LIMA — Lima Central Catholic quarterback Brendan Stolly spotted the safety creeping up.
That gave him the green light to cut it loose.
Stolly fired four touchdown passes to power LCC to a 49-20 victory over Toledo Rogers on a hot, muggy Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
The game-time temperature was 92 degrees, but it was well over 100 on the Spartan Stadium field turf.
“It was the hottest game I’ve ever been a part of,” LCC coach Scott Palte said, as he threw a handful of ice down the back of his neck. “I give our kids a lot of credit, coming out in this heat and jumping on them early. … I think we did a really good job of being aggressive and being physical.’’
Added Brendan Stolly, “It was very hot, but once we got going we didn’t think about it.’’
LCC is 4-1. Rogers is 0-5.
LCC completely dominated the first half, especially up front on the offensive line.
Stolly was given time to throw short and deep. And when the T-Birds wanted to run, they had huge holes to run through.
LCC led 49-6 at the half, including posting 35 points in the second quarter. From there, the T-Birds turned the game over mostly to the backups.
Stolly completed 5 of 9 passes for 137 yards and four TDs.
Brayden O’Dell had three catches for 114 yards and three TDs. His three TDs went for 65, 5 and 44 yards. The 65- and 44-yarders both came off deep post patterns.
“The safety was biting on the jet (sweep) and I know Brayden is quick and he runs the post and can get behind the safety,” Stolly said.
On the ground, Logan Shultz ran for 98 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown.
Freshman Shaun Thomas had 78 yards on five carries, with a 48-yard TD. He also had a 6-yard receiving TD.
“I knew coming in that Shaun had some skill, but I had no idea he had the speed and the quickness that he possesses,” Palte said. “He’s been a real big surprise for us.’’
In all, the T-Birds racked up 376 total yards, with 239 coming on the ground.
“We had really good balance,” Palte said. “We wanted to hit up the middle, we wanted to run the outside and we wanted to pass and we were able to do all three of those things pretty consistently. The line did a really good job up front of getting on people.’’
Palte said the key was the offensive line with Conner Bowker, Salim Martin, Jayden Williams, Sammy Santaguida, Ethan Truex, Austin Campbell and Micah Pearson.
The T-Birds scored all seven times they had the ball in the first half.
Then, throw in a defensive score on a fumble recovery.
That all added up to LCC dominating with a 49-6 halftime lead.
The first time the T-Birds had the ball they went 74 yards in five plays for a score.
Thomas turned the left corner on a jet sweep and went 48 yards for a TD.
That made it 7-0 T-Birds with 9:59 left in the first quarter.
LCC needed only one play the next time it had the ball.
Stolly hit O’Dell on a 65-yard TD post pass. That gave the T-Birds a 14-0 lead with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
LCC then went 54 yards in six plays for a TD. Stolly hit Thomas on a play-action pass for a 6-yard TD.
That pushed the LCC lead to 21-0 with 11:55 left in the second quarter.
Shultz bulled straight ahead for a 6-yard TD and the LCC advantage grew to 28-0 with 7:26 before the half.
“We were hitting that trap today,” Stolly said. “And had some pretty good jets (sweeps).’’
Shultz struck again, but this time on defense.
Pearson sacked Rogers quarterback Christian Warren and the ball popped loose at the Rogers 22. Shultz gobbled it up and took it 22 yards for a TD.
That gave the Birds a 35-0 lead with 6:04 in the first half.
Stolly then connected with O’Dell for his second TD. This one came on a 5-yard slant into the end zone. That gave LCC a 42-0 lead with 3:26 left before halftime.
Stolly hooked up with O’Dell for his third TD of the half to make it 49-6. O’Dell gathered in a 44-yard post pass for a score.
By halftime, LCC had racked up 137 passing yards and 186 rushing yards.
Rogers only had six total yards by the half, including -1 on the ground.
Rogers finished with 179 total yards and 112 on the ground.
Warren completed 3 of 9 for 67 yards. He had one TD and one interception.
The Birds took one step closer to their goal of reaching the playoffs.
“We’re pretty happy (right now),” Palte said. “We have good wins over Spencerville and Ada. … But we have two really good teams coming in with Woodlan (Ind.), which could be the top ranked team in two-A in Indiana, and Bucyrus Wynford.’’