Blayton Reid
Tyler Hart

Tyler Hart

Reid, Braves claim overtime thriller over Zane Trace

Logan Elm’s Blayton Reid led the Braves to an overtime victory intheir  season opener against visiting Zane Trace. 

Tyler Hart, Contributor

*Cover photo credit: John Howley/johnhowley.smugmug.com

CIRCLEVILLE — Friday evening’s game between Logan Elm and Zane Trace was decided by which offense had possession last.

The Pioneers struck first with a powerful two-yard rush from Daniel Barnhart at the 6:20 mark in the opening quarter, making it a 7-0 ballgame.

Both teams were unable to capitalize on any other scoring until Logan Elm’s Blayton Reid broke free down his own sideline for a 53-yard touchdown reception in the closing seconds of the first.

That pass, from Garrett Summers, cut the deficit to 7-6 heading into the second.

The second eight-minute time frame showcased each defense’s ability to stop their opponents. In fact, neither offense scored again throughout the rest of the half. But that doesn’t mean Logan Elm linebacker RJ Weber didn’t take advantage of a huge opportunity of his own.

With 7:26 left in the first half, Weber stepped in front of a pass and took it 22 yards to the house. After a conversion run tailor-made for Reid, the Braves took a 14-7 edge — the eventual halftime score.

After both defenses headlined the majority of the first half, Zane Trace found itself tying the game at 14-14 around at the 6:35 mark in the third. The Pioneers’ Blake Phillips broke multiple tackles and outran everyone for a 44-yard rushing touchdown.

The Braves were quick to respond, marching down the field and ending a lengthy scoring drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown via Summers. The run gave Logan Elm a 21-14 advantage with 4:47 to play in the third. 

After back-to-back three-and-outs, Zane Trace’s Ben Nichols broke another big play with a 44-yard rushing touchdown in the closing seconds to force a 21-21 deadlock.

The count stayed that way until the end of regulation as defense came back to the forefront, forcing the game into overtime.

Logan Elm won the coin toss and elected to defer, giving Zane Trace the opportunity to score first and changing the complexion of the game.

Zane Trace, led by Nichols, scored when Nichols took a six-yard keeper into the end zone to cap a five-play series. But after a wild snap on the extra-point attempt, the Braves were presented with a huge opportunity to potentially score and seal a win.

They took full advantage of that chance.

Using a bit of trickery and going deep into its playbook, Logan Elm ran a reverse play to Ethan Smith for nine yards. Reid, because who else, broke off an 11-yard run through the middle of ZT’s defense and crossed the goal line to force a 27-27 tie.

Enter kicker Jude Braun.

After Zane Trace tried to ice Braun with a timeout, he didn’t miss a beat. Braun sent the ball through the middle of the uprights, giving the Braves a thrilling 28-27 victory.

Logan Elm will travel to Westfall in Week 2 while Zane Trace continues to search for its first win, hosting Madison Plains.

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