LIMA — There was no secret that the Pataskala Chaos were undermanned. It was just a matter of time before the Lima Warriors exploited their opponent’s lack of manpower.
The Warriors defeated the Chaos 39-7 on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak entering the evening. The Chaos showed up to the stadium with just 14 active players to start the game.
“I told our guys it doesn’t matter if they show up with 13 guys, 33 guys, or 63 guys, we’re going to show up and do what we do,” Warriors coach Rich Stotts said. “They were undermanned tonight, but they still played every down with heart.”
Lima struggled with consistency on offense early. Turnovers and dropped passes plagued the Warriors’ early drives and kept them from breaking away early the way most assumed they would. It took a long 63-yard touchdown reception by Jay Johnson to kickstart Lima’s scoring with 6:19 left in the first quarter.
Lima added a 1-yard touchdown run by Dion Pearson early in the second quarter, a play set up by a Pataskala fumble on its own 1-yard line. Later in the quarter, the Warriors got another long touchdown reception by Johnson, this time for 56 yards, to give them a 20-0 lead going into halftime.
“Those plays were huge,” Stotts said. “He was able to catch it and get over to the line so he could hustle to the end zone. Those are the kind of plays we need to be able to execute more consistently.”
The Warriors replaced quarterback Kaene Runion in the second quarter after he threw his third interception of the game. Justin Henderson filled in nicely, completing 7 of 10 passes for 205 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Jay Johnson was Lima’s leading receiver, catching four passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Lima relied less on big offensive plays in the second half and more on takeaways. Its defense and special teams were able to give the offense a big boost all night, setting up advantageous field position on just about every drive.
Lima forced six turnovers on defense, but turned the ball over five times on offense.
“Our defense is taught to meet sudden changes,” Stotts said. “We take pride in our defense being able to force turnovers, and capitalizing on opportunities. Our defense is always number one or two in our league because of how aggressive we are.”
The Warriors used a solid mix of running backs throughout the game, but got the most production out of Glen Frazier, who gained 50 yards on six carries, all in the second half. Frazier also scored two touchdowns, from three and 18 yards out.
Lima’s record is now 5-4 on the season.
Lima Warriors football