VAN WERT — A lot of all-star games involve trick plays and a lot of yards.
The Western Buckeye League squad delivered some punishing hits and capitalized on big plays en route to a 38-10 blowout against the Midwest Athletic Conference/Northwest Conference team at Van Wert’s Eggerss Stadium on Friday.
“Defensively we got off to a really good start,” WBL coach Jared Rolfes said. “I think the key was the defense allowing our offense getting good field position.”
The WBL defense held the MAC/NWC to a three-and-out on its first possession. When the WBL offense took the field, quarterback Braden Billger (Celina) led the offense on an eight-play, 72-yard drive. Billger hit Nick Pauff (Elida) on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
The WBL led 7-0 after one.
“It was a shallow route,” Pauff said. “The coaches wanted to utilize my quickness. I was able to get underneath the linebackers and make a few guys miss.”
The WBL scored again on a Zach Hembree (Celina) 2-yard run. That run ended a six-play, 45-yard drive.
The MAC/NWC finally got some points on the board when Matthew Deter (Bluffton) drilled a 38-yard field goal to make the score 14-3 with 7:06 left in the second quarter.
The WBL responded with a Caleb Siefker (Ottawa-Glandorf) 27-yard field goal as time expired before halftime. The WBL led 17-3 at the half.
The WBL got the ball to start the third quarter and they did not let their foot off of the accelerator.
Billger threw a 39-yard strike to Cody Schuerman (Bath) to make the score 24-3 with 8:00 left in the third quarter.
Tristan Parker (Ottawa-Glandorf) later scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, making the score 31-3 after three.
The MAC/NWC offense began to heat up as the fourth quarter got underway. They drove the ball all the way down to the 14 yard line before almost the entire WBL front seven broke through the line and Casey Mulcahy (Shawnee) scooped up the fumble and returned it 86 yards for the touchdown. Mulcahy’s return set a new all-star game record for longest fumble return for a touchdown.
“I made a move to get past him and the defense did a good job of getting to the quarterback,” Mulcahy said. “I just picked it up and ran as fast as I could. I felt a guy hit my ankle around the 50 and I just had to turn on the jets.”
Kellen Decker (Ada) scored the only touchdown for the MAC/NWC in the fourth quarter on a five yard touchdown run with 7:26 remaining.
Billger went 15-22 for 185 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Pauff had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown while Parker had 17 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown.
“I knew we had some good matchups out there,” Billger said. “They were playing man so it made it easier to throw. This is the exact same offense that I’ve ran for the last three years so I have it down pat.”
The WBL defense held the MAC/NWC offense to just 148 total yards.
WBL vs. NWC/MAC All-Star game