VANDALIA — Sidney had its worst offensive performance of the season against Troy last week but bounced back with one of its best on Friday at Butler’s Memorial Field.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a big lead and cruised in the second half to a 55-34 win in a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division game.
The win clinches a playoff berth for Sidney according to Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic50.net. It will be the first postseason appearance since 1989 and only the second in school history.
Sidney overwhelmed Butler’s defense and built an early 35-7 lead, but the Aviators were able to rally late.
Butler came as close as 15 points in the fourth quarter after Logan Flatt scored a 5-yard touchdown run and followed with a two-point conversion run. The Aviators then forced Sidney to punt on its next drive but couldn’t take advantage. Sidney’s Christian Townsend grabbed an interception with about seven minutes left, and quarterback Andre Gordon ran for a 23-yard touchdown with 4:26 left to finish Sidney’s scoring. Darren Taborn came up with an interception with 3:57 left to end Butler’s next drive.
Isaiah Bowser ran for 154 rushing yards on 16 carries in the first half and scored three touchdowns in addition to at 35-yard touchdown pass to Ratez Robets. He surpassed 2,000 rushing yards on the season in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets amassed 579 yards of offense in the game. Bowser finished with 245 rushing yards, while Gordon rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns and completed 13-of-20 pass attempts for 168 yards with two touchdowns.
Flatt rushed for 117 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries, while quarterback Mason Motter completed 15-of-29 pass attempts for 206 yards.
Sidney (8-1, 3-1 GWOC North) wasted no time building an early lead. After two first downs on the first drive, Gordon threw a lateral to Bowser. Bowser then threw the touchdown pass to a wide-open Roberts to give Sidney a 7-0 lead.
Butler (3-6, 1-3) returned the ensuing kickoff to the Sidney 40-yard line. Flatt ran for two yards on first down, and Butler threw three consecutive incomplete passes to turn the ball over on downs.
After the Yellow Jackets took over, Gordon threw a 24-yard pass to Taborn and a 35-yard pass to Roberts to move the ball to the Butler 3. Bowser ran up the middle for a touchdown on the next play to give Sidney a 14-0 lead with 6:43 left in the first quarter.
Butler scored a little over a minute later when Logan Flatt capped off a drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Sidney scored again with 1:40 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Gordon to extend the lead to 21-7. The run came two plays after Gordon lateraled back to Devan Rogers, who threw a 44-yard pass to Kelton Stockton.
Rogers was on the receiving end of Sidney’s next touchdown. After a failed fake punt attempt, the Yellow Jackets took over at Butler’s 40 and quickly drove into the red zone. After a fake handoff to Bowser, Gordon scrambled toward the visitors’ sidelines and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rogers with 10:37 left in the second to give Sidney a 28-7 lead.
Bowser ran 21 yards for a touchdown after a pitch from Gordon to boost Sidney’s lead to 28 points with 5:33 left in the second. Flatt scored a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:25 left to cut Sidney’s lead to 35-13 after a botched extra point attempt, but Bowser ran for a 57-yard touchdown 28 seconds later to boost the lead to 42-13.
Motter threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson with 46 seconds left to cut Sidney’s lead to 42-20.
Sidney’s scoring total matches a season high. The Yellow Jackets also scored 55 points in a win over Xenia on Sept. 15.
Sidney travels to Greenville next Friday to wrap-up regular season play.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.