Alder’s season comes to end in hard-fought battle at regional finals

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The Jonathan Alder Pioneers were revved up and ready to go entering the OHSAA regional finals with a 12-0 record, taking on Bishop Hartley (11-1) on Nov. 22 at Hilliard Darby High School.

(Posted Nov. 24, 2019)

By Pat Donahue, Staff Photographer

Jonathan Alder’s football team came into the Div. III regional final game with a perfect 12-0 record, facing off against the 11-1 Bishop Hartley Hawks on Nov. 22 at Hilliard Darby High School.

The Hawks came out strong and struck first with a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Alder got back in the game to tie things up in the second quarter.

The Hawks went up 13-6 in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Jonathan Alder took the lead for the first time, going up 14-13 with about eight minutes to go in the game.

In a tough back and forth battle, Hartley’s running game made its way down the field. Senior Jalen January led the way, scoring his third touchdown on the night after which the Hawks added two extra points to go back on top 21-14.

The Pioneers took over the ball on the 35-yard line with 1:23 left on the clock. Quarterback Taber Headings chipped away at the 65-yard task at hand, whittling the clock down to 8 seconds for what would be a final shot at the end zone.

Hartley senior George Dunor got to it first with a goal line interception, taking the ball the length of the field to wrap of the game with a 27-14 win.

Jonathan Alder quarterback J.T. Keith rears back for a pass.
Jonathan Alder senior Jacob Fenik pulls in a pass from junior quarterback J.T. Keith to move the Pioneers to the 3-yard line in the second quarter. From there, Keith suffered a game-ending knee injury and Fenik rumbled into the end zone for the Pioneers’ first score of the game, tying it up at 7-7. Fenik caught 13 passes in the game for 61 yards and ran five times for 16 more yards.
Jonathan Alder quarterback J.T. Keith remains on the field after running the ball in the second quarter. Keith suffered a game-ending knee injury on the play. He left the game with a 9 of 12 pass completion rate for 35 yards total.
Jonathan Alder sophomore Taber Headings took over quarterback duties early in the second quarter. He was 8 of 18 for 56 yards passing. He marched the Pioneers down field on the final drive of the game before Hartley intercepted his last throw on the goal line as time ran out.
Jonathan Alder defensive back Jackson Izzard (5) fights for an interception as he wrestles the ball away from Hartley wide receiver Richard Kenny to stop a Hartley drive in the second quarter. It was the first of two take-aways for the Jonathan Alder junior.
Garret Proxmire has his eye on the goal line. The Jonathan Alder senior took the ball and a Hartley player with him into end zone to tie the game and give his kicker the chance to take the team to a 14-13 lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Dylan Moore did just that, making the extra point. Proxmire led Jonathan Alder in rushing with 107 yards on 19 carries, including this nine-yard touchdown run.
Chris Ludban, Hilliard Darby athletic director, presents the regional finals runner-up trophy to the Pioneers. The 27-14 loss to Hartley was the team’s only loss of the season.

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