The Bay High football team opened the OHSAA Div. III Region 8 playoffs with a bang Friday night as they travelled to Ashland to hand the host Arrows a 31-21 defeat.
The win gave Bay a 10-1 record for the season. The 10 win season is a first for Bay football.
The win once again featured the star play of senior Nick Best, who rushed for 203 yards on 40 carries and also contributed two touchdowns with an interception and fumble recovery from his defensive post as linebacker.
But the story of the night belonged to quarterback John Koz and his return to the lineup after an 8-week shoulder injury. He passed for one touchdown and ran for another as he led Bay to 340 yards in total offense.
Head coach Ron Rutt presented Koz with a game ball after the win. It was a fitting tribute to a three-year starter who lost most of the senior season to injury without complaint, quietly supporting the team from the sideline as he rehabbed patiently.
The Bay Village Rockets built a 17-0 first half lead and kept the 9-1 Ashland team in catch-up mode for three quarters. Ashland quarterback Grant Denbow rallied the team in the fourth quarter as they cut the gap in the fourth quarter behind his 21-31 throwing night for 210 yards.
Bay now heads to the regional semifinals this Friday at Lakewood High. Bay will take on top-seeded and defending state champ Benedictine at 7:30 p.m.
Photos by Paul Langer – langerphotos.smugmug.com/Sports/Football