|Jays use big plays to oust Vikings in regional quarterfinals|
|Monday, November 11, 2013 12:00 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
The Blue Jays (7-4) ran off 40 plays to the Vikings’ (8-3) 65 but outgained their foe 420-323.
The Jays advance to take on Tiffin Calvert (7-4) — a 34-31 conqueror of Edon — 7 p.m. Saturday at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium.
“We’re not a big-play team; we’re a grind-it-out offense. We prefer to get shorter gains and put together good drives,” St. John’s head coach Todd Schulte said. “We only had 19 plays the first half — 18 runs and an interception. I felt that our offensive line really started to gain control of the line of scrimmage in the second quarter and I felt we started to wear on them then, as well as later in the game. With our running backs, all we try to get them to do is square their shoulders and run north and south; they’re pretty good if we can get them that space and Nick (Martz) is a great complement.”
The first big play came on just the second play from scrimmage. After Leipsic kicker Dylan Schey knocked the kickoff out of bounds, giving the Jays possession at the 35. Junior quarterback Martz (9 rushes, 80 yards) ran for six, then faked senior fullback Luke MacLennan over right guard, kept it himself, found the hole to the outside and outran the defense to the sideline and the pylon just 49 ticks into the contest. On the conversion try, the snap was high and the 2-pointer failed for a 6-0 Jays’ lead.
Leipsic responded as a 21-yard kickoff return by Nate Brecht put the ball at the 31. Behind junior scatback Jordan Chamberlin (25 rushes, 125 yards) and senior quarterback Zac Kuhlman (8 rushes, 51 yards; 10-of-23 passing, 91 yards), they moved to the St. John’s 3 in 11 plays — for a 1st-and-goal — but a dropped pitch set them back and an incompletion on fourth down gave the Jays the ball back on downs at the 14.
However, on the third play from scrimmage at the 15, Kuhlman picked off a Martz pass (into the wind) and returned it 28 yards to the 1. From there, Chamberlin burst in off left guard for the six. The 2-point pass failed as the game was tied at 6-6 with 3:12 to go in the opener.
Senior Cody Looser’s 7-yard return on the kickoff gave the Jays the ball at the 39. From there, senior tailback Tyler Jettinghoff (20 totes, 150 yards) took a handoff off left guard and immediately headed to the outside; he stiff-armed a defender and found the sideline, getting a final block to end up in the end zone. Ben Wrasman added the point-after as the Jays took the lead for good at 13-6 with 2:52 left in the first canto.
The Vikings gained two first downs on their next drive but punted away, with Kuhlman’s 27-yard boot pinning the Blue and Gold at the 15. No matter. A riveting 80-yard by the third member of the 3-headed Blue Jay backfield, MacLennan (9 rushes, varsity career-high 172 yards) got them out of trouble and on the fifth play from the Leipsic 2, Jettinghoff all but walked in off left guard. Wrasman’s PAT made it 20-6 with 8:28 left in the first half.
Leipsic again tried to answer and gained a pair of first downs but once more had to punt; Kuhlman dropped the snap and got tackled at the Leipsic 42. Three plays hence at the 8, Martz faked MacLennan off left guard, took one step more and found the hole to the end zone. Wrasman made it 27-6 with 3:39 to go in the half.
After a 3-and-out by Leipsic, a holding call on the next Blue Jay series short-circuited any chance to add to the lead to end the half.
“Defensively, outside of a couple of drives, we did a nice job containing a balanced offense,” Schulte added. “In our league, we’ve faced a few quarterbacks like Kuhlman that can beat you through the pass and the run, so we’ve had good preparation for it. We contained him pretty well. The one thing that concerned me was the penalties, especially the second half. We have to clean that up as we move on.”
Starting from the 20, Leipsic opened the second half with a 5-play drive — overcoming two 5-yard penalties and benefiting from a pass interference call on its foe — to shorten the gap. On a 4th-and-1 at the 44, once the 5-8 Chamberlin broke the line of scrimmage off left guard, he was gone to the house. The 2-point pass was awry as the Vikings closed within 27-12 with 9:33 left in the third stanza.
The Jays had a 3-and-out, while the hosts next series also ended in a punt.
The visitors commenced at the 30. Jettinghoff ran for three, then MacLennan took a handoff off left guard and would not go down, emerged out of traffic and headed for the end zone. The kick was blocked as the Jays led 33-12 with 3:32 left in the third.
The next Leipsic drive ended up with a pick by sophomore Jordan Mohler of a deep Kuhlman aerial at the Jays’ 5. The Blue and Gold did get out of trouble with a first down but had to punt.
Starting at the visitor 47, Leipsic finished off the game — and its season — with a 9-play drive. At the 5, Chamberlin capped his hat trick with a run off left guard with 7:08 showing. The 2-point pass failed to account for the final score.
ST. JOHN’S 33, LEIPSIC 18
St. John’s 13 14 6 0 - 33
Leipsic 7 0 0 0 - 20
SJ — Nick Martz 59 run (pass failed), 11:11
LE — Jordan Chamberlin 1 run (pass failed), 3:12
SJ — Tyler Jettinghoff 61 run (Ben Wrasman kick), 2:52
SJ — Jettinghoff 2 run (Wrasman kick), 8:28
SJ — Martz 8 run (Wrasman kick), 3:39
LE — Chamberlin 56 run (pass failed), 9:33
SJ — Luke MacLennan 67 run (kick blocked), 3:32
LE — Chamberlin 5 run (pass failed), 7:08
St. John’s Leipsic
First Downs 9 17
Total Yards 420 323
Rushes-Yards 38-402 38-196
Passing Yards 18 127
Comps.-Atts. 1-2 12-27
Intercepted by 1 1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 6-60 4-20
Punts-Aver. 3-42 3-29.3
RUSHING: Luke MacLennan 9-172, Tyler Jettinghoff 20-150, Nick Martz 9-80.
PASSING: Martz 1-2-18-1-0.
RECEIVING: Jettinghoff 1-18.
RUSHING: Jordan Chamberlin 25-125, Zac Kuhlman 8-51, Isaiah Limeli 1-11, Nate Brecht 2-5, Randy Avila 2-4.
PASSING: Kuhlman 10-23-91-1-0, Ross Mangas 2-4-36-0-0.
RECEIVING: Brecht 6-64, Chamberlin 3-8, Lomeli 2-21, Dylan Schey 1-34.