|Blue Jays garner Division VII State semifinal berth|
|Sunday, November 24, 2013 9:00 PM|
LIMA — Eighth-seeded St. John’s scored just 1:44 into the contest on a cold Saturday night at Lima Stadium and never looked back, shutting out sixth-seeded Arlington 33-0 in a Region 24 final.
The Blue Jays (9-4) advance to play old foe Marion Local 7 p.m. Saturday in a Division VII State semifinal at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field.
The Jays amassed 350 yards rushing on 39 carries, led by senior tailback Tyler Jettinghoff’s 26 rushes for 167 yards and senior fullback Luke MacLennan’s six for 102.
Once more, the offensive line of seniors Spencer Ginter, Ryan Shumaker and Kellen Schomaeker and juniors Wes Buettner and Austin Schulte made things much easier for the backs as they averaged 9.0 yards per carry.
The defense also held Red Devil (9-4) 2,000-yard rushing star Austin Rettig to 63 yards on 18 totes and a total of 99 yards rushing overall.
“We dominated on both sides of the ball. Offensively, we are getting better up front as we go and that gives our backs a chance to square their shoulders to the line of scrimmage,” head coach Todd Schulte explained. “Defensively, our game plan was not to let Rettig beat us. We did not give him a lot of space to get going.”
Jettinghoff gave all the credit to the horses up front.
“They are playing hard all the time and I have to do the same. They make things so much easier for us in the backfield,” Jettinghoff concurred. “It’s also a good thing to play both ways; I find that my head stays in the game.”
The Jays took the opening kickoff — with the wind at their backs — and started from the 20. Four plays later at the 37, junior quarterback Nick Martz (5 totes, 75 yards) faked MacLennan over left guard, kept it around the end, got great blocking on the perimeter and was gone to the end zone at 10:16 of the first period to get the Jays going. Senior Ben Wrasman hit the crossbar on the extra point for a 6-0 edge.
The Jays — — forced a 3-and-out and put the offense in great field position at the 42. They reached the Arlington 13 in six plays but on play seven, they fumbled and Hunter Bernhardt recovered.
The Jays again forced a 3-and-out and this time, they finished the job on a 4-play, 37-yard drive. On 4th-and-3 at the 30, Martz dropped, scrambled to his right and found MacLennan (2 grabs, 29 yards) along the right sideline at the 20. He turned and headed to the end zone. Wrasman added the kick for a 13-0 edge with 20 ticks on the clock in the first.
The Red Devils then commenced with their best drive, traveling from the 20 to the Jays’ 12 in 10 plays. However, the next two snaps lost five yards and lefty-kicking Xavier Martinez’s 34-yard field goal try (with the wind) was wide left with 6:31 showing in the half.
The Jays took possession a the 20 and used nine straight running plays — seven by Jettinghoff for 56 yards — to punch in their third score. At the Arlington 5, he took a toss off left tackle, veered outside and found the pylon for the tally. Wrasman made it 20-0 with 2:25 left in the half.
That effectively ended the half.
The Devils began the second half at the 30 and moved to the Blue Jays’ 37 in five plays. However, on 4th-and-5, Andrew Hunter (12 rushes, 31 yards; 6-of-14 passing, 119 yards) was stopped two yards short of a first down.
St. John’s garnered two first downs before punting away in Arlington space.
The Red Devils marched from the 23 to the Jays’ 40 in five plays but on 4th-and-5, Hunter was incomplete to turn the ball over on downs.
The Jays then went the distance in four plays: a 30-yard Jettinghoff scamper, a 20-yard bull run by MacLennan and a 1-yard Jettinghoff run to the 9. From there, Martz threw a swing pass to Jettinghoff in the right flat and he did the rest. Wrasman’s kick was no good, leaving a 26-0 lead with six seconds off the fourth-period clock.
On the next play from scrimmage at the Arlington 35, the front four forced Hunter to scramble to his left and his pass was picked off by Jettinghoff at the Red Devil 49. All it took was a trap handoff to MacLennan over left guard; he took one step inside and left the defense in his wake. Wrasman tacked on the final tally with 11:34 remaining.
Arlington’s final serious effort at scoring started with 5:30 to go from the 31 and ended up at the Jays’ 13 in nine plays, where Jordan Freed was stopped a yard short on 3rd-and-3 to end the game.
“We were 2-4 once and for us to get to the State semifinals is awesome. We’ve played Marion Local a lot and we’ll get prepared to play them next week,” Jettinghoff added.
“We’ll enjoy this for a day and then come back (today) and start getting ready to go next Saturday,” Schulte added.
ST. JOHN’S 33, ARLINGTON 0
Arlington 0 0 0 0 - 0
St. John’s 0 14 14 14 - 42
SJ - Nick Martz 63 run (kick failed), 10:16
SJ - Luke MacLennan 30 pass from Martz (Ben Wrasman kick), :20
SJ - Tyler Jettinghoff 5 run (Wrasman kick), 2:25
SJ - Jettinghoff 9 pass from Martz (kick failed), 11:54
SJ - MacLennan 49 run (Wrasman kick), 11:34
Arlington St. John’s
First Downs 10 15
Total Yards 218 388
Rushes-Yards 35-99 39-350
Passing Yards 119 38
Comps.-Atts. 6-14 3-5
Intercepted by 0 1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 2-20 1-10
Punts-Aver. 4-29.3 2-23.5
RUSHING: Austin Rettig 18-63, Andrew Hunter 12-31, Josh Elledge 2-5, Jordan Freed 2-3, Team 1-(-)3.
PASSING: Hunter 6-14-119-1-0.
RECEIVING: Elledge 3-76, Aaron Starr 1-20, Michael Blunk 1-17, Jared Green 1-6.
RUSHING: Tyler Jettinghoff 26-167, Luke MacLennan 6-102, Nick Martz 5-75, James Buettner 1-4, James Harrison 1-2.
PASSING: Martz 3-5-38-0-2.
RECEIVING: MacLennan 2-29, Jettinghoff 1-9.