By SCOTT COTTOS
Fostoria High School football coach Derek Kidwell said he was “flabbergasted.”
For a third straight week, the Redmen started slowly. And, at the end, they wore a 55-27 Northern Buckeye Conference loss to Rossford on Friday night to wrap up FHS’ home schedule at Memorial Stadium.
“Rossford wanted to win this football game more than Fostoria wanted to win this football game,” Kidwell said.
“Maybe I’m not getting the message across. But it said a lot after the game when we have one senior who has tears. I think that says a lot. It’s their last home game and we had one senior who had tears in his eyes. So, maybe they’re not getting the message.”
Sophomore quarterback Kyle Kromenacker threw for four touchdowns, ran for another and intercepted a pass. Senior running back Chris Pickett carried 16 times for 188 yards and three scores as Rossford upped its record to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in NBC play. The Redmen lost for the second time in three weeks and dropped to 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
The message Kidwell has been trying to get across to the Redmen is one of playing with an enthusiasm and anger about them.
“You’ve got to care. We didn’t care,” he said. “You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to play with emotion. We didn’t play with emotion. It’s got to matter to you and it didn’t matter to us.
“I don’t understand it. I can’t comprehend it. But it happened, so it’s reality and we’ve got to deal with it. Hopefully, we can reflect back on this with our juniors on down and let them understand that this should never happen. This is inexcusable, to give this kind of effort on Senior Night.”
Bulldogs coach Todd Drusback enjoyed seeing his club feast offensively to the tune of 473 total yards.
“We’re pretty pleased with how we performed offensively,” he said. “It seems like the last few weeks we’ve been OK there. We had a real hiccup offensively against Lake (in a 21-6 loss three weeks ago), but fortunately we got some things corrected. Our players have just played better. It’s a real collective effort, from the guys up front running, blocking and pass protecting and just guys making plays.”
Kromenacker ran 4 yards for a touchdown and threw one of his three scoring passes to Cam Reynolds, the first covering 6 yards, and Pickett ran into the end zone from 3 yards away as Rossford took a 19-0 lead into the second quarter.
Fostoria trimmed the count to 19-6 when Skyler Garcia tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Devin Mauricio with 9:35 left in the second period, but the Bulldogs answered immediately with a 71-yard bomb from Kromenacker to Reynolds.
Garcia again threw for a score to Mauricio, this time from 25 yards out with 6:21 to play in the half, but Rossford again came back as Kromenacker hit Reynolds from 12 yards away. The Bulldogs tacked on a Kromenacker-to-Austin Eick scoring connection from 31 yards away and took a 41-13 advantage into halftime.
Fostoria marched 62 yards in seven plays to open the second half and made it 41-20 with 9:18 left on Jadyn Miller’s 18-yard burst up the middle.
The Redmen had a chance to cut further into the lead after a Rossford punt and a 23-yard Miller run helped set them up at the Bulldogs 35. Kromenacker, however, then intercepted Garcia and raced 47 yards to the Fostoria 19. Pickett’s second 3-yard TD run raised the count to 48-20.
Pickett rumbled 58 yards for his third touchdown with 2:33 left in the third quarter for a 55-20 lead that put the running-clock rule into motion. The game’s last 3:26 was played with regulation timekeeping after Garcia threw 33 yards to Maalik Tucker for the game’s final touchdown.
Miller finished with 101 yards on 11 carries. Garcia completed 11 of 24 passes for 169 yards.
Rossford 19 22 14 0 — 55
Fostoria 0 13 7 7 — 27
ROSS — Pickett 3 run (kick failed)
ROSS — Kromenacker 4 run (run failed)
ROSS — Reynolds 6 pass from Kromenacker (Murtha kick)
FOS — Mauricio 11 pass from Garcia (kick failed)
ROSS — Reynolds 71 pass from Kromenacker (Murtha kick)
FOS — Mauricio 25 pass from Garcia (Weimerskirch kick)
ROSS — Reynolds 12 pass from Kromenacker (Murtha kick)
ROSS — Eick 31 pass from Kromenacker (Murtha kick)
FOS — Miller 18 run (Weimerskirch kick)
ROSS — Pickett 3 run (Murtha kick)
ROSS — Pickett 58 run (Murtha kick)
FOS — Tucker 33 pass from Garcia (Weimerskirch kick)
First Downs 13 18
Rushes-yards 31-249 28-159
Passing Yards 224 169
Comp-Att-Int 15-19-0 11-24-1
Punts-Avg. 1-20 4-27.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-70 3-15