BATH TOWNSHIP — Dylan Baun found himself in uncharted territory on Friday night.
Baun had never kicked a game-winning field goal at any level. However, with the Revere football team trailing Tallmadge with three seconds to play, the junior kicker confidently booted a 19-yard kick to lift the Minutemen to a 17-16 victory in a Suburban League American Conference game.
The Blue Devils received the ensuing kickoff, but were unable to score.
"It was a bummer," first-year Tallmadge head coach Mike Hay said. "The kids played very well. I like our kids. We’re not going to come in [to our next game] defeated."
Senior quarterback Nate Klonowski threw two touchdown passes for the Minutemen (3-1, 1-0). Klonowski completed two passes to junior Cameron Penzenik on the final drive — the first for 40 yards and the second for 30 yards.
"We got the ball back with about five, six minutes left in the game," Hay said. "We got pinned at the 5. We picked up three first downs and [senior] Brandon Heigelmann had a really nice punt to their [the Minutemen’s] 25.
"They hit a little slant that would have been a nine-yard gain, but we missed a tackle and it turned into a 35-yard gain. It was the same exact thing the next play. At that point, we probably only gave up 105, 110 yards the whole game."
Blue Devils’ senior quarterback Drew Cross completed 24-of-41 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Tallmadge was in field-goal range on its second possession, but Revere junior lineman Ben Christman, an Ohio State recruit, blocked the 24-yard attempt.
"We had a few breakdowns in the red zone," Hay said. "We had it in the red zone five times and got two touchdowns and a field goal. We needed to get a little more."
The Minutemen struck first with 11:09 to go in the second quarter when Klonowski threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior Logan Weinert. Senior Matt Kostoff followed with the extra point to make it 7-0.
The Blue Devils drew even at 7-7 with 2:18 left in the second quarter when Cross threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to senior Evan Teeling. Junior Reece Parry added the extra point.
Cross and Teeling connected again on a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8:51 to go in the third quarter to give Tallmadge a 13-7 lead. Christman blocked the extra point.
Revere answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Klonowski to junior Shane Slattery with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter. Kostoff’s kick gave Revere a 14-13 lead.
The Blue Devils regained the lead at 16-14 when Parry kicked a 22-yard field goal with 6:43 to go in the fourth quarter.
Teeling finished with 12 receptions for 105 yards, and Heigelmann caught five passes for 96 yards. Tallmadge also received 70 yards on 13 carries from junior Nate Amato and 44 yards on 11 carries from senior Jesse Kanatzar.
"Evan played a fantastic game," Hay said. "They [the Minutemen] moved their coverage over to double-team Brandon. That left Evan with a lot of one-on-one looks. [Senior] Jesse [Kanatzar] and [junior] Nate [Amato] ran the ball very well."
Tallmadge’s offensive line of Joey Bowman, Jake Spataro, Caiden McCullough, Eli Zander and Ben Blankenship allowed just two sacks on the night.
Blue Devils’ sophomore Riley Murphy recorded two sacks. Weinert and Christman both had one sack for the Minutemen and Kostoff had an interception.
"Our defense played very well," Hay said. "We had a mixup in coverages that led to one of their touchdowns. They’re a very balanced team that can run the ball well. We held them to a lot of three-and-outs."
Tallmadge has dropped two games in the final seconds. The Blue Devils also lost their season opener to Ravenna when the Ravens’ defense stopped Tallmadge near the goal line on the final possession.
"We feel we could be and should be 3-1," Hay said. "We still feel pretty good about our chances."