BATH TOWNSHIP – Run, run, run.
That’s what Bath wanted to do coming into this season.
Mission accomplished for Week 1.
Bath threw the ball only three times in its 19-9 opening-night football victory over Allen East on Friday at Bath Stadium.
And why would Bath throw when it was steamrolling its way down the field?
“That’s us; we want to run the football first,” Bath coach Bill Garland said. “We think we have a good, big, physical offensive line. … It’s no secret that we want to run the football and run at people and keep the (Bath) defense off the field.’’
The Wildcats ran for 272 yards on the night.
Leading the way was Devon Kinyon, who finished with 19 carries for 110 yards and one touchdown.
“The offensive line did great,” Kinyon said. “We did way better than expected. They won it, big-time, up front.”
Drew Spragg also had 83 yards on 17 carries. Bath quarterback Kobe Burchett rushed for 41 yards on 12 carries.
And consider Kinyon missed the final 2 1/2 weeks of preseason with an injured right knee. The 5-11 senior appeared back to form on Friday, as he showed a burst around the end, as well as the ability to stop and cut back up the field.
“I tore my patella tendon a little bit, but I’m playing now,” Kinyon said. “If it hurt, I wasn’t going to play.’’
The key drive for Bath came when it was trailing 3-0 with 11:06 left in the second quarter.
The Wildcats went to the ground for an 18-play, 90-yard drive that ended up in a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Burchett for the TD. Every play on the drive was a run.
That gave Bath the lead to stay, 7-3, with 1:45 left before halftime.
Kinyon had six carries for 49 yards on the drive, including a 24-yard run to take the ball to the Allen East 10.
“That was old school Bath football,” Garland said.
Garland praised his offensive line of tight end Braden Bowman, Brenden Van Horn, Blake Goedde, center Eric Atkins, Briley Hilyard and Rileigh Miner.
Bath made it 13-3 on a 10-yard TD pass from Burchett to Zach McGue with 3:49 left in the third quarter. The TD came off a fourth-and-9 and capped a 13-play, 60-yard drive.
For the game, Burchett completed 1 of 3 passes for 10 yards and the TD.
Allen East came right back and scored on a 16-yard TD pass from Bryce Belcher to Kyle Nickles. That brought the Mustangs within 13-9 with 1:49 left in the third quarter.
Kinyon’s 1-yard TD run gave Bath a 19-9 lead with 7:37 to go.
Bath’s defense held Allen East to 8 rushing yards and four first downs.
Belcher completed 8 of 15 passes for 102 yards and a TD. The Mustangs’ Reid Spencer had five catches for 76 yards.
Kinyon also played most of the night at defensive back, as well.
“It was tiring, but it was fun,” Kinyon said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.