High school football: Conference races heating up

Teams enter week six looking to stay in the conference championship picture while others try to remain in the race for playoff spots.

Woodward (0-5, 0-2 Toledo City League) at Lima Senior (3-2, 1-0)

Lima Senior’s first game in the Toledo City League was a rousing success as the Spartans posted an impressive 39-14 victory over Toledo Bowsher.

In the win, Spartan signal caller Ja’niaus Hall continued to shine as he ran for two touchdowns and was 11 of 20 for 192 yards and one touchdown through the air. Chance Sanders caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown and Zaveon Garner had four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Spartans held Bowsher to 159 total yards.

In its last two games, Lima Senior has outscored its opponents 84-28.

Woodward has fallen on hard times as the Polar Bears enter the game riding a 26-game losing streak.

This season the Polar Bears have been outscored 211-0.

Elmwood (1-4) vs. Lima Central Catholic (2-3)

LCC finds itself in a similar situation as last year. After five games, the T-Birds found themselves with a 2-3 record and a tough loss to Bishop Hartley. Now they are hoping they can repeat what they did last season and win their next four out of five games and make a big push in the playoffs.

The T-Birds begin the second half with a battle against Elmwood.

The Royals are coming off a 42-0 loss to Liberty-Benton and have lost its last two. This season they have been outscored 183-59.

On offense, the Royals are averaging 206.6 total yards and on defense they are giving up an average of 322.6 total yards.

Elida (4-1, 3-1 WBL) at Celina (4-1, 4-0)

And then there was one.

Celina remains the lone team with an unblemished mark in the Western Buckeye League and will be facing Elida, a team that suffered its first league loss last week to crosstown rival Bath, 21-17.

In the win against Kenton, Celina running back Jon Lutz rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns and Braylon Gabes found three different ways to score as he caught a pass, ran for a score and recovered a fumble and hit paydirt.

Elida will look to bounce back after suffering a heartbreaking defeat to Bath when the Wildcats made a game-saving interception in the end zone with three seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter only to see the Wildcats outscore them 14-3 to secure the win.

In the loss, Bulldog running back David Etzkorn rushed for 110 yards and 1 touchdown.

Celina has won four of of the last five meetings between these two teams with Elida picking up a 42-21 in 2021.

Allen East (1-4, 0-2 NWC) at Columbus Grove (3-2, 2-0)

Coming into Northwest Conference play, Allen East and Columbus Grove owned 1-2 marks, but after entering league play, it has been a tale of two different teams.

Columbus Grove has begun to hit its second wind with back-to-back NWC wins, blanking Spencerville 40-0 and then Delphos Jefferson 49-0.

Bulldog Trenton Barraza had six carries for 138 yards, a pair of touchdown runs and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score. Landon Best, who ran for two touchdowns, had a touchdown pass to Kyle Hopkins and Josh Gannon ran for six points.

For the year, Best has passed for 522 yards and 8 touchdowns and Barraza has rushed for 384 yards and has 4 TD runs.

Allen East has struggled in conference action and is coming off a 51-28 loss against Crestview.

For the season, the Mustangs are averaging 219.2 yards a game on offense and are giving up 291.8 yards a game.

One of the best rivalries, Columbus Grove owns a 3-2 advantage in the last five meetings. Last season, Allen East won 7-0 on its way to the NWC championship.