LEIPSIC – First, Pandora-Gilboa proved it could throw the ball effectively.
Then, it started churning up yards on the ground.
Pandora-Gilboa scored on six of its first seven possessions and went on to post a 39-20 victory over Leipsic on Friday at Leipsic.
It marked the Rockets’ first win at Leipsic since 2008.
P-G quarterback Jared Breece, a three-year starter, did a little of everything. In the air, he completed 13 of 17 for 275 yards. He threw four TDs. On the ground, Breece ran for 70 yards on 16 carries, with a 3-yard TD.
In the first half, Breece threw for 137 yards and two TDs.
“We saw all the Leipsic this and Leipsic that (this week),’’ Breece said. “We said, ‘Hey, we’re 4-0, too.’’
The passing game opened up the way for the ground attack.
“We were just efficient,” P-G coach Matt Hershey said. “We threw high-percentage passes, and we completed them. … We were able to hit the quick ones, and we hit a good percentage of our long ones, too.
“Yeah, the passing opened up the running game. It was a little bit different than we were used to. And Jared Breece is one heck of a player. He showed why he’s our leader. And Carter Nofziger made a lot of great catches.’’
Peyton Traxler finished with 95 yards on 16 carries for the Rockets, with a 12-yard TD. Nofziger had five receptions for 72 yards. He had TD catches of 15 and 16 yards.
“Carter is one of my best friends, and we’ve played together forever,” Breece said. “It goes back to when we played together in the backyard together.’’
P-G is 5-0, 3-0 in the Blanchard Valley Conference. Leipsic is 4-1, 2-1 in the BVC.
Leipsic played without its leading rusher, Gavin Lomeli (133 yards per game), who was out with a knee injury he suffered last week against Hopewell-Loudon.
Leipsic quarterback Dylan Schroeder went to the air often when his team fell behind 19-0.
Schroeder completed 19 of 32 for 157 yards. He threw one TD and had one interception.
Schroeder ran for 14 yards on seven carries. Braydon Niese had 25 yards on six carries.
Leipsic’s Cole Williamson finished with 75 yards on 10 carries, but 49 of those came on a 49-yard TD to get the score within 39-20 with 5:30 to go.
“Even when they scored, we made them work,” Hershey said. “We made them work all night long.’’
The Rockets scored the first three times they touched the ball in the game and led 19-7 at the half.
The Rockets took the opening kickoff and went 72 yards in eight plays for a score.
P-G quarterback Breece hit Nofziger on a 15-yard TD slant pass. That gave the Rockets a 6-0 lead with 9:23 left in the first quarter.
After a P-G defensive stand at the P-G 12, the Rockets started rolling again. The Rockets scored on the third play of their next drive.
Breece hit Travis Maag with a quick square-out to the left side and Maag breezed down the left sideline for an 88-yard TD. That gave the Rockets a 13-0 lead with 2:37 left in the first quarter.
“With the quick pass, it opened up everything else,” Breece said.
P-G made it 19-0 on its third possession. The Rockets went 75 yards in seven plays.
P-G running back Traxler swept the left side, then cut back right and ran for a 12-yard TD. It was 19-0 Rockets with 8:45 left in the first half.
Leipsic got within 19-7 when Leipsic quarterback Schroeder hit Tyler Hiegel for a 13-yard TD with 2:42 left before the half.
Both teams scored a TD in the third quarter and after three the Rockets led 25-14.
“We still have a heck of a run ahead of us,” Hershey said. “We can’t be happy with 5-0 because 5-5 won’t get you to the playoffs.’’
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.