ELIDA — Check one goal off the Elida list of things to do.
Elida’s Reggie McAdams made sure the Bulldogs posted their first winning record in 15 years.
McAdams completed 20 of 26 for 367 yards and seven touchdowns in a 65-21 romp over Celina on Friday at Elida’s Kraft Stadium.
“It’s about time,” Elida coach Jason Carpenter said of the winning record. “But we have bigger goals on hand this year.”
Elida wide receiver Kevin Kraft also had a big night, with 10 receptions for 182 yards and five TDs. One of his scores came on a 29-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
“They were kind of taking away (Austin) Etzler and we’re going to see that,” Carpenter said. “Who do you try to take away? If you try to take away Etzler, it will leave Kraft and Rikki Le open.”
According to The Lima News records, which date back to 1958, it was the most points Elida has scored in a game. The winning margin was the most since Elida blitzed Kansas Lakota 59-0 in 1981. One score found on the unbeaten 1945 team states Elida beat Paulding 81-0.
“Our kids didn’t compete,” Celina coach Jared Rolfes said. “We were flat coming out. We warned our seniors of this that you can’t do this against a team that has as much talent as they do.”
It gave Elida its first winning year since it went 7-3 in 1995.
It also kept Elida (6-2, 5-2 Western Buckeye League) in the hunt for the playoffs. Elida was ranked ninth in region 10 of Division III, with the top eight teams in each region qualifying for the playoffs. Celina is 5-3, 5-2 in the WBL.
“That was big,” McAdams said. “Playoffs, we’ve looked into it. It’s in the back of our mind, but we don’t want to look too far ahead.”
Elida made it 7-0 on a 6-yard TD pass from McAdams to Kraft.
On Celina’s next series, Kraft picked off a Braden Billger pass in the right flat and took it home for a 29-yard score to make it 14-0.
Celina got within 14-7 after stopping Elida on a fake punt at the Elida 37. Billger hit 6-foot-6 Steffan Miller for a 37-yard TD on the first play after the stop.
From there, it was all Elida.
Elida’s offensive line gave McAdams plenty of time and he simply picked apart the Celina secondary.
Elida went 36 yards in four plays with McAdams hitting Anthony Sumpter on an 18-yard crossing pattern for a touchdown. That gave Elida a 20-7 lead at the close of the first quarter.
By halftime, Elida has expanded its lead to 48-14.
In the second quarter, McAdams hit Kraft with TD passes of 5, 66 and 34 yards. McAdams also connected with Rikki Le on a 57-yard score.
Le finished with five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
At the half, McAdams was 14 of 17 for 294 yards and six TDs. Kraft had five touchdowns at the break.
“They stacked the box and that opened up the passing game,” McAdams said. “Kevin and I found each other six times. … The line gave me plenty of time.”
Defensively, Elida held Billger to a 24 of 44 night for 245 yards. He threw three touchdowns, but had two interceptions. Wide receiver Kahl Knapke had four catches for 36 yards.
“We matched him (Kraft) up with him (Knapke) and we think Kraft is in the best DB in the league and we’re going to match him up with the best offensive player they have and it worked out pretty well for us,” Carpenter said.