LIMA — It was exactly what Ada coach Mike Fell was looking for Friday night at Lima Stadium in opening action in the Division VI playoffs as the Bulldogs faced Waynesfield-Goshen.
Dry weather conditions, in addition to the speed on the turf, were not exactly what the Bulldogs were used to playing in after having played in the rain and mud the last weeks of the season.
Given the ideal weather conditions, the Bulldogs showed they are a force to be reckoned with as they scored on five of six first half possessions on their way to a 50-15 win and the right to move on to face St. Henry next Friday at a site to be determined.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and did exactly what they needed to do: They ate up 7:06 off the clock and ran off 14 plays before turning the ball over on downs.
Then Ada (10-1) showed its explosiveness as it proceeded to go 76 yards in only 50 seconds to grab a 7-0 lead on a Caleb Acheson 10-yard scoring pass to Matt Wilcox.
“We felt we could score when we finally got the ball,” Fell said. “We didn’t tackle well on that first drive but finally started driving with our shoulders.”
The Bulldogs would be forced to punt on their next possession but would then score on four straight possessions to put the ball game away.
“We knew we had to keep the ball out of their hands and we just couldn’t do it,” Waynesfield-Goshen coach Gary Spencer said. “They (Ada) are good and extremely balanced; I’m proud of out kids and felt that they fought hard.”
Kellen Decker, on his way to a 103-yard rushing night, burst 10 yards to put Ada up 14-0. Then following a Tigers’ three-and-out, the Bulldogs struck again when Acheson connected with Jacob Ansley on a 50-yard scoring play.
“We got the tempo we wanted, we like to get it up and down the field,” Fell said.
Waynesfield-Goshen (4-7) again ran into trouble on itsnext possession when an attempted punt was blocked and rolled out of the end zone for a safety.
Ada immediately jumped on the opportunity as Decker scored again on a 6-yard dash that put the Bulldogs up 29-0 and an Acheson to Ansley 10-yard scoring play as time expired to end the first half put the Bulldogs up by a commanding 36-0.
Acheson connected with Ansley for the third time in the game on the opening possession of the third quarter, and Fell pulled his starters with a secure 43-0 lead and turn the final two quarters over to second and third stringers.
Brayden Sautter added a 7-yard run to give Ada a 50-0 lead before the Tigers added two late scores on a Lee Turner 88-yard fumble recovery and a James Elliot 8-yard scoring run.
Acheson was magnificent for the Bulldogs as he connected on his first 9 passes, 16 of 20 for 263 yards at halftime before ending the game 18-of-22 for 314 yards and four touchdown passes. Acheson connected with five different receivers in the game as he spread the ball to whoever was open on a particular play.
“Our line did their job and gave him (Acheson) time,” Fell said. “He made good reads and our receivers got up-field and did what they do best.”
Gabe Hennon had 59 yards for Waynesfield-Goshen while Robbie Metsa added 46 yards on 12 carries.