BATH TOWNSHIP — Elida quarterback Isaac McAdams was looking for a spark to get his team rolling.
He found it when his Bulldogs recovered the kickoff to start the third quarter.
McAdams fired a TD on the first play after the recovery, and Elida ended up rolling to a 49-21 victory over Bath Friday at Bath Stadium.
Elida led 14-7 at the half, but numerous penalties had slowed down the Elida attack.
When Elida’s Arzaiah Little forced the fumble on the second-half kickoff and Charles Brown recovered, Elida took over at the Bath 20.
McAdams hit Xavier Gilkey on the very next play for a 20-yard TD to give Elida a 21-7 lead.
“That fumble recovery was the play of the game,” McAdams said. “That put the momentum on our side. When we came out on offense (after the fumble), we were ready to go.”
Added Elida coach Bill Speller, “That sparked the energy. Then, we came back on the very next play and threw a touchdown. The light switch flipped.”
From there, Elida was on its way.
Bath is 1-1, 0-1 in the Western Buckeye League. Elida is 2-0, 1-0 in the WBL.
“We felt good at halftime; it was 14-7,” Bath coach Bill Garland said. “But things just snowballed in the third quarter, and it was a combination of different things. Unfortunately, it got away from us at that point.”
McAdams completed 19 of 27 passes for 264 yards and four TDs. McAdams also ran for 58 yards on 13 carries.
“We adjusted in the second half to the way Bath was playing us,” McAdams said. “It was a matter of matches and who was guarding who. We wanted to get our best guys the ball.”
Daniel Unruh led the Elida ground game with nine carries for 63 yards and two TDs. Cole Harmon had six catches for 116 yards. He had TD catches of 41 and 13 yards. Calen Henderson had five catches for 78 yards. Gilkey had two catches for 40 yards.
Devon Kinyon, Bath’s top rusher last week, was held to 27 yards on nine carries. He cramped up in the second half and wasn’t able to run after halftime. Micah Cox had nine carries for 35 yards.
Bath quarterback Kobe Burchett finished with seven carries for 100 yards. The bulk of those came on an 86-yard TD run.
Unruh scored on back-to-back 1-yard runs, and the Elida lead grew to 35-7 with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
Burchett’s 86-yard TD run got Bath within 42-14.
The first half swayed back and forth the whole way.
Elida took the early momentum when it used a fake punt for a first down off a fourth-and-2 from its own 38. Punter Billy Alford-Jahnz took off for 9 yards for a first down at the Elida 47.
Five plays later, Elida quarterback McAdams connected with Calvin Brown for a 5-yard TD. That gave Elida a 7-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
Bath used an eight-play, 53-yard drive to score and tie the game at 7.
Bath quarterback Burchett used a play-action pass to an open Kinyon for a 21-yard TD. That made it 7-7 with 3:24 left in halftime.
Elida came right back to score the next time it got the ball. The Bulldogs went 60 yards over six plays for the score.
McAdams hit Harmon on a post pattern for a 41-yard TD to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with 1:00 left before halftime.
It’s Year 2 under Speller in the hurry-up, no-huddle attack.
“Isaac has really grasped onto this offense,” Speller said. “He has really become a really nice field general for us. … They understand what we’re looking for (this year).”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.