High school football: St. John’s claims battle of Delphos against Jefferson

DELPHOS – It was the battle of Delphos on the gridiron.

However, by the second half, the troops were called off.

At the end of the first quarter, Delphos St. John’s was leading cross-town rival Delphos Jefferson, 7-0.

However, by halftime, St. John’s had pulled out to a commanding 36-0 lead over the Wildcats.

With St. John’s having more than a 30-point lead, the second half was played with a running game clock, as St. John’s steamrolled Delphos Jefferson 45-6 in Thursday’s nonconference season-opener at Stadium Park.

Offensively, St. John’s amassed a total of 257 yards. The Blue Jays rolled up 192 of those yards in the first half. Defensively, the Blue Jays dominated, holding Delphos Jefferson to 93 total yards on the night.

Longtime St. John’s head coach Todd Schulte was pleased with the play on both sides of the football.

“I think up front, we did a pretty good job,” Schulte said. “I just think we controlled the line of scrimmage. I thought our kids executed our game plan, really well. And I think as the game wore on, by formation, they had a pretty good idea of what they were going to see. So, kudos to our kids.”

For the game, Delphos Jefferson recorded just three first downs, one first down in the first half. St. John’s moved the first down chains 15 times.

It did not take St. John’s very long to make a statement.

On the very first drive of the game, St. John’s marched 61 yards on 9 plays to hit paydirt. Senior quarterback Grant Ulm connected with Drew Boggs for a 21-yard TD pass. With the point after by Braylon Metzger, the Blue Jays led Delphos Jefferson 7-0 with 7:40 left to play in the first quarter.

Ulm ended the night, 13 of 17 passing for 167 yards with three touchdown passes. Ulm’s favorite receivers Thursday were Connor Gaynier (4 catches, 54 yards, 1 TD) and Boggs (4 catches for 50 yards, 1 TD).

“Early on, they (Delphos Jefferson) had everyone in the box (on defense),” Schulte said. “So, we had to put it in the air. I thought Grant (Ulm) did a nice job of throwing in tight spots. That shows his development and maturity from last year to this year.”

On the defensive side of the ball, in the first half, Gaynier (defensive back) intercepted a pass from Delphos Jefferson sophomore quarterback Luke Rode and ran it back 37 yards for a TD. That score by Gaynier put the Blue Jays up 36-0.

In the first half, Ulm threw two more TD passes. He had a 19-yard TD pass to Joel Schrader, and a 3-yard scoring strike to Gaynier.

On the ground for St. John’s, Collin Feathers had a 5-yard TD run in the first half. For the game, Feathers rushed for 35 yards on nine carries.

TJ Werts added 30 rushing yards on seven carries for the Blue Jays, including a 2-yard TD run in the third quarter.

With 48 seconds left in the first half, Braylon Metzger booted a 25-yard field goal to push the Blue Jays’ lead to 29-0.

Schulte was happy to see several players get involved in the offense on Thursday.

“That’s the nice thing. … We got different guys that can do what we need to do,” Schulte said. “It doesn’t have to be just one guy. We hope it stays like that for the rest of the year. Staying healthy is obviously going to be a big key for that – so, we can keep rotating guys, and keep them fresh. All of those (skill) guys (on offense) are playing defense. So, if we can spell some spots on offense, then that’s what we will do.”

Late in the third quarter, Delphos Jefferson finally erased its goose-egg on the scoreboard.

With 20 seconds remaining in the third, Rode hit a wide-open Lucas Millmine for a 69-yard scoring strike.

Rode ended the night, 3 of 8 passing for 90 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.

Delphos Jefferson’s coach Damon Ulm, who is making his second stint as the head coach for the Wildcats, pointed to the play on the line of scrimmage as the key to Thursday’s outcome.

“It was pretty simple. … They (St. John’s) dominated the line of scrimmage. … That’s it. On both sides of the ball – they just dominated the line of scrimmage,” Ulm said. “But I thought our run defense hung in there. … That was our goal – to stop their run game and try to keep them in check. So, by doing this, we were putting our young corners (cornerbacks) on islands. … But they have a nice team.”

Schulte said that it was not difficult to get his team prepared for Thursday’s season opener.

“It’s a cross-town rival. So, we don’t have to say a whole lot. It’s Game 1, and we just came out of two-a-days (summer practice). So, this is the good stuff. I’d rather be coaching in a game, and I’m sure those guys would rather be playing,” Schulte said with a grin.

Delphos St. John’s 45, Delphos Jefferson 6

Score by quarters:

Delphos Jefferson 0 0 6 0 – 6

Delphos St. John’s 7 29 9 0 – 45


DSJ – Drew Boggs 21 pass from Grant Ulm (Braylon Metzger kick)

DSJ –Joel Schrader 19 pass from Grant Ulm (kick failed)

DSJ – Connor Gaynier 3 pass from Grant Ulm (run failed)

DSJ – Collin Feathers 5 run (Braylon Metzger kick)

DSJ – Braylon Metzger 25 field goal

DSJ – Connor Ganyier 37 yard INT return (Braylon Metzger kick)

DSJ – Safety

DSJ – TJ Werts 2 run (Braylon Metzger kick)

DJ – Lucas Millmine 69 pass from Luke Rode (pass failed)

Jefferson St. John’s

3 First downs 15

93 Total yardage 257

3 Rushing yardage 90

90 Passing yardage 167

3-8-1 Passing (Com-Att-Int) 13-17-0

3-1 Fumbles-Lost 0-0

4-23 Punt-Average 2-36

5-35 Penalties-Yards 4-45

Individual leaders:

Passing: Jefferson Luke Rode – 3-8-90; St. John’s- 13-17-167.

Rushing:Jefferson: Luke Rode 6-7; St. John’s -Collin Feather 9-35.

Receiving: Jefferson- Lucas Millmine 1-69; St. John’s-Connor Gaynier 4-54

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.