LIMA — Lima Senior got big plays on offense and big stops on defense to post a 55-24 win over Eastmoor Academy in the Spartans’ home opener Friday night.
Lima Senior improves to 2-0 on the season. Eastmoor drops to 1-1.
Similar to last week, the Spartans dominated in the second half. Lima Senior, which held a slim 20-18 at the end of the first quarter outscored the Warriors 35-6 the rest of the way to record the victory.
Spartan signal-caller Adrine Mitchell continues to shine in the early season, as the senior quarterback completed 9-of 15 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns. Mitchell also ran for 132 yards and scored two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Keaton Upshaw was a primary target for Mitchell in the first half, as the University of Kentucky-bound receiver caught four passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Upshaw’s talent was on full display when he made a tremendous one-handed grab that led to a 49-yard touchdown play.
Jaleel King was the main receiver in the second half, collecting four balls for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
Emerging on the offense was wide receiver Boppi White. The stocky senior caught one touchdown and rushed for 119 yards on four carries for another score. White electrified the crowd with a 91-yard rumble for a score in the first half.
“We do what we do,” said Spartan head coach Andre Griffin. “People keep playing us man to man. We have the athletes to go over the top, and that is what we do. The play action was working well. The quarter reads are working strong, and we keep preparing.”
Not to be outdone was the Spartan defense, which contained the highly explosive Warrior offense that featured running back Savion Edwards. Edwards rushed for 80 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
The Spartan defense stood tall when it counted. Twice the Spartans fumbled in their own territory, and twice the Spartan defense turned Eastmoor away.
Perhaps the biggest defensive stand came with two minutes left at the end of the first half. With the score 20-18, Eastmoor positioned itself for another touchdown after moving the ball down to the Spartan 1-yard line.
After two running attempts yielded minus-2 yards, the Warriors went to the air on third down. However, an alert Danielle Lowe picked off the Warrior pass to prevent the score with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
There was another big goal-line stand at the onset of the second half, when the Spartans stonewalled the Warriors on four plays inside the five, preventing Eastmoor from gaining momentum. On their next drive, the Spartans scored to open a 41-18 advantage.
“The defense played decent, but we are still giving up big plays,” Griffin said. “D-line is doing a heck of a job.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @JoseNogueras1.