DELPHOS — Allen East handled business in Saturday night special.
The visiting Mustangs wasted zero time getting on the scoreboard, Jack Hoel terrorized the Wildcats on both sides of the ball, including three first half touchdowns leading to the 41-0 Northwest Conference victory.
From the opening kickoff, Allen East set the tone, freshman Ethan Herschberger took the opening kickoff 90 yards to the house.
“That was big, Ethan is a freshman, and we are trying to expand his role and he capitalized on his opportunity,” Allen East head coach Joel Billings said.
Delphos Jefferson stuck to its game plan following the quick strike by Allen East.
Sophomore Luke Rode and freshman Dean Trentman began to build a rhythm on the drive before stalling out near mid field. A fake punt by Karder Agner moved the chains before penalties became an issue and the drive stalled a second time.
Hoel was the main event of the Saturday night special. Hoel struck first on a 17-yard touchdown run and ran in for the two-point conversion. Midway through the first quarter, Allen East led 14-0.
Three plays later, Hoel was dancing in the end zone again, this time at the expense of Karder Agner. Hoel picked off Agner’s pass and returned it 32 yards for the score.
“It was a quick start, and our defense was opportunistic, a pick six is huge in a game and we were able to swing the momentum.” Billings said.
The Wildcats continued to appear unphased by the quick scores. Agner and Trentman this time engineered a near 7 minute, 16 play drive before four consecutive plays resulting in zero or negative yards killed the drive at the Mustang 35.
“We went back to some of the plays that we learned early in the year, and we kept building off it,” Delphos Jefferson head coach Damon Ulm said. “That drive was probably the best drive we have had all year, but penalties set us back, and we couldn’t finish.”
Allen East could not be stopped in the first half. The Mustangs continued to find pay dirt seemingly with ease. With 6:31 until halftime, Jacob Pinks finished off a nine-play drive. Just before the break Jack Hoel danced again, this time from 10 yards out. At halftime Allen East led 33-0, forcing the second half into a running clock format.
“Jacob (Pinks) is a big kid and runs the ball hard like Jack (Hoel),” Billings said. “Both carried the load.”
The Mustangs possessed the ball one time in the third quarter. Hoel sprinted 63 yards to the house for what would have been his fourth score of the chilly evening. A block in the back penalty negated the touchdown, and the Wildcat defense stood tall with its back against the wall on the possession.
A tackle for loss moved Allen East from the Jefferson 1-yard line all the way back to the 10 before a fumbled snap ended the possession.
Delphos Jefferson did it again with 6:38 remaining. Jackson Thompson was stuffed at the goal line on two consecutive plays to keep the score 33-0.
“The way they were running the ball in the first half, we had to come out and play better and we were able to step up defensively,” Ulm said. “We held them twice inside the 5-yard line, that is very positive.”
A direct snap to quarterback Karder Agner resulted in a safety on the first play from scrimmage. With 6:08 to go, Allen East led 35-0.
Finally, late in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs were able to punch it in against the Wildcat defense. Starting quarterback Thompson found a hole and 33 yards later, it was 41-0.
“We took care of business tonight,” Billings said. “Next week is a big game and it is going to take a lot of preparation to get ready for, but we are excited.”
Delphos Jefferson (0-8, 0-5) will hit the road the final two weeks of the regular season, beginning next Friday night against Leipsic. Allen East (3-5, 2-3) will battle undefeated Bluffton in NWC play the same night.
Score by quarters:
Allen East 20 12 0 9 – 42
Delphos Jefferson 0 0 0 0 – 0
A – Ethan Herschberger 90-yard kick return (2pt conv no good)
A – Jack Hoel 17-yard run (Hoel 2pt conv run)
A – Jack Hoel 32-yard interception return (Carson Clum EXP No Good)
A – Jacob Pinks 1 yard run (Carson Clum EXP No Good)
A – Jack Hoel 10-yard run (Carson Clum EXP Good)
A – Defensive Safety
A – Jackson Thompson 33-yard run (Carson Clum EXP Good)
Allen East Delphos Jefferson
12 First downs 7
281 Total yardage 119
195 Rushing yardage 93
86 Passing yardage 26
9-9-0 Passing (Com-Att-Int) 3-9-2
1-0 Fumbles-Lost 0-0
0-0 Punts-Average 1-28
4-35 Penalties-Yards 8-45
Passing: Allen East– Jackson Thompson 9-9-86; Jefferson – Luke Rode 3-6-26
Rushing: Allen East– Jack Hoel 12-128 ; Jefferson – Dean Thompson 16-53
Receiving: Allen East – Carson Clum 4-48; Jefferson – Karder Agner 4-24
Nate Stidham wrote this story for LimaScores.com. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.