One wouldn't look at 26 points and 412 yards of total offense as necessarily good defense.
But when you add six turnovers to the mix, suddenly that Calvert defense looks pretty stout.
And stout it was Friday night as the Senecas closed out the regular season at Frost-Kalnow Stadium with a 35-26 victory against Hopewell-Loudon.
The victory locked up a Division VI playoff spot for the Senecas. Calvert's opponent will not be determined until the games are complete tonight, but the Senecas stand to face either Delphos St. John's or Norwalk St. Paul, both on the road. If St. Paul wins, Calvert will travel to Norwalk. If the Flyers lose however, Calvert would travel to Delphos.
"Coming in, we were the only ones who believed in this group: inside our inner circle and of course our families," Calvert coach Todd Fox said. "They've developed and the big thing is, (the team) is very talented. We've had some losses we wish we could have back but I do believe (we're) a very good football team and we're excited about what we can do in Week 11 and the following weeks."
Two of those six turnovers were turned into instant points as Brendan Deats and Nick Warnement returned interceptions for touchdowns in the game. Another of the turnovers, a fumble recovery by Marcus Somers, was turned into seven points seven plays later.
"It was a great game all around for our seniors in their last time on this field, so we feel good," Fox said. "A lot of the guys stepped up tonight. It's a big rivalry, so on top of clinching a winning season and getting into the playoffs, you beat your biggest rival."
Deats said the team prides itself on the defense.
"Our defense has played the way it has the last couple of weeks," Deats said. "It's our strongest team on the field and we find a way to get it done."
Hopewell-Loudon coach Jeremy Nutter said the turnovers were killer.
"Way too many, obviously. Against a good team like Calvert, you can't do that," Nutter said. "I think we accounted for 21 of their points and that makes it awfully tough."
Calvert came out gangbusters in the first quarter, with Warnement scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Long on a fourth-and-sixth play. On Hopewell-Loudon's first series, the Chieftains (4-6, 3-4 Midland Athletic League) drove into Calvert territory only to see Deats return an interception 68 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
"It was my first of the year so that was pretty exciting for me," Deats said. "I had three last year with zero return yards so to take one to the house felt pretty good."
Hopewell-Loudon did its first-half scoring in the second quarter on a pair of touchdown passes from Alec Gregg to Ryan Lommerse (37 yards) and Jordan Stewart (40 yards), but a blocked kick and a failed 2-point conversion left the score at 14-12 at halftime.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, the Chieftains fumbled the ball away and Somers came up with it. Seven plays later it was Daniel Kwiat, who rushed for 90 yards on the night, punching it in from a yard out to make it 21-12.
The Chieftains came right back and two plays later, it was a 2-point game again as Gregg hit Mark Bouillon for a 34-yard touchdown.
It was Kwiat again with1:31 left in the third quarter when he raced up the middle 40 yards for a score and a 28-19 margin for Calvert (6-4, 5-2 MAL).
But Hopewell-Loudon answered the bell again on the next possession with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Gregg to Brennon Boes, making it 28-26.
On the Chieftains' next drive, Warnement jumped the pass route, picking off Gregg and returning it for the lynch pin touchdown and a 35-26 lead.
In the final six minutes, Hopewell-Loudon had two more shots, but both drives ended with interceptions by Mitch Depinet and Dan Reineke.
"Our defense has been playing pretty well the last few weeks. They just did a nice job and came up with some turnovers and had (two) other turnovers called back for a penalty here and there," Fox said. "Overall, schematically and what they're doing, they've done a great job this week and the last few weeks."
Bouillon finished with 118 yards rushing, 49 yards receiving and 26 yards passing. Gregg had 283 yards passing. Stewart had eight catches for 139 yards as the Chieftains combined for 412 yards of offense.
"Our kids fight. They've fought all season," Nutter said. "I couldn't be prouder of them. They're Chieftain football players and they understand what that means. They're great kids and I wish our seniors nothing but the best moving forward."