FULTON – A few weeks ago, Fulton was 1-4 and one loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention.
The Steamers haven’t lost since and are now one win away from earning playoff eligibility after their 37-13 romp over the Amboy Clippers on Friday night.
“We had a couple things that knocked us backward this season,” said Steamers senior receiver/defensive back Bryce Holesinger, who had two interceptions Friday. “The fact that we regrouped, that should say something right there. We’re not going to give up without a fight.”
Fulton (4-4, 2-3) grabbed a quick 14-0 lead and controlled the game throughout in earning its first win over Amboy since 2001. Now, the Steamers are after their first playoff berth since 2007.
Holesinger intercepted Clippers quarterback Liam Ohlendorf on the game’s opening possession.
Fulton took over at its own 47. Six plays later, Steamers quarterback Ethan Jones (82 passing yards, 81 rushing yards) hit Jason Osborn for a 22-yard touchdown, with Osborn making a nice run after the catch as the Steamers led 7-0 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
Amboy mishandled a squib-kick on the ensuing kickoff, and Fulton recovered the ball at the Clippers’ 31. Devin Kuehl’s 16-yard run set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Austin Regenwether (21 carries, 76 yards), and it was 14-0 with 2:10 left in the opening quarter.
The Clippers (2-6, 2-3) drove 54 yards to end the first quarter and start the second, scoring their only touchdown until the final seconds on Ohlendorf’s 8-yard touchdown toss to Damon Quest on fourth-and-7, making it 14-6 with 10:01 left in the first half.
Fulton answered with a 64-yard scoring march, highlighted by Jones’ 49-yard run and capped by another Jones-to-Osborn connection, this one from 5 yards out, putting the Steamers up 21-6 with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter.
“It feels good to be the go-to guy at receiver,” said Osborn, who had four catches for 46 yards. “But, I could never do it without the line stepping up and the quarterback throwing good passes, and the running backs selling the play-action. It all has to come together.”
The Steamers put the game away with a 16-point third quarter.
Regenwether had a 16-yard TD run after a 36-yard pass from Jones to Kegan North. Kuehl intercepted an Ohlendorf pass that Regenwether tipped, setting up a 5-yard touchdown by Regenwether, his third.
A botched Amboy punt resulted in Clippers punter Canaan Ross falling on the ball in his own end zone to make it 37-6 with 2:09 left in the third quarter.
Amboy’s Caleb Morris had a 1-yard TD run with 5.5 seconds to play.
“I played as a sophomore on the varsity, and we didn’t make the playoffs,” Clippers senior lineman Garrett Liebing said. “As we lost more games, heads got down. I see the same thing this year. It takes a toll.”
Star of the game: Ethan Jones, Fulton, 82 passing yards, 81 rushing yards
Key performers: Austin Regenwether, Fulton, 76 rushing yards, 3 TDs; Jason Osborn Fulton, 46 receiving yards, 2 TDs; Damon Quest, Amboy, 69 receiving yards, TD
Up next: Newman at Amboy; Fulton at Bureau Valley (both 7:30 p.m. Friday)