LIMA — Turnovers continue to haunt Lima Senior.
Two fumbles in the second quarter allowed Findlay to score 16 unanswered points and grab control of what began as a close defensive game and turn it into a blowout. The Trojans posted a 40-13 win over the Spartans at Spartan Stadium on a rainy Friday homecoming night.
The loss extends Lima Senior’s losing streak to five, and the Spartans fall to 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. Findlay improves its season record at 4-4 and improves to 3-2 in conference play.
“It is the same thing as it has been, and that is we have to be able to fight through adversity,” Lima Senior coach Andre Griffin said.
Findlay’s 40 points is not indicative of how tough the Spartan defense played, especially in the first half as the Spartans continually stuffed the Trojan running game and contained the passing game. However, when the turnovers gave the Trojans short fields, the Spartan defense could not stop Findlay.
By the second half, the Trojans were in full control.
“I was disappointed in the second half,” Griffin said. “Defense didn’t play like they did in the first half. A lot of those things that happened in the first half was us making mistakes and turnovers. Findlay did a good job of staying with it, but they really didn’t do anything spectacular. Obviously in the second half, they pushed us around.”
Offensively, the Spartans, under new quarterback E.J. Cameron, who took over the Spartan offense three games ago, was effective early with his passing, but fumbles prevented the Lima Senior offense from getting any rhythm.
In the first half, Cameron was 10 of 13 for 151 yards with one touchdown. The Trojan defense clamped down, and the Spartan signal-caller finished 16 of 26 for 256 yards.
“He is young and has to fight through some things,” Griffin said.
The Spartan running game was nonexistent limited to minus-71 yards. The big number was due to the Trojans recording six sacks on the night.
The Trojans’ offensive numbers were not much better, but they did not need to be as the short fields allowed Findlay to score with succinct drives. For the game, the Trojans had 223 total yards, compared to Lima Senior’s 185 yards.
Lima Senior opened the game like a team ready to break its losing streak. On its first possession, the Spartans marched 83 yards in four plays to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard.
Zavion Brown capped off the quick strike drive with a 9-yard run to hit paydirt. The big play of the drive was a 60-yard strike from Cameron to Cecil Benton to set up the touchdown.
The rain wreaked havoc for both sides. Both teams struggled to hold onto the slippery pigskin for the majority of the first half, and it was a fumble by Lima Senior that led to Findlay’s first score.
The turnover at the Spartans’ 23-yard line gave the Trojans excellent field position. Findlay took full advantage when it scored five plays later. After the successful extra point, the score was knotted at 7-7.
That lasted less than 30 seconds, after the Trojans scored a safety to go up 9-7. It was set up when Lima Senior was pinned deep after the kickoff inside the 5 and then were stuffed for the two points.
Another turnover led to another Trojan touchdown a little over two minutes later. The Spartans fumbled inside their own territory at the 12, and the ball squirted into the end zone. Findlay’s Cross De La Cruz pounced on the ball in the end zone.
A Findlay field goal with time running out in the first half gave the Trojans a 19-7 lead.
Any chance of a comeback was squashed at the onset of the third quarter, when Findlay marched down field on its first possession in the second half. The Trojans manufactured a nine-play, 54-yard drive to open up a 26-7 advantage with 8:46 left in the third quarter.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.