BLUFFTON — Just under two minutes was all it took for Bluffton to grab the lead.
And the Pirates were in complete control after that.
Bluffton posted a 5-1 boys soccer victory Thursday night over Allen East at Steinmetz Field to win the outright Northwest Conference championship.
Bluffton wraps up its regular season 10-2-4, 5-0 in the NWC.
Allen East is 6-7-3, 3-2 in the NWC.
Bluffton’s Luke Young lead the way with two goals and one assist for the Pirates. Isaiah Schwab had three assists.
“I think we are pretty prepared for the tournament,” Young said. “We’ve had Kalida and now Allen East (the last two games), and had two pretty good games (wins) in a row.’’
Bluffton dominated the game, front to back, with Matt Daws controlling play on the back line.
Midfielders Jackson Steinmetz, Schwab, Simon Derstine, Jesse Montrel and Asher Antrim continually made charges through the midfield.
“That’s who we are, we try to spread things around and put together attacking patterns and read off each other so it just doesn’t come down to one person doing all the work,” Bluffton coach Steve Smucker said.
Bluffton led 3-0 at the half.
“They are a tremendous team,” Allen East coach Jason Calvert said. “They move the ball well. Their whole team talks. Their communication is second to none.’’
Jonathon Shriner, Antrim and Spallinger all scored for Bluffton.
Young scored at the 38:27 mark of the first half when the ball popped his way on an attempted clear by an Allen East defender.
Young wasted no time in pounding it home from 12-yards out to make it 1-0.
Next Young passed the ball into the left side of the box to Shriner, who one-touched it home, as the ball nicked the left goal post and went into the net.
“It was senior night and my last (regular-season) game here and I wanted to go at them,” Young said.
That gave Bluffton a 2-0 lead with 24:16 left before halftime.
The Pirates made it 3-0 with 2:35 left before the half on quick rebound shot by Antrim.
Schwab had the first shot and it was saved, but not controlled by Allen East. Antrim drilled home the rebound.
Bluffton outshot Allen East 22-2, including a 15-0 total in the first half.
Allen East goalkeeper Dalton Clum made 14 saves.
Bluffton goalkeeper Dakota Clymer had one save.
Bluffton had the edge on corner kicks, 8-1.
Allen East scored its goal, to cut the lead to 3-1, off a free kick from 42-yards out by Silas Gillespie.
The ball soared into the box and Bryce Wilcox banged it in with 24:33 to play.
Bluffton, which had just eased back on its offensive throttle, began charging hard again.
Young hit a rocket shot into the net, on a pass from Schwab to make it 4-1 with 10:58 to go.
Spallinger’s goal finished the scoring at the 7:14 mark.
Bluffton will next play in the sectional tournament Wednesday.
The Pirates posted an impressive 3-0 victory over Kalida on Tuesday.
Bluffton also compiled a 1-1-4 mark against the soccer-strong Western Buckeye League.
“We still need to get better,” Smucker said. “There will be some really good teams we have to get through and we can’t sit back and think we’re good enough right now. We have to be better a week from now.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.