NEW LONDON — Senior Dane Matthews ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more to lead New London to its first win of the season, 34-8, over Wellington in independent action Friday night.
The Wildcats got on the board early, as Matthews hit Spencer Hall for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Matt Jarvis added the point after to give his team a 7-0 lead.
Later in the opening quarter, Matthews ran it in from three yards out, and Jarvis added the PAT to make it 14-0. Matthews added a 16-yard scoring run to close out the quarter, and the hosts led 20-0.
Matthews and Hall combined for their second touchdown in the second quarter, this time for eight yards, increasing the Wildcat lead to 26-0, and that is where it stood at halftime.
The New London defense picked up the next score as senior linebacker Derek Smith pilfered a Wellington pass and returned it to the end zone, giving the ‘Cats a 34-0 lead.
The Dukes scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Tristan Arno to Nathaniel Shelton and a safety in the final frame to seal it at 34-8.
Matthews passed for 62 yards and ran for 52, and Norbert Sword rushed for 82 yards to lead the NL offense.
The Wildcats improve to 1-2, and host St. Paul on Friday night.
South Central 44, Crestline 9
CRESTLINE — South Central won its second straight game Friday night, using a balanced offensive attack and an opportunistic defense to roll past Crestline 44-9 in non-league action.
The Trojans got off to somewhat of a rocky start, fumbling the opening kickoff, which was recovered by the Bulldogs at their own 18-yard line. Then on the first play Crestline’s Davon Triplett bolted 82 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick was good, and the hosts led 7-0.
But South Central answered with three first quarter scores to take control of this one and were never threatened the rest of the way.
Senior Mark McCormack picked off a Crestline pass at the 10:50 mark, and the Trojans were on the board after a short drive thanks to a Ben Lamoreaux touchdown. Josiah Wright tacked on the PAT to even it at 7-7.
Touchdowns at 7:19 by Cristiano Murphy and at 4:06 by Wright, and two Wright extra points made it 21-7, and that is where things stood at the first break.
South Central extended its lead to 34-7 in the second quarter as Wright caught a 15-yard scoring strike from Evan Legg at 11:55, and following a Murphy interception, McCormaack tallied on a 10 yard run. Wright split his pair of kick attempts.
The only third quarter score came via a 50 yard Lamoreaux run. Wright’s boot made it 41-7.
Wright drilled a 28 yard field goal with 6:53 left in the contest to make it 44-7, and Crestline picked up a late safety to make it 44-9.
The Trojan defense forced four turnovers in the game, two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.
South Central improves to 2-1 and opens Firelands Conference play Friday at Plymouth.
Black River 38, Plymouth 3
PLYMOUTH — Black River used a punishing running attack to defeat Plymouth 38-3 in independent play Friday night.
The Pirates took a 6-0 first quarter lead on a 45-yard touchdown scamper by Riley Gibbs.
Black River built that lead to 18-0 at the half, as Jacob Campbell scored on a 1-yard run, and Travis Sexton ran in from five yards out with less than a minute on the first half clock.
Campbell and Gibbs each scored on runs of six and 60 yards respectively in the third period, stretching the margin to 31-0 at the break.
The Big Red got on the board with 6:15 remaining as Austin Roblin booted a 27 yard field goal.
The Pirates got a late touchdown on a 26 yard pass from Riley Bartolic to Gibbs to close out the scoring.
Plymouth (1-2) hosts South Central Friday night in its Firelands Conference opener.
Shelby 56, Willard 6
WILLARD — Unbeaten Shelby flexed its muscles Friday night, besting Willard 56-6. Although both teams are in the Sandusky Bay Conference, they play in different divisions, so this was not a league game.
For Shelby, it was the McGwire Albert show on offense, as the Whippet quarterback completed 8-of-11 passes for 251 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran the ball three times for 36 yards and two scores.
Albert tossed for three first quarter scored to three different receivers. He hit Uriah Schwemley with a 55-yard strike just nine seconds into the game, and followed that up with scoring strikes of 34 yards to Carter Brooks and 56 yards to Tyshaundra Hall, as Shelby led 21-0 at the end of one quarter.
The Whippets followed that start up with a 21 point second quarter. Albert tallied on a 4-yard run, and tossed TD passes to Brady Hill (60 yards) and Schwemley (20 yards) to make it 42-0 at the half.
Shelby extended its lead to 56-0 in the third quarter. Alberts scored on 27-yard run, and Owen Fisher on a 53-yard dash.
The Flashes got on the scoreboard with 11 seconds left in the game on a 4-yard run by Jerett Sowers.
Willard (1-2) travels to Huron on Friday night, while Shelby (3-0) entertains Bellevue.
Bellevue 34, West Holmes 26
At Millersburg, Bellevue made the most of the 80+ mile bus drive, defeating West Holmes in non-conference action Friday.
The Redmen (2-1) got off to a 14-0 start, never trailed and held off the Knights' late attempt to score.
West Holmes was driving and fumbled the ball on the four yard line with less than two minutes to play. Bellevue's Hunter Singleton recovered the fumble and the Redmen ran out the clock for the victory.
Bryce Ray scored Bellevue's first touchdown with a one yard run, then Dakota McPeak caught a 68 yard touchdown pass from Riley Renwand for the second score. Hunter Nottke converted both PATs to give the Redmen the 14-0 lead.
West Holmes' Cale Ogi scored on a six yard run to make it 14-6 after the first quarter.
Colton Ray caught a five yard touchdown pass from Renwand and Nottke added the kick for a 21-6 advantage, but West Holmes never went away quietly and responded with a 17 yard touchdown run from Shane Jones. Brendon Yoder converted the PAT and it was 21-13.
The Redmen scored once more before the half for a 28-13 halftime advantage as McPeak caught a 31 yard pass from Renwand and Nottke added the extra point.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second half as West Holmes scored when Grady Hay caught a five yard pass from Bridger Cline, with Yoder adding the PAT. Then Bryce Ray added a seven yard TD run and West Holmes' Gavin Sheldon finished off the scoring with a 14 yard TD run.
Bellevue led the way on the ground, rushing 48 times for 229 yards compared to West Holmes' 22 carries for 99 yards.
Renwand was 12 for 15 passing for 210 yards, while Cline was 28 for 38 for 332 yards.
McPeak was Bellevue's leading receiver, making seven catches for 155 yards, while Bryce Ray carried the ball 39 times for 197 yards and Colton Ray had six carries for 33 yards.
Bryce McMurray and Dalton Hay each had interceptions for the Redmen.
Bellevue's Dalton Hay and West Holmes' Grady Hay are cousins — Grady's father, Ron was a former linebacker for Bellevue and is currently a coach for the Knights.
Bellevue returns to action next week at Shelby.