS Players of the Game:
Coffman -- QB Jack Rafferty
Findlay -- WR/PR Tyler Curliss
Pictures from the Coldwater/Kenton game and the Findlay/Coffman game should be up next Tuesday. I'm still having some trouble but by Tuesday it should be cleared up. Also, look for tonights game report (Upper Arlington @ Findlay) on Tuesday as well.
I would like to congratulate Coffman on a great game and tip my hat to the players, coaches, fans, band members, cheerleaders, etc from both teams. The atmosphere was great for football and the fans were great as well. I would also like to thank the Findlay administration for their cooperation.