DELPHOS — When Shawnee wanted to run, it ran.
And when the Indians chose to throw, they hit their targets down field.
Shawnee rolled to a 49-0 victory over Delphos Jefferson Saturday night at Stadium Park.
It was the opening weekend for high school football.
It marked the return to the area for Shawnee coach Jerry Cooper, who spent the last four years coaching at Seymour, Tenn.
“I’ve been pleased with our kids and how they’ve bought in to all the things that we’re doing,” Cooper said. “They’re giving great effort and I think we’ll improve and be a better football team as the season goes on.’’
Mostly Shawnee did its damage on the ground.
Shawnee’s Peyton Wilson turned the corner on nine carries for 66 yards and three TDs. He had TD runs of 37, 1 and 1 yards.
Wilson also had an interception on defense.
Austin Adams blasted his way straight ahead on eight carries for 45 yards.
And Shawnee quarterback Johnny Caprella ran the read option with 13 carries for 101 yards and four TDs. He had TD runs of 1, 1, 36 and 3 yards.
“Once we ran, it set up the pass,” Caprella said. “And that (the option read) was working pretty well.’’
Caprella also completed 5 of 10 passes for 100 yards, all in the first half.
“I think he (Caprella) threw the ball pretty well, but I think he made some really good runs, too,” Cooper said. “The thing I liked the best is we took care of the ball. … Overall, it was a pretty good first-night performance.’’
Caprella said, “I thought we put everything together. It finally felt good to come together and show what we had.’’
It was way too much for Delphos Jefferson, which struggled to run its offense
Jefferson finished with only four first downs.
The Wildcats also had 11 penalties for 77 yards, all in the first half.
“Hiccups, the kids had a lot of nerves, and there were a lot of young kids who hadn’t played a lot of varsity football,” Jefferson coach Luke Taviano said. “That’s a good ballclub over there and they made us work pretty hard for everything we got, but most of it was breakdowns, mentally, up front.’’
Shawnee led 14-0 after the first quarter and pushed the margin to a running-clock mode of 35-0 at halftime.
On the ground in the first half, the Indians used plenty of the speed of Wilson and the option running of quarterback Caprella.
“He’s the real deal,” Taviano said.
On the Indians’ third drive, they needed only one play to score.
Wilson turned the right corner on a sweep and went 37 yards for a TD.
With a two-point conversion run, Shawnee had an 8-0 lead with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
The next time the Indians had the ball, they ground out a 12-play, 62-yard drive.
Wilson scored by bulldozing it over from the 1 and the Indians led 14-0 with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
Shawnee went 41 yards in five plays early in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead.
Caprella kept it from the 1 on an option keeper for the TD.
The next time the Indians had it, Caprella hit Tristan Dawson down the right sideline for 29 yards to take the ball to the Jefferson 11.
Two plays later, Caprella again scored from the 1 on a keeper and it was 28-0.
Shawnee needed only three plays to cover 42 yards to score at the end of the half.
Caprella connected with Christian Ford on a fly pattern for 40 yards to take the ball to the Jefferson 1.
Wilson took it in from the 1 and the Indians’ lead mushroomed to 35-0 with 14 seconds left in the first half.
Caprella called both his passes to Dawson and Ford, “definitely game changers.’’
By the half, Wilson had nine carries for 66 yards with three TD runs.
Jefferson rotated its quarterbacks between Conner Anspach and Hunter Haehn.
Anspach ran for 29 yards on 11 carries.
Haehn completed 6 of 14 passes for 66 yards.
The Shawnee defensive line gave both Jefferson quarterbacks very little time to throw.
Jefferson ended up running for 7 yards and had 79 total yards.
“We stopped them both times they got in the red zone and I thought we tackled pretty well,” Cooper said.