Saturday, September 11, 1999

Mariemont 14, Reading 13

Reserve rescues Warriors in 4th quarter

Enquirer contributor

        Sophomore Bill Dunning, the starting fullback on Mariemont's reserve football team, rescued the varsity Friday night.

        Dunning invigorated a list less Mariemont offense, rushing 15 times for 132 yards in the final 17 minutes of the game, to set up a 14-13 victory over Reading in the Cincinnati Hills League opener for both teams.

        “A couple of guys got hurt and I got a chance to go in,” said Dunning, who had made only two previous varsity carries this year for Mariemont (3-0, 1-0 CHL). “We just knew we had to score.”

        Dunning scored on a 1-yard run with 5:55 left in the game to give Mariemont its first lead 12-7. A two-point conversion pass from Brandon Fisher to Will Minor increased the lead to 14-7.

        Reading (2-1, 0-1 CHL) came back on the very next play. After Mariemont was penalized for kicking off out of bounds and the ball placed at the Reading 35, Blue Devil running back Gary Blair went 65 yards down the left sideline to put Reading within one at 14-13. Ironically, special teams — which was a big factor in Reading's control of the game — cost the Blue Devils on the conversion, when kicker Eric Anderson's PAT missed to the left.

        One big play was all that kept the halftime score from standing at 0-0.

        Defenses dominated for both sides, but Reading came up with a special teams strike that set up the half's only score. Junior punt returner Tim Caldwell fielded a punt at his own 8-yard line, then broke clean through traffic in the middle of the field for an 88-yard return to the Mariemont 4-yard line. A great hustle play by Mariemont's Mike McCarthy kept Caldwell from scoring, but a holding penalty on Mariemont on the return added another two yards, putting Reading at the Warrior 2-yard line 6:22 before halftime.

        Two plays later, Reading's Gary Blair burst into the end zone off left guard. Eric Anderson's PAT put Reading up 7-0.

        Mariemont had scored an apparent TD earlier in the second quarter, but had it called back on a clipping penalty — a trait characteristic of both teams in the half. At halftime, a total of 12 flags had been thrown.

        In the half's only sustained drive, Mariemont used 17 plays to drive from its 37 to the Reading 2-yard line. Facing third-and-goal, Mariemont's Tim Nisonger dove into the end zone, only to have the clipping penalty nullify the score. That put the ball back to the 17, then Reading's Barry Wilson had a sack that claimed another 17 yards.

        Two plays later, a 35-yard field goal attempt by Mariemont's Conrad Hindert was blocked by Reading's Tim Coffey.

        Mariemont had 109 yards of offense at half, compared to 69 for Reading.

        Reading ....... 0 7 0 6-13

        Mariemont ....... 0 0 6 8-14

        R - Blair 2 run (Anderson kick)

        M - Nisonger 1 run (kick blocked)

        M - Dunning 1 run (Minor pass from Fisher)

        R - Blair 65 run (kick failed)

        Records: R 2-1 (0-1 CHL), M 3-0 (1-0 CHL).


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