ONTARIO — Ethan Snyder has been dreaming of Saturday his entire career.
Ontario’s senior quarterback, Snyder threw five touchdown passes as the Warriors thundered to a 62-0 win over Vermilion in the opening round of the Division IV, Region 14 playoffs at Copeland Field.
The postseason victory was just the second in program history and first since 2001, when the Warriors blanked River Valley 42-0. Ontario’s only other postseason appearance before this year came in 2010.
There were some lean times in between.
“I’ve spent my whole career losing, pretty much,” Snyder said outside of a jovial Ontario locker room. “We’ve been waiting our holes lives for our senior season because we knew we were going to blow up and be the team we are now.”
The ninth-seeded Warriors (5-2) were in danger of blowing up the scoreboard Saturday, scoring six first-half touchdowns. Ontario led 20-0 after the first quarter and 41-0 at halftime.
“We expected to score early and often,” Ontario coach Chris Miller said. “We challenged our guys … and our kids responded. I’m proud of our kids and our coaches.”
Ontario took a 7-0 lead on its first possession thanks to a 4-yard Isaiah Ginn touchdown run before Snyder and his talented receiving corps got going.
Snyder hooked up with fellow senior Griffin Shaver on scoring strikes of 49 and 20 yards in the first quarter, then found slippery senior Owen Hatfield behind the Vermilion secondary for a 70-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter for a 27-0 lead.
Snyder and Shaver connected for a third time on a 16-yard TD pass for a 34-0 lead with 3:15 remaining in the first half. The score came two plays after Ginn blocked a Vermilion punt and recovered it at the Sailors’ 10-yard line.
On Ontario’s next possession, Snyder found Kolten Kurtz for a 22-yard touchdown and a 41-0 lead.
“It’s great to get everyone involved,” Snyder said. “We just try to spread the ball around and get the win.”
Meanwhile, Ontario’s defense stifled Vermilion quarterback Ben Rini. The junior, who had completed 60-of-106 passes for 784 yards through the first six weeks, was under constant pressure from Ginn and Jonathan Nagel.
“(Ginn) just comes in and gives us a spark on the defensive line,” Miller said. “He had a great day offensively and he blocked a punt. I couldn’t be more happy for that young man.”
Next up for Ontario is a trip to eighth-seeded Kenton. The Wildcats (3-3) had a first-round bye.
“We’ve got a tall task next week,” Miller said. “We’re going to start (Sunday) and try to get ready for a road game at Kenton.”