The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020

Huston, Cornell lead Kenton past VW 48-25

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Kenton quarterback Blaine Huston passed for 375 yards and six touchdowns, four to Jayden Cornell, to lead the Wildcats past Van Wert 48-25 in a steady rain at Eggerss Stadium on Friday night.

Huston’s performance offset Jake Hilleary’s 35 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns, and the loss all but ended Van Wert’s playoff hopes, as the Cougars dropped to 3-4 (2-4 WBL).

Huston’s four touchdown passes to Cornell all happened in the first half – a six yard pass at the 9:24 mark of the first quarter; a 53-yard strike with 6:47 remaining in the first quarter that put Kenton up 13-0; a 32-yarder with 8:02 left in the second quarter and 36 yards with 3:58 left in the half that gave the Wildcats a 27-7 advantage. Cornell finished with six catches for 134 yards.

Jake Hilleary plows through Kenton tacklers during Friday night’s game. Hilleary finished with 35 carries, 164 yards and two touchdowns. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“They have some very good athletes out there,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said of Kenton. “Our guys tried to execute the best they could, but they’re a tough matchup.”

“We have some great playmakers on offense and our offensive line provided some time for our quarterback to find some guys,” Kenton head coach Brent Fackler said. “We’re a big play team, but we can also work our way downfield.”

Kenton (5-2, 5-1 WBL) extended the lead to 34-7 with a 75 yard touchdown pass from Cornell to Bryce Ellis with 1:12 left before halftime.

Hilleary put the Cougars on the board with a one yard touchdown run with 3:03 left in the first quarter. The senior running back had four carries for 36 yards on the drive.

Van Wert’s second touchdown came on the opening possession of the second half. The Cougars marched 73 yards on 13 plays and scored on a fourth down, 22-yard touchdown pass from Owen Treece to Dru Johnson.

“The way we came out in the second half is the way we needed to start the game,,” Recker said. “We came out flat – I don’t know what it was, uncertainty or what.”

Van Wert then recovered an onside kick, but had to punt after five plays. After forcing Kenton into a three and out, the Cougars took over at their own 44 and reeled off 13 plays before turning the ball over on downs at the Kenton five yard line with 10:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Two plays later, Tanner Barnhart intercepted Huston, which led to a seven yard touchdown run by Treece, cutting the score to 34-19 with 8:41 left in the game.

After forcing another punt, Treece was intercepted for the second time, and two plays later, Jacob Eversole lined up at quarterback and raced 51 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 41-19 lead with 5:35 left.

On Van Wert’s next possession, Cornell intercepted Treece again and one play later, Huston fired an 80-yard touchdown pass to Landon Rush, giving the Wildcats a 48-19 lead.

“We’ve got some playmakers on defense,” Fackler said. “We’re trying to play a game where we bend, but not break and let our guys run to the football.”

Treece completed 14 of 31 passes for 174 yards, one touchdown and three picks. He also had 23 carries for 108 yards and a score. Dru Johnson had four catches for 81 yards, while Barnhart had five receptions for 46 yards.

Huston completed 17 of 27 passes for 375 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Rush caught six passes for 155 yards.

Van Wert’s final touchdown game with 48 seconds left, when Hilleary plowed in from five yards out.

“He’s just so tough, to keep chugging along when we’re not getting much,” Recker said Hilleary. “I’m real proud of him.”

The Cougars will travel to Elida (0-7, 0-6 WBL) next Friday.


First quarter

9:24 – Blaine Huston 6 yard pass to Jayden Cornell (Bryce Ellis kick)
6:07 – Blaine Huston 53 yard pass to Jayden Cornell (Bryce Ellis kick)
3:03 – Jake Hilleary 1 yard run (Peyton McAlpine kick)

Second quarter

8:02 – Blaine Huston 32 yard pass to Jayden Cornell (Bryce Ellis kick)
3:58 – Blaine Huston 36 yard pass to Jayden Cornell (Bryce Ellis kick)
1:12 – Blaine Huston 75 yard pass to Bryce Ellis (Bryce Ellis kick)

Third quarter

7:49 – Owen Treece 22 yard pass to Dru Johnson (PAT failed)

Fourth quarter

8:41 – Owen Treece 7 yard run (PAT failed)
5:35 – Jacob Eversole 51 yard run (Bryce Ellis kick)
4:18 – Blaine Huston 80 yard pass to Landon Rush (Bryce Ellis kick)
0:48 – Jake Hilleary 5 yard run (PAT failed)

POSTED: 10/11/19 at 11:32 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports