LIMA – Lima Central Catholic rolled back into the playoffs and simply trampled Dayton Christian.
LCC dominated both lines and rolled to a 45-7 victory over Dayton Christian in the opening round of the Division VI football playoffs at Spartan Stadium.
LCC (10-1), which was 2-8 last year, will meet Coldwater, a 42-7 winner against Tipp City Bethel, in the second round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at a site to be named.
“LCC’s been playing football since 1956, and only seven teams have won 10 games in a season,” LCC coach Scott Palte said. “That was our thing all week. We said, ‘Let’s win a playoff game.’ And our senior class has come up big from 2-8 to 10-1. It’s incredible.’’
LCC ran for 348 yards and passed for 180.
The T-Birds’ defense posted six sacks and held Dayton Christian to 177 total yards, with most of those given up by the junior varsity in the final quarter.
LCC end Micah Pearson had two sacks.
“Our defensive line was the story of the game,” Palte said. “We were only rushing three guys, and they were getting pressure on every pass play and making life miserable for them.’’
LCC was led on the ground by power back Logan Shultz, who churned out 158 yards on 15 carries. He had TD runs of 5, 62, 5 and 20 yards.
“It’s a good feeling, and it’s good to be back in the playoffs,” Shultz said. “The line absolutely dominated, every single one of them. It’s all heart. It’s a good feeling.’’
Freshman speedster Shaun Thomas had 85 yards on 10 carries.
Added Palte, “We felt like they were really, really spread out accounting for Shaun (Thomas), and we felt like we could get some seams inside and that was our plan. And Logan did a good job of running hard.’’
Brendan Stolly completed 8 of 17 for 180 yards. He threw two TDs. Brayden O’Dell had six catches for 152 yards, with a 65-yard TD grab.
The T-Birds came out running and completely dominated up front. LCC’s line was carving out huge holes from the first series.
The LCC line featured center Jayden Williams, guards Sammy Santaguida and Conner Bowker and tackles Salim Martin and Ethan Truex.
And the LCC defense was doing a good job of limiting Dayton Christian quarterback Shawn VanNoy’s ability to run off the read-option play.
VanNoy finished with 57 yards rushing on 17 carries. He completed 7 of 20 for 103 yards.
“We keyed on him,” LCC linebacker Matthew Heider said of limiting the running ability of VanNoy. “We knew he didn’t like to give the ball off. He liked to keep it.’’
LCC led 14-0 after the first quarter and 31-0 at the half.
The first time LCC got the ball it ground out 65 yards on six plays for a score. Shultz powered it over from the 5 to give LCC a 7-0 lead with 9:48 left in the first quarter.
The second time LCC touched it needed only two plays to cover 65 yards for a score. This time Shultz took a pitchout left and turned the corner for a 62-yard TD run.
That gave LCC a 14-0 lead with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
“I saw (guard) Conner Bowker out there, and his block set it all up,” Shultz said.
LCC made it 21-0 when Shultz ran for his second 5-yard TD of the game. That came with 10:20 left in the first half. Shultz had a 19-yard run on the drive. Nickiya Williams broke an inside reverse for 30 on the eight-play, 80-yard drive.
Just to prove the T-Birds could connect via the air, Stolly hit Thomas for a 23-yard TD pass on a swing pass. That pushed the LCC lead to 28-0 with 3:00 left in the half.
By halftime, LCC had run for 257 yards. The T-Birds had also held run-happy Dayton Christian to 32 yards rushing at the half.
The LCC defense registered four sacks at the intermission.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.