DELPHOS – Delphos Jefferson’s Kole McKee wouldn’t be stopped.
After catching a pass from the 19, he appeared stalled at the 1.
Then, he dove in the end zone.
McKee’s 19-yard TD reception, with 13 seconds to go, lifted Delphos Jefferson to a 28-21 victory over Columbus Grove Saturday at Stadium Park.
McKee’s TD pass from Tyler Bratton capped a 14-play, 80-yard drive.
“I saw the goal line and they weren’t going to get me down,” McKee said. “I did an out, then up. … I had to (dive in).’’
Jefferson scored 14 unanswered points in the final quarter to notch the win.
Delphos Jefferson is 6-2, 4-1 in the Northwest Conference. Grove is 1-7, 1-4 in the NWC.
“It’s an execution thing,” Jefferson coach Brandon Behnfeldt said. “When we actually decide to execute the way we can execute, good things happen. And that’s what happened in the second half.
“And we tried to find the plays that were going to work against their defense (on the game-winning drive).’’
Jefferson tied the game at 21 when Brenen Auer got loose for a 71-yard TD run, with help with a big block down field from Bratton, with 6:49 to go.
“He was already down field (ready to block) on a boot,” Behnfeldt said of Bratton.
Auer, who was a little under the weather, ended up with 158 yards on 18 carries. He had a 71-yard TD.
Bratton completed 10 of 15 for 127 yards and two TDs.
Columbus Grove led 21-14 after three quarters and was outplaying the Wildcats through three.
Columbus Grove freshman quarterback Blake Reynolds completed 6 of 19 for 184 yards. He threw three TDs, for 62, 31 and 10 yards.
Behnfeldt also said his defense did a much better job against the Grove slant passes in the fourth quarter.
Grove’s Caleb Barrientes had two catches for 101 yards, with a 62-yard TD. Trevor Taylor had three catches for 71 yards, with TDs of 31 and 10 yards.
Garrett Nemire had 81 yards rushing on 26 carries, before he left for good with an injury with nine minutes to go. Grove was leading 21-14 at the time.
Columbus Grove came up with several early big plays and went out to a 14-0 lead.
Delphos Jefferson cut the margin to 14-6 by halftime.
The second time the Bulldogs had the ball they went 72 yards in four plays for a score.
Grove’s Reynolds connected with Barrientes on a 62-yard TD slant pass. That gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter.
To start the second quarter Grove drove from its own 6, 94 yards, in 10 plays for its second score. The big play was a 30-yard pass from Reynolds to Taylor.
Three plays later, Reynolds hit Taylor on a 31-yard TD slant.
That gave Columbus Grove a 14-0 lead with 8:09 left before the half.
Jefferson got within 14-6 with 1:08 left before the half when Darius Shurelds plowed over from the 1. That capped an eight-play, 63-yard drive.
Jefferson finishes at Crestview, then is at Spencerville.
“We can be the greatest team in the NWC. We just have to put it together,” McKee said. … “We have to make plays and put a whole game together.’’
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.