By Sean LaFontaine
Times Bulletin Correspondent
CONVOY - The Crestview Knights hosted their Homecoming Friday night and welcomed Northwest Conference foe, the Ada Bulldogs, to town. The Knights got up early and made this year's Homecoming a happy one, on their way to a 63-12 victory over the Bulldogs.
The Knights received the opening kickoff to begin the game and went right to work. After the first three plays from scrimmage, the Knights faced a fourth-and-short. Crestview went for it with a quarterback sneak and got the first down to keep the drive alive.
After the first down sneak, quarterback Preston Zaleski ran for a 16-yard gain two plays later to take the Knights down to the Bulldog 11-yard line. Three plays later, Zaleski threw across the field to a wide-open Nate Owens for a touchdown. Cameron Grubaugh added the extra point to give Crestview the 7-0 lead, which they would never relinquish.
The Crestview defense forced an Ada three-and-out to take over possession. Isaiah Simerman took the punt 39 yards, all way down to the Ada 26-yard line. Five plays later Justin Overmyer punched it in from four yards out to give Crestview a 14-0.
Ada answered on their next drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Matt Wilcox to Spencer Archer. Jordan Roop blocked the extra point to make the lead 14-6 in favor of the Knights.
Crestview again extended their lead on their next drive on only four offensive plays. On the second play of the drive, Zaleski found Simerman open downfield for a 24-yard gain, then two plays later Malcolm Oliver busted open for a 34-yard touchdown run. After two Bulldog offside penalties, Crestview decided to go for the two-point conversion which they got on a quarterback sneak, making the score 22-6.
After the Crestview defense forced another Ada punt, the offense began to put the game out of reach early. Crestview scored four plays after the punt on a Jake Lippi three-yard run. A perfect pass from Zaleski to Simerman for 37 yards set up the Lippi three-yard score. The touchdown made the score 29-6 with 9:48 to play in the second quarter.
Crestview went on to score two more touchdowns in the first half. The first touchdown came on an 81-yard run by Lippi and the second score was on a play-action pass from Zaleski to Oliver for a 30-yard touchdown.
The two scores put the Knights up 43-6 at halftime. Crestview continued their offensive explosion in the second half, on their way to a 63-12 route of the Bulldogs.
As expected, Crestview head coach Jared Owens was very pleased with his team's performance Friday night and was happy for his seniors.
"Our seniors deserve this. They've lost two close games to Ada the past few years," said Owens. "We beat a very good Ada team tonight. I don't want to take anything away from them, but we are finally starting to play the way we are capable of."
Owens went on to talk about what made his team so successful on the night, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
"We are starting to get some good balance on offense, which really makes us hard to defend. Defensively, we knew their quarterback was a very good athlete and we knew we needed to contain his running. We were actually just as concerned with his running as we were his passing. We were able to keep him contained, get some good matchups on the outside and we got good pressure with three linemen which was huge in making him feel uncomfortable."
Crestview did most of its damage on the ground, racking up 396 rushing yards on the night, led by Lippi who rushed for 155 yards on 8 carries for an average of 19.4 yards per carry. The Knights had a total of seven touchdowns on the ground for the game.
Zaleski threw the ball seven times and completed six of the attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Simerman was his leading receiver. He caught three passes for 78 yards.
The Crestview defense held the dangerous Ada offense to 241 yards of total offense. 232 of those yards came through the air, while only nine came on the ground.
The victory moves Crestview to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in the NWC, while Ada drops to 5-2 on the season and 4-1 in the NWC.