|Bulldogs open 2013 season with shutout of Jays|
|Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:17 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
ELIDA — Two young, rebuilding teams opened the 2013 gridiron season on a warm and humid Friday night at Kraft Memorial Field in Elida, with St. John’s renewing old acquaintances with the host Bulldogs.
The hosts were not in the mood for old revelries as they took advantage of three big passing plays and four turnovers to secure a 20-0 non-league victory.
We played hard and with great effort. I’m proud of these guys,” St. John’s coach Todd Schulte said. “We are just so green in many places. We put ourselves in too many bad situations offensively — like second-and-15 — and that is not our offense, especially this year. We just aren’t real explosive. Still, we’re only down 7-0 at the half and had a couple of turnovers and a couple of other bad breaks that hurt — at worse, we might be tied instead.”
The Jays had one of their best drives of the night on their opening possession when they took the opening kickoff (which Clark Etzler booted out of bounds) at the 35 and appeared headed for the end zone by reaching the Elida 38 in four plays. However, a crucial holding penalty stymied the drive.
After an exchange of punts, Elida used a quick 5-play, 80-yard drive. At the 36, sophomore quarterback Logan Alexander (7-of-16 passing, 220 yards, 3 scores, 1 pick; 21 totes, 59 yards) dropped from the usual shotgun snap, rolled right and found a wide open junior Austin Etzler (4 catches, 106 yards) down the middle, where he raced untouched to the end zone. Etzler tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 edge with 1:51 left in the first period.
The Jays next drive ended with a fumble near midfeld, with Jarrod Wehinger recovering at the visitor 45. Elida reached the 6 in seven plays but the drive ended when Jordan Mohler picked the pigskin off at the 1.
After forcing a punt, Elida had a drive start at the Jays’ 39 but saw two penalties (25 yards) short-circuit the chance and forced a punt. Evan Hays returned the punt 15 yards to the Bulldog 46 and the Jays appeared set to regain momentum but a fumble at the 18 was recovered by Elida junior Desmend White to effectively end the half.
The second half was all Elida defense, holding the Jays to a mere 29 yards.
Both teams had drives end with punts to start the second half but not so Elida second possession starting at the 20. Two plays hence at the 25, Alexander rolled right and found a wide-open Christian Moran (2 grabs, 90 yards) down the right hashmark and he easily scooted in for the six. Etzler missed the PAT wide right for a 13-0 edge with 7:22 showing in the third.
The hosts had another chance on the second play from scrimmage on a pick near midfield by Etzler, setting the ball at the Jays’ 45; however, the Blue Jay defense held them on downs at the 27.
Four straight drives ended in punts and the Jays had to turn the ball over on downs — forced to go for it on fourth-and-5 at their 38 with 7:46 to go.
Elida put the finishing touches on the game as they scored on a 4-play drive. At the 15, Alexander threw to Moran on a quick slant from the right and he crossed the end zone with 6:26 left. Etzler tacked on the final point.
“We took a step back in the second half with our offense,” Schulte added. “Part of our struggles all game long on offense was their defense; credit Elida for the things they did to stop us. We also just got tired, especially defensively. This is something we’ll have to deal with and it’s something new; not having the large numbers. We’ll learn from this, come back at practice Monday and get better. These guys have shown me that.”
Elida coach Jason Carpenter and his staff was dealing with some heat-related issues for some of their players and were unavailable for comment.
St. John’s tried to end the shutout and did reach the Elida 21 but an interception ended that final threat.
St. John’s hosts Lima Central Catholic and Elida hosts Defiance 7:30 p.m. Friday.
ELIDA 20, ST. JOHN’S 0
St. John’s 0 0 0 0 - 0
Elida 7 0 0 0 - 20
EL — Austin Etzler 64 pass from Logan Alexander (Etzler kick), 1:51
EL — Christian Moran 75 pass from Alexander (kick failed), 7:22
EL — Moran 15 pass from Alexander (Etzler kick), 6:26
St. John’s Elida
First Downs 10 11
Total Yards 128 357
Rushes-Yards 31-85 37-137
Passing Yards 43 220
Comps.-Atts. 7-14 7-16
Intercepted by 1 2
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 5-30 6-65
Punts-Aver. 5-44.2 5-30.0
RUSHING: Tyler Jettinghoff 12-51, Luke MacLennan 8-20, Nick Martz 10-16, Team 1-(-)1.
PASSING: Martz 7-14-43-2-0.
RECEIVING: Evan Hayes 2-14, Ben Wrasman 2-3, Andy May 1-12, MacLennan 1-10, Jettinghoff 1-2.
RUSHING: Seanquez Frye 16-78, Logan Alexander 21-59.
PASSING: Alexander 7-16-220-3-1.
RECEIVING: Austin Etzler 4-106, Christian Moran 2-90, Brian Upshaw 1-24.