DELPHOS – Turnovers in a big game will just kill you and Delphos Jefferson had two Friday night against Ada at Stadium Park in Delphos.
The result was a 27-22 win for the Bulldogs in Division VI opening round playoff action.
It was the second time in two weeks that Ada went to Delphos and knocked off the Wildcats; both times by five-point margins.
Tyler Mox of Jefferson ran back the opening kickoff 75 yards to put the Wildcats in business at the Bulldogs 10-yard line. The Ada defense would force a field goal that was good from 25 yards by Kurt Wollenhaupt and Jefferson grabbed a quick 3-0 lead.
The Wildcats would force a turnover on downs and were driving again when the Ada defense forced a fumble and recovered at its 15-yard line to thwart a chance for Delphos to grab the momentum.
Ada then grabbed the lead when quarterback Matt Wilcox hit Spencer Archer with a 30-yard scoring pass with only 57 seconds left in the first quarter that gave the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead.
Jefferson regained the lead at 10-7 when Zavier Buzard went in from 7-yards out late in the second quarter and Delphos took a 10-7 lead to the halftime break.
Ada (8-3) then opened the third quarter with a 14-play, 72 yard drive that culminated in Wilcox hitting Austin Dumbaugh with a 12-yard pass and the Bulldogs were back in front 15-10 after Wilcox went in on the 2-point conversion.
Jefferson would answer again when Buzard went in from 1-yard out to put the Wildcats back up 16-15 going to the fourth quarter.
It was Ada’s turn to shine and the Bulldogs responded when Wilcox dashed in from 4-yards out to give Ada the lead at 21-16.
Delphos (9-2) would get a final chance and took over on itsr own 11-yard line with 7:33 left on the clock. The Wildcats marched 80 yards and had the ball at the Ada 9-yard line when quarterback Austin Jettinghoff threw a pass that was headed to the end zone.
But Wilcox stepped in front and intercepted the ball and then dashed and danced his way 98 yards for the touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 27-16 and sealed the victory.
Jefferson would add a late touchdown but Ada was able to cover the onside kick and hold on for the big win.
“We just didn’t make any breaks for ourselves; you have to step in big games and they (Ada) did.” Delphos coach Bub Lindeman said. “We fell a little bit short and it sucks that someone has to lose a game like this but I am so proud of our seniors and what they accomplished.”
Jefferson seniors Buzard (102 yards on 16 carries), Jettinghoff (21-of-34 for 301 yards), and Ross Thompson (eight catches for 136 yards) all had big games for the Wildcats.
“Our kids played their rear ends off again, they are loose as a goose until the lights come on.” Ada coach Bob Olwin said. “When you play hard good things happen, and we found a way to win.”
Wilcox had a huge game for the Bulldogs as he connected on 22-of-28 for 234 yards and two scores to go along with 14 rushes for 66 yards and another touchdown.
The Bulldogs earn the right to meet Convoy Crestview next Friday at a site to be determined after Crestview knocked off LCC 48-35.