LEXINGTON — Joe Caudill sleeps easier at night knowing Brayden Fogle and Seven Allen are two of his wide receivers.

Lord knows the sophomore trio is going to cause nightmares the next few years for Lexington football opponents.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Fogle and 5-9, 150-pound Allen combined for nine catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns Friday night as Lexington rallied for a 28-27 win at home against Clear Fork.

It was the first win of the season for a Lexington team (1-2) in search of something good after a 31-point loss at Shelby in week two and poised to start its Ohio Cardinal Conference schedule next week.

Second-year coach Andrew Saris said his young team, including sophomore running back Markale Martin, grew up a bit against the Colts (1-2), coming back from a 21-7 deficit in the second quarter.

“I think so now that you have three games under your belt like that. Those kids are still really young. But they have got to grow up fast and that’s what we’ve been telling them,” Saris said.

Their talents belie their age. But Saris knows his team is counting on it.

“We need leadership out of anybody at this point. If you got something to say and it’s positive, you say it. I thought we did a nice job of that tonight,” he said.

Young, but not inexperienced

Both Fogle and Allen starred as freshmen on their varsity football and basketball teams last year, with Allen transferring to Lexington from Madison over the summer.

Neither shied away when the Friday night lights were brightest against the Colts.

— Fogle made a remarkable leaping catch of a 9-yard Caudill pass in the right corner of the endzone midway through the second quarter, cutting Clear Fork’s lead to 21-14.

— On the first play of the second half from the Lexington 7-yard line, Allen hauled in a halfback pass from Martin and raced 93 yards to score, tying the game at 21.

— With his team trailing 27-21 early in the fourth quarter, Caudill lofted a 35-yard pass into the endzone. Fogle went up with a couple of Clear Fork defenders and came away with the ball, giving his squad its first lead of the night.

Lexington sophomore Brayden Fogle had three catches for 73 yards and two TDs Friday night against Ontario. (Richland Source file photo)

Fogle, who is consistently double-teamed by the opposition, said he’s listened to his coaches.

“Coach tells us, ‘Big-time players make big-time plays.’ That’s what I did ,” Fogle said.

“But honestly, it started up front. It was huge. They have had some struggles, but they really worked it out tonight against a very good Clear Fork front. I am really proud of them for that,” Fogle said.

On a team with just seven seniors and 30 sophomores, Fogle knows he and his classmates have to step up.

“We have got a lot of guys in my class. We’re really close. All of us. And I think what’s gonna take us the farthest is we’re super close and we’re so dedicated to winning. I love this,” Fogle said.

Brayden Fogle
Lexington sophomore Brayden Fogle lines up against a Clear Fork defender.

Saris, an All-Ohio defensive back in his high school days, laughed about the wideout receptions.

“I think back to when I played football. I don’t think I could have done those,” he said.

“It’s funny. Right before the (go-ahead) touchdown, I told our offensive coordinator that I know they have doubled (Fogle) all night. I said, ‘You know what? This is the time. I know they have got two guys on him, but I still like our odds.’

“I am super proud of that kid. He has seen double coverage all year and he will continue to see it. But he has got to battle and still make plays for us,” Saris said.

‘We just don’t have that killer instinct yet’

First-year Clear Fork coach Aaron Brokaw said his team didn’t take advantage of the momentum it built with leads of 7-0, 14-7, 21-7 and 27-21.

“We just don’t have that that killer instinct right now that we have to. We felt like we had the momentum a couple times. We had everything going our way and just kept letting them have chances and get back into the game. We didn’t put them away,” said Brokaw, coaching at his alma mater.

Brokaw also took ownership of a failed two-point conversion pass when his team had taken a 27-21 lead with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

“(Lexington) only lined two guys up out there and we had four. So we had a numbers advantage. It’s something that we practiced. It turns out it was not the right call to make tonight. We didn’t execute it,” Brokaw said.

Mason Sansom
Clear Fork quarterback Mason Sansom races away on a 45-yard TD run Friday night.

Still, his team pounded out 250 yards on the ground. Senior running back Luke Schlosser had 87 yards and a TD on 17 carries. Junior QB Mason Sansom finished with 81 yards on 12 tries, including a 45-yard scoring run.

“That’s what we want to hang our hat on,” Brokaw said. “It would be nice if we hit a couple more downfield (passes). We were close on a couple and we had some untimely penalties when we did convert down the field.”

Conference games start next week

Both teams start competing against league opponents next week — Lexington in the Ohio Cardinal Conference and Clear Fork in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. The coaches of both 1-2 teams said their goals remain ahead.

“I thought we protected our quarterback (tonight), gave him a chance to throw it and give us a chance to get the ball to to those kids,” said Saris, whose travels to Mount Vernon (1-2) next Friday.

Joe Caudill Markale Martin
Lexington QB Joe Caudill hands the ball to running back Markale Martin. The two combined to rush for 102 yards on 30 carries Friday night.

“The biggest difference tonight was when adversity hit, when things weren’t going our way, we didn’t have that deer-in-the-headlight look in our eyes.

“We listened to our coaches, got ready for the next play and gave ourselves the chance to put ourselves back in the game. That was the big difference. Hopefully that’s a sign of our youth continuing to mature and grow up,” Saris said.

Clear Fork opens the MOAC at Galion (3-0) next Friday.

“We talked to the kids and let them know we have got to develop the killer instinct to be able to put teams away when we we have got them down. One of the team goals this year was to win the conference. That’s still in front of us,” Brokaw said.


1st quarter

Clear Fork –Nick Appleman 58-yard run (PAT Adam Vanausdle kick), 7-0

2nd quarter

Lexington — Markale Martin 3-yard run (PAT Will Perkins kick), 7-7

Clear Fork — Luke Schlosser 7-yard run (PAT Vanausdle kick), 14-7

Clear Fork — Mason Sansom 45-yard run (PAT Vanausdle kick), 21-7

Lexington — Brayden Fogle 9-yard pass from Joe Caudill (PAT Perkins kick), 21-14

3rd quarter

Lexington — Seven Allen 93-yard TD pass from Martin (PAT Perkins kick), 21-21

Clear Fork — Milo Burgholder 10-yard pass from Sansom (PAT pass failed), 27-21

4th quarter

Lexington — Fogle 35-yard pass from Caudill (PAT Perkins kick), 27-28

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