Crestview senior Trevor Gibson (22) looks for running room off the block of classmate Grant Schlagbaum (7) during the Knights’ 63-22 Week 11 win against Ansonia on Friday night, Nov. 4, 2017. The Knights will face Minster next Friday night at a location to be determined. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
Crestview senior Trevor Gibson (22) looks for running room off the block of classmate Grant Schlagbaum (7) during the Knights’ 63-22 Week 11 win against Ansonia on Friday night, Nov. 4, 2017. The Knights will face Minster next Friday night at a location to be determined. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
CONVOY — Crestview scored eight consecutive touchdowns during its Week 11 OHSAA Division VII, Region 28 playoff game on Friday night in Convoy and routed Ansonia 63-22. It was Crestview’s first-ever home playoff victory. Crestview, now 10-1, will face Minster next Friday night at a site to be determined.

The Tigers (6-5) took the opening kickoff and made a statement, churning out a 17-play drive on which they converted a pair of fourth downs, including a 4th-and-14, before Brock Shellhaas punched the ball into the end zone seven minutes into the game.

It took the Knights all of two plays to respond.

Senior Trevor Gibson took a hand off and cut back in the middle of the line before bouncing outside and racing 55 yards for the game-tying touchdown. After the Knights recovered the kickoff, they took the lead when Drew Kline finished an 8-play drive with a bruising 2-yard scoring run.

The Knights never looked back from there.

“We have put ourselves in position where we have had to answers at times this year, and fortunately, we just stayed right where we needed to be, mentally,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said of the Tigers’ opening drive. “They are a good-sized physical football team, and we knew they wanted to run it at us, but we always want to answer that with our own running game. Although our style is a little different, we take pride in being a physical team as well. I was proud of our guys for being able to answer and set that tone for us.”

The points kept coming for Crestview. After forcing a turnover on downs, Crestview went eight plays for a score, with Kline finding Derick Dealey for an 11-yard strike, making it 20-7. On the first Ansonia snap of the ensuing possession, Kline intercepted Tiger quarterback Hunter Buckingham, setting up another touchdown drive, this one finished by Kline’s 16-yard scamper. Crestview led 28-7 at the half.

If there was any doubt about the eventual outcome, Crestview erased it with three touchdowns in less than two minutes early in the third quarter. In the span of four plays, Wade Sheets accounted for 151 yards and all three touchdowns. Kline found Sheets on a 42-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 11:10 left in the third quarter. Two plays later, Sheets intercepted Buckingham’s pass and took it back for a 50-yard score. After Crestview recovered a fumble on the kickoff, Sheets caught a quick pass from Kline and went 59 yards for a 49-7 scoreboard with 9:08 to play in the third quarter.

“This is someplace we want to get as a program, where we, in Week 11, have an opportunity to play in from of our community, and they were awesome tonight,” Owens said. “Our stands were packed, and they were energetic and enthusiastic, and our kids fed off of that.”

After the initial drive, Crestview limited Ansonia on the ground, forcing Buckingham to throw. That led to a rough night for the Tiger offense. Buckingham was just 3-for-11 passing with three interceptions. It was Crestview’s defensive front that caused those numbers, holding the Tigers’ wing-t attack in check on the ground.

“We knew what to do; Coach [Matt] Holden was calling the plays and putting us in the right positions,” Crestview senior Trevor Gibson said. “We watched a lot of film, so we knew what plays were coming on what downs.” Gibson led the team with eight tackles, including two for loss.

“As the night wore on our guys were able to get better and better penetration,” Owens said. “Overall defensively, other than a couple of let-downs late in the game, I couldn’t be more proud of our effort.”

With the regulars out of the game on both sides late, Crestview added touchdowns from Luke Mefferd (5-yard run) and Kaden Short (79-yard run), but also allowed a pair of long touchdown plays to Ansonia. In total, Crestview outgained the Tigers 517-303.

Sheets had 146 receiving yards in the game, leaving him at 995 yards this season. He has caught 13 touchdown passes. Kline went over 2,000 passing yards with his 191 yards on Friday night. He has thrown 25 touchdowns this season and run for a dozen more.