Tina Eley/Brown Publishing
Tina Eley/Brown Publishing

Brown Publishing Correspondent

SPENCERVILLE - Allen East overcame a barrage of points in the first six minutes of the game to defeat Northwest Conference rival Spencerville, 33-21, at the home of the Bearcats on Friday evening.

The Bearcat faithful could not have asked for a better opening to the game. Allen East was held to a quick three-and-out after the opening kickoff and Spencerville took over on its own 36-yard line. After three plays it was fourth and one and Head Coach John Zerbe took a chance. Quarterback Tyler Dietering went on a quick count and busted a sneak straight up the middle and broke it to the left side to pay dirt for a 55-yard touchdown.

On the next series, Allen East quarterback Grant Dues dropped back and threw a pass down the middle of the field that Bearcat sophomore defensive back Daniel Binkley ran underneath and then returned it to the house for a pick-six touchdown from 53 yards out.

The Spencerville fans had barely sat down in their seats when Dues again threw one down the middle. This time it was Dietering who gathered it in, broke through the Mustang offense and returned it for a 35-yard touchdown return at the 6:13 mark and a 21-0 home team lead.

The Mustangs had a chance to roll over and quit at that point but instead they picked up their intensity. Senior Aaron Swaney caught a 36-yard pass from Dues as time ran out in the first quarter to set up a 19-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. On the next series, Mustang junior Levi Hoy moved the pile from one yard out on fourth down to make the score 21-12. Then after Spencerville failed to score after a 33-yard pass to Binkley and a 11-yard run by Jordan Elliott, Hoy broke off a 62-yard run and Swaney ran out of the Wildcat formation for 12-yards. Hoy finished it off again with a 3-yard plunge. That ended the first half at 21-19, with Spencerville clinging to a slim lead.

The second half, like the second quarter, belonged to Allen East. Swaney intercepted Dietering and returned the ball 27 yards to end the Bearcats first drive of the third quarter, picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along the way. A few seconds later Swaney, from the Wildcat formation, ran the ball into the end zone from 13 yards out to give Allen East their first lead of the night.

The Mustang defense held Spencerville to a three and out before fielding the punt at the 50-yard line. Swaney again ran the Wildcat, this time for 20yards. A few plays later an 18-yard touchdown pass was erased by an illegal formation call but on fourth and seven, Dues found Swaney in the end zone on a 13-yard pass to put some room in between the two teams with 3:09 left to go in the third.

But that was it for scoring on the evening. Allen East fumbled at their own seven-yard line but Spencerville imploded, first with a holding penalty and then with a big loss on a rushing play. The defense took over for both teams and when Swaney intercepted Dietering again with 5:40 left to go in the contest, the game was finally out of reach.

"We're young and we understand that," said Mustang coach Cam Staley. "We couldn't have had a worse six minutes to start a game. But our kids really played hard in the second half. We went into church before came here tonight and we had a little sermon about trying to dig down deep and when things go bad, that you're going to try to dig yourself out of trouble. I'm real proud of how our kids dug themselves out of tropuble tonight."

Dues was 5 for 11 for 76 yards passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. Hoy led the rushing attack with 20 rushes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Of course everything revolved around Swaney's play on both sides of the ball. He ran the Wildcat formation five times for a total of 52 yards and one touchdown, caught three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown, kicked extra points and, to top off his night, intercepted Dietering twice in the second half.

For Spencerville, Dietering was 8 for 18 with two interceptions for 57 yards. Binkley also completed a pass for 29 yards. Elliott was the Bearcat leading rusher with 14 attempts for 50 yards.

Allen East raised its record to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the Northwest Conference. Spencerville fell to 0-3, 0-1.

1 2 3 4 Tot

Allen East 0 19 14 0 33

Spencerville 21 0 0 0 21