DELPHOS — As Delphos St. John’s enters week 12 and the second round of the playoffs, head coach Todd Schulte is still waiting for his team to put in a complete game and he hopes it comes when the Blue Jays face Lehman Catholic at Allen East’s Goodwin Field at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We are still waiting for four quarters of consistency and it is probably a good time of the year to start and do that,” Schulte said.
In its first round playoff game, Delphos downed Riverside in a convincing 48-21 win. However, Schulte said the Blue Jays got off to a rough start but by halftime had made the necessary adjustments to post the double-digit victory. At halftime the score was tied at 21 but the Blue Jays would score 27 unanswered points in the second half.
“Defensively we weren’t where I thought we needed to be but offensively we played really well for four quarters which was good to see,” Schulte said. “In the second half it was a little different where our defense played a whole lot better.”
Schulte said despite the slow start, he felt his team was ready for the postseason after coming off the huge win over Coldwater to end the regular season and said after the Riverside game, the team has refocused its efforts to prevent another first half letdown.
Schulte said a letdown will need to be avoided against a strong Lehman squad.
Lehman, another Northwest Central Conference team, features a well-balanced offense that posted a 46-6 win over Perry in its opening round contest.
For the year, Lehman is averaging 55 points a game.
Lehman signal caller Elliott Gilardi has passed for 1,440 yards and 24 touchdowns and has rushed for 950 yards and 17 touchdowns. Another weapon out of the backfield is running back Owen Smith who has collected 1,727 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns.
Cavalier Kameron Lee is the leading receiver with 29 catches for 512 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, the Cavaliers are giving up 12.5 points a contest.
“They are very explosive and have a number of weapons to use,” Schulte said. “Whether it is the run or the pass whoever has the ball in their hands is a threat and that poses some problems. They like to spread you out but even though they spread you out doesn’t mean they are going to pass. They like to use the read-option.”
Linebacker Tyler Sollman leads the team in tackles with 69 and teammate Drew Barhorst has recorded 68 from the linebacker position. On the defensive line, Michael Bunker has 13 sacks on the year.
Schulte said the key to being productive offensively is to establish the line of scrimmage and see if they can control the game by establishing a consistent rushing attack.
Against Riverside, the Blue Jays rushed for 191 yards and passed for 207. Delphos quarterback Jared Wurst passed for 207 yards and rushed for 81 yards and one touchdown. At the receiver spot, Connor Hulihan grabbed four balls for 110 yards.
“I thought we did pretty good with that Friday and against Coldwater (two weeks ago) it was a big part in our win especially on that field,” Schulte said. “”I know we are not going to have field issues this week but we still want to establish the run.”
Crestview (10-1) vs. Minster (7-4)
Crestview has played and been successful in a lot of big games this year but the Knight’s might be facing their biggest challenge of the year when they face Minster at Lima Spartan Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
Crestview is coming off a huge 63-22 win over Ansonia in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we played well in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said. “I think every week we try to produce a complete football game and execute the fundamentals.”
Against Ansonia, Crestview rolled up 517 yards in total offense.
Knight quarterback Drew Kline passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns as he connected with Sheets for both of those touchdowns. Sheets finished the night with six catches for 146 yards. From the backfield Kaden Short and Trevor Gibson combined for 158 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Crestview held Ansonia to 7 points in the first three periods and gave up 15 in the fourth quarter after opening a 49-7 advantage after three periods.
Owens understands playing Minster will be on a whole different level.
“Minster has earned that reputation and we respect that and the program,” Owens said. “I think our kids believe they can play with anyone. We are going to be prepared for them.”
During the regular season, Minster averaged 160 yards on the ground and 157.1 yards through the air. The Wildcats averaged 23.4 points a game and gave up 15.9 points a contest.
Minster quarterback Jared Huelsman can hurt you with his arm and legs. The Wildcat signal caller rushed for 1,034 yards and scored 13 touchdowns and threw for 1,437 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In its opening playoff game against Fort Loramie, Minster, which won 40-24, produced 374 total yards. Huelsman passed for 155 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Isaac Schmiesing rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Owens added that his team is excited about the prospect of producing in the postseason and added this week will be another great challenge for his squad.
“There is a lot of emotion so we are going to bring a lot of energy and be sky high for this game,” Owens said.