By ANDY WOLF
Snap your fingers and you might miss them.
A poor snap of the football and they’re in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
The jobs of the University of Findlay’s Matthew Reibly and Jacob Schimmoeller often go unnoticed.
Schimmoeller, a Liberty-Benton grad, is in his third year long-snapping on punts.
Reibly is a fourth-year snapper for field goals and extra points.
UF coach Rob Keys noted the pair of dedicated craftsmen have not made an errant snap in their careers.
“It’s really, really comforting as a head coach to know that those guys constantly go out and do their jobs,” Keys said.
Schimmoeller, who started longsnapping as a freshman at L-B, admitted he never practiced it much in high school.
He did it so well, UF began recruiting him his senior year.
“I was like ‘I didn’t even know you could go to college and snap,'” Schimmoeller said.
“I heard they wanted me so I practiced more and more.”
Schimmoeller, more than just a snapper for L-B, was also a two-time all-Blanchard Valley Conference pick at defensive line, though “undersized” at roughly 190 pounds.
Meanwhile, Reibly (6-0, 180) started at center his senior year for Centerville.
Also realizing he was undersized, he knew snapping was his “best path to get on the field in college.”
Reibly has been snapping since he was in fourth grade. The trade runs in his family as his younger brother, Nick, is a freshman long snapper for UF.
“Some of it you’re born with, some of it you can coach and train with,” Reibly said.
Like most quick-twitch motions in athletics, snapping comes down to muscle memory.
To Schimmoeller, simply snapping a football is harder than it looks.
“I’ve seen a lot of people try to snap; they think it’s easy,” Schimmoeller said. “Then they come and try it and they’re like ‘Oh my.'”
Getting the perfect snap down takes its own kind of time and effort.
“I get down there, I’ll line up everything,” Reibly said. “Just go with it. Your muscle memory will take over and get the job done.”
Once the ball is gone, there’s no turning back to check the progress.
“You get a split-second glance; when you follow through you can see kind of where it’s going,” Schimmoeller said.
Since taking over the short snapping duties in 2016 as a red-shirt freshman, Reibly has snapped for 46 field goal attempts and 204 extra point tries.
Schimmoeller has made 94 long snaps on punts in his career.
“I want every snap to be perfect,” Schimmoeller said. “Even if it’s off a little bit, I get (mad) and want to fix it.
“If I have a bad snap in practice, I’m over here for 20-30 minutes.”
“…over here pouting,” Reibly said with a laugh.
“Thirty minutes straight, just trying to get it perfect,” Schimmoeller said. “It’s my job.”
Schimmoeller has taken on a new job this season as holder after the graduation of four-year starting punter Patrick Rusher.
The Oilers have thrived with true freshman punter Mitch Hebenstreit (44.5 yards per punt), who was named last week’s Great Midwest Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.
Findlay is back on the road this week as it takes on Walsh at 1 p.m. Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton in GMAC play.
Here are three things to know for Saturday’s game:
SERIES HISTORY: Findlay (3-2, 2-1 GMAC) holds the all-time edge at 5-1 on Walsh (1-4, 1-2).
The schools first met in 2012 when Walsh joined the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Walsh’s only win came in 2015 at Canton with the 0-5 Cavaliers stunning the Oilers 39-38 in double overtime.
UF has rebounded to take the last two games as both schools moved to the GMAC in 2017.
The Oilers survived five lost fumbles to win 24-16 at Donnell Stadium last season.
RUN GAME: Walsh got very acquainted with UF sophomore running back Brian Benson last season.
Benson toted the rock 40 times for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
Though, Benson, 128.8 yards per game and 1 TD, has missed the last six quarters due to injury.
“Brian, we expect him to be ready to go this week,” Keys said.
UF’s dominant run game hasn’t missed a beat without him.
Senior Nate Slagel (64 ypg, 7 TDs) and junior Derek Lynch (49 ypg, 1 TD) each have topped 100 yards in the past two games. Slagel has scored all of his touchdowns in that span, too.
While Findlay can rely on a committee of backs, Walsh relies heavily on its junior workhorse Koby Adu-Poku (5-9, 185).
Adu-Poku, a two-time all-GMAC pick, averaged 124.5 all-purpose yards per game entering 2019 and is right on par with that this season at 126.8 ypg.
The Cavaliers have managed only 857 yards from scrimmage (171 ypg); Adu-Poku has accounted for nearly half (392).
This season, he’s ran for 293 of Walsh’s 453 rushing yards with 1 TD on 105 carries. He’s also the team’s second leading receiver at 95 yards on 10 grabs.
“He’s one of the better skill guys in the league, one of those guys that he’s a workhorse,” Keys said.
Redshirt-freshman Tadas Tatarunas (6-5, 220) has started the last two games for Walsh at quarterback.
He’s completed only 25 of 66 attempts for 173 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
WALSH DEFENSE: The Cavaliers are allowing 33.2 points per game compared to their offense that barely averages a touchdown in each (7.2 ppg).
Junior defensive back Sal Sidebotham (5-10, 210) leads the Cavs with 31 tackles, 31/2 for loss.
Junior linebacker Leondre Crosby (6-1, 230) has 29 tackles, eight for loss, and was a first-team GMAC pick last season.
“It’s a very good front seven; probably one of the most physical front sevens we’ve seen this season,” Keys said.
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