Ayersville 21 Bluffton 13

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(BLUFFTON) - Ayersville High School visited Harmon Field for the first time on Friday evening in a matchup of 1-1 football squads.  The Pilots were led by quarterback Sam McGuire who was as dangerous through the air as he was on the ground.  The playmaker threw for two scores in the first half, both to wide receiver Caden Brown.  The second pass came with just two seconds left in the half and gave the Pilots a 13-7 lead.  The speedy junior ripped off a 56 yard score with 1:50 left in the game to seal the game for Ayersville.  

McGuire and Brown connected midway through the the first quarter to stake AHS to a 7-0 lead.  Bluffton answered on the ensuing drive, covering 74 yards.  Freshman quarterback Nate Schaadt completed a long pass to senior Logan Rhodes.  The play covered 51 yards and set Bluffton up inside the Pilot 20 yard line.  While the Pirates are a running team first and foremost, this was the third straight week where Schaadt and Rhodes connected for a pass covering 50 yards or more.  

Deandre Nassar rumbled into the end zone from 8 yards out and Kyle Koontz knotted the score at 7-7.  Koontz pulled a deft move on the ensuing kickoff.  He softly knocked the ball forward and then fell on his own kick after it traveled 10 yards giving Bluffton the ball at the Ayersville 49 yard line.  The Pirates, full of momentum, rolled down inside the Ayersville 20 yard line on a 23 yard dash by Rhodes.  Unfortunately, the Pirates fumbled inside the ten yard line.  The Pilots then drove 92 yards over the final 5:20 of the half to take the lead.  

Bluffton was able to nab two turnovers in the third quarter both sparked by senior Trey Shisler.  First, Shisler forced a fumble which Austin Reynolds recovered at the Bluffton 28 yard line.  The Pirates went three and out but Shisler came up big on the next Pilot possession.  The defensive back tracked down a long McGuire pass and intercepted it at the Pirate 12 yard line. Bluffton moved down field into the Pilot red zone, highlighted by a Nate Schaadt pass to Mason Ault covering 32 yards.  However, on 4th and 7 from the 15 the Pirate drive stalled.  The Pirate offense leaned more on Tucker Neff in the second half as Deandre Nassar was banged up and didn’t go in the third and fourth quarters. Neff had several nice carries as did Rhodes.

Ayersville took possession with 3:48 left and two plays later McGuire bolted through a large hole on the right side and zipped 56 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.  Bluffton responded with a drive filled with passes from Schaad to Ault and Rhodes leading the way.  Rhodes hauled in a 7 yard touchdown reception with nine seconds left.  Ayersville recovered the onside kick and knelt out to win the game. 

Schaadt completed 12 of 22 passes for 190 yards and 1 touchdown  Logan Rhodes hailed in 5 catches for 97 yards and a score.  This was also Schaadt & Rhodes third straight game with a completion of 50 yards or more. Mason Ault nabbed 2 for 55 yards. Nick Beach caught 4 balls totaling 26 yards. Deandre Nassar picked up 37 yards and Tucker Neff 30, both on 11 carries  

Defensively, Rhodes led the way with 9 tackles and Neff 8. Chad Veit had a sack as did Mason Ault  

Bluffton is now 1-2 on the season and travels to unbeaten Crestview in Week 4.  Ayersville improved to 2-1 with the win.  

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