|Thunderbirds run past Blue Jays in grid action|
|Saturday, September 07, 2013 1:18 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — No matter what offense or defense you might run — even in today’s more-prevalent spread offenses — it still comes down to blocking and tackling.
In the mind of St. John’s gridiron coach Todd Schulte, his team sorely lacked the latter Friday night against growing archrival Lima Central Catholic.
So much so, the visiting Thunderbirds downed the host Blue Jays 21-6 in non-league action under the Stadium Park lights.
“It’s a simple as that. It doesn’t matter how fast you are or your opponents are; if you can’t block them, you’re not going to do much offensively,” Schulte explained. “It’s not just up front, either; it’s all over. We’re not blocking people. We also missed a lot of tackles on defense. It’s as simple as that.”
The Blue Jays (0-2) got the first big break, with senior Jason Wittler recovering a Colin Stolly fumble at the visitor 44 on the game’s fifth play from scrimmage. St. John’s senior tailback Tyler Jettinghoff (15 rushes, 65 yards) ran for eight and then the Jays couldn’t get a first down, turning the ball over on downs at the 36.
“That’s our first turnover all year and we give up the eight yards on the first play. We then owned the next three plays and got the ball back,” LCC coach Jerry Cooper said. “That set the tone for us defensively all night. When we took the ball right down the field and scored, that set the tone for us with our offensive line.”
The T-Birds (2-0), using their myriad weapons in the backfield, smartly drove those 64 yards in four plays, set up by a 38-yarder by Dimitri Floyd (7 totes, 82 yards). At the host 13, senior speedster Mykale Rogers (7 rushes, 65 yards; 2 catches, 105 yards) took a Jet sweep to the left and showed great patience in and out of his cuts, veering toward the pylon for the tally. Stolly added the conversion for a 7-0 edge with 7:17 showing in the first.
The LCC defense, who held the Jays to 130 yards of total offense (all rushing), forced a 3-and-out and took over at the host 48. It took them 13 plays to go the distance — all but one a run — and finished it off on a 4th-and-goal 1-yard Stolly sneak over right guard. Stolly’s kick made it 14-0 with 11:14 left in the half.
The Jays gained a first down on their next drive but punted away, with Ben Wrasman (4 punts, 38.8-yard average) pinning the visitors at their 13.
The Jays forced a punt by Stolly and commenced at their 47. They garnered the LCC 30 in four plays but two sacks of quarterback Nick Martz (7 rushes, 1 yards) threw them back 19 yards and they had to punt.
The Thunderbirds ran out the final 2:03 of the half.
The Jays punted on their first possession of the second half but Wrasman’s 50-yard boot was downed at the LCC 4. Two plays hence, including a motion call that put the visitors at the 3, Stolly dropped straight back and found Rogers on a crossing route (left to right on the right-side numbers at the 16; he turned up and no one was going to catch him as he completed the 97-yarder catch-and-run score with 8:20 showing in the third. Stolly made it 21-0.
LCC got a turnover on the Jays first play from scrimmage — after junior Evan Hays returned the kickoff 25 yards to the 40 — as Cameron White picked off a pass at the visitor 44. They ran off 10 plays and 4:58 before turning the pigskin over on downs at the host 23 as the Jays forced a 4th-and-8 incompletion by Stolly.
The Jays started to get something going, using five running plays to attain the guests’ 35. However, two incmpletions ended the threat.
The Jays forced a punt and then used a 33-yard Hays punt return to set up shop at the guests’ 36. Jettinghoff had two runs for 18 yards, senior fullback Luke MacLennan (6 rushes, 61 yards) ran for 13 and then Jettinghoff took a toss off right tackle and would not be denied the end zone, plowing through the defense for the six with 8:51 left. A bad snap on the conversion kick left the score 21-6.
“Defensively, we played very well outside of a couple of big plays. They are explosive but I felt we held them down,” Schulte added. “I don’t want to take anything away from them — they are a good team with a lot of athletic players and lots of speed — but when you’re offense can’t get anything going, your defense is on the field too much.”
Rogers returned the ensuing kickoff 14 yards to begin LCC’s drive at the 24 with 8:44 left. Despite two holding penalties for 20 yards, the Thunderbirds came up with two big plays — 29-yard and 17-yard runs by Rogers — in compiling an 18-play game-sealer.
The Jays begin MAC play at St. Henry 7:30 p.m. Friday, while LCC hosts Marion Pleasant.
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 21, ST. JOHN’S 6
Score by Quarters
Lima CC 7 7 7 0 - 21
St. John’s 0 0 0 6 - 6
LC - Mykale Rogers 13 run (Colin Stolly kick), 7:17
LC - Stolly 1 run (Stolly kick), 11:14
LC - Rogers 97 pass from Stolly (Stolly kick), 8:20
SJ - Tyler Jettinghoff 5 run (run failed), 8:51
Lima CC St. John’s
First Downs 18 7
Total yards 395 130
Rushes/Yards 55/283 29/130
Passing yards 112 0
Comps./Atts. 4/9 0/4
Intercepted by 1 0
Fumbles/Lost 1/1 0/0
Penalties/Yards 4/33 1/5
Punts/Aver. 2/31.5 4/38.8
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC
RUSHING: Kalito Lasenby 25-96, Dimitri Floyd 7-82, Mykale Rogers 7-65, Colin Stolly 11-39, Aidan O’Connor 2-7, Ethan O’Connor 1-2, Team 2-(-)8.
PASSING: Stolly 4-9-112-0-1.
RECEIVING: Rogers 2-105, A. O’Connor 1-5, Lasenby 1-2.
RUSHING: Tyler Jettinghoff 15-65, Luke MacLennan 6-61, Austin Heiing 1-3, Nick Martz 7-1.