Alliance soars past Indian Creek

Alliance's Mikel Hicks, right, closes in on Indian Creek receiver Shane Zrinyi during action at Mount Union Stadium Friday. (Photo by Ed Hall Jr.)

ALLIANCE — It wasn’t a flawless performance, but Alliance made enough plays on both sides of the football to break into the win column for the first time this season.

Scoring two late touchdowns, the Aviators snapped a tie and outlasted the Indian Creek Redskins, 26-13, Friday night in Mount Union Stadium.

“The kids practiced very well this week and were ready to play against a good team,” Alliance head coach Seth Whiting said.

Noah Durst-Hawkins snapped a tie with a 9-yard run with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Cameron Cox iced the win with a 45-yard fumble return on the game’s final play.

Alliance (1-2) had several players contribute. Brandon Alexander fired a touchdown pass to J’dynn Seals. Nick Deack booted two field goals and two extra points. Durst-Hawkins added the lone rushing score. Cox concluded the game with a defensive touchdown.

Louis Partridge led Alliance with 91 rushing yards, and Durst-Hawkins added 71 yards on the ground, including 27 on his final two carries.

Cox, who also had an interception, led an Alliance offense that forced eight turnovers. Neshawn Gaffney and Micah Hicks added interceptions, Seals recovered two fumbles, while Jeff Talbert and Jeremiah Thompson added one fumble recovery apiece.

Indian Creek (2-1) used two quarterbacks. Sam Mazar, the starter, tied the game in the first half on a 4-yard run. Shane Zrinyi, who started at wideout, replaced Mazar in the fourth quarter and fired a 7-yard touchdown pass to Clay Cottis.

That pass to Cottis with 3:32 showing tied the game at 13-13. The Redskins missed the point-after, swining momentum back to Alliance.

“Alliance is young, but they’re still talented,” Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor said. “They still have speed, size and have kids who do well in space.”

Alliance took its first lead of the season on an athletic pass play in the first quarter.

Alexander rolled right and uncorked a long pass. Seals, who ran a deep out to the right, snared the pass at the Indian Creek 25, reversed his field to the left and angled into the end zone for a 53-yard score. Deack added the point-after and the Aviators led 7-0 at the 4:54 mark.

Indian Creek forced three turnovers to prevent Alliance from extending its lead during the first half. The Redskins recovered two fumbles, and defensive back Steve Zrinyi intercepted a pass.

While the Redskins ran more plays in the first half, the Aviators kept them from scoring on their first six possessions. Highlighting the defense was a diving interception by Gaffney at the Alliance 26.

Following a punt, Indian Creek finally finished a drive. Mazar capped a nine-play, 56-yard march with a 4-yard touchdown run on an inside zone. Brandon Hiles split the uprights with the conversion kick, and it was 7-7 at the 2:54 mark and remained that way at halftime.

Deack booted a 27-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter and added one from 34 yards out at the 6:19 mark of the fourth quarter to put Alliance ahead 13-7.

“We feel we have a very good weapon with our kicker,” Whiting said. “He can make field goals and put kickoffs consistently in the end zone.”

After a Deack touchback, Zrinyi directed Indian Creek on an 80-yard scoring drive, finishing it with the touchdown pass to Cottis.

But, Alliance had one offensive and one defensive answer in crunch time to snare the win and avoid overtime.

Indian Creek travels to Buckeye Local next Friday.

Indian Creek 0 7 0 6 — 13

Alliance 7 0 3 16 — 26

A: Seals 53 pass from Alexander (Deack kick), 4:54

IC: Mazar 4 run (Hiles kick), 2:54

A: Deack 27 field goal, 0:00

A: Deack 34 field goal, 6:19

IC: Cottis 8 pass from Zrinyi (kick failed), 3:32

A: Durst-Hawkins 9 run (Deack kick), 0:22

A: Cox 45 fumble recovery (no kick), 0:00

RUSHING: Indian Creek 34-123-1 (Fante 20-81, Mazar 13-43-1, Team 1-(-1)); Alliance 41-220-1 (Patridge 14-91, Durst-Hawkins 12-71-1, Alexander 13-65, Hicks 1-(-3), Gaffney 1-(-3)).

PASSING: Indian Creek 18-36-1-3 (Mazar 13-27-141-0-3, Zrinyi 5-9-50-1-0); Alliance 5-17-66-1-2 (all by Alexander).

RECEIVING: Indian Creek 18-191-1 (Zrinyi 5-69-1 Cottis 6-48, Fleming 2-38, Mamula 4-33, Fante 1-3); Alliance 5-66-1 (Seals 3-57-1, Geier 1-8, Howard 1-1).

FIRST DOWNS: Indian Creek 17; Alliance 11

PENALTIES-YARDS: Indian Creek 9-73; Alliance 15-117

PUNTS-AVG.: Indian Creek 3-27; Alliance 5-154

FUMBLES-LOST: 5-5; Alliance 2-2

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