LIMA — All season long, Lima Central Catholic has proven it can light up the scoreboard.
The T-Birds have scored, on average, 41 points per game this season. And defensively, opponents have scored just 13.4 points per contest against LCC.
In Friday’s matchup with visiting Troy Christian, LCC’s offensive unit was clicking on all cylinders, as the T-Birds rolled up 350 yards on the ground en route to a 48-0 whitewashing of the Eagles at Spartan Stadium.
With the convincing win, LCC remains undefeated at 8-0. Troy Christian slips to 7-2.
In the latest Associated Press football poll, LCC was ranked fourth in Division VI. This week in the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer rankings, LCC was sitting fourth in Region 24. Troy Christian was seventh in the same region. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will qualify for the postseason playoffs.
The T-Birds came out early and set the tone Friday night.
LCC sophomore running back Shaun Thomas led all rushers with 225 yards on 10 carries and had two rushing touchdowns.
“We run the ball a lot,” Thomas said. “We had some great blocks today. Everyone was doing great, and that’s what we needed.
“Our offense is a run-based offense. We rarely pass – and that’s what we did.”
LCC junior quarterback Nevan Stolly was very efficient when he needed to pass. Stolly was 6-of-8 passing for 101 yards and two TDs. Thomas was the beneficiary of three Stolly completions for 74 yards and two scores.
“We’re really blessed with some weapons on offense,” LCC coach Scott Palte said. “Our guys are fast, and we have a quarterback that can throw the ball when we need to. And our line has done a great job. Also, we need to give credit to our defense and defensive coordinator Mike Rumschlag, who pitched a shutout. They did a really nice job of being physical.”
LCC wasted no time Friday night.
On the very first play from the line of scrimmage, Thomas, on a direct snap from center, found a seam up the middle and ran 59 yards for a touchdown. With the extra point by Ron Banks, the T-Birds claimed a quick 7-0 lead over the Eagles.
Banks, a senior running back, rushed for 72 yards on 11 carries and had two TDs Friday night.
After a quick three-and-out by Troy Christian on the ensuing possession, LCC got the football back.
The T-Birds made the Eagles pay, by going on a quick six-play, 50-yard scoring drive, capped off with a 23-yard TD pass from Stolly to Thomas. With the point after, LCC’s lead was 14-0 less than midway through the first quarter. The score held up to the first stop.
“Our kids were very anxious to get back on to the field after having a week off last week (a bye week),” Palte said. “We did a great job of really attacking, to start the game. We scored on the first play and then got the ball back. It’s really nice to be up 14-0 about three minutes into the game.”
Banks added a TD run of 21 yards, with a little more than seven minutes left in the first half, to push the LCC lead to 20-0.
LCC wasn’t done.
With 1:13 left in the first half, Thomas broke loose on the first play of the possession and rambled 81 yards for pay dirt. With the extra point, the T-Birds’ lead had grown to 27-0, which held up to the halftime break. Thomas ended the first half with 189 of his team’s 222 rushing yards.
In the first half, LCC’s defense held Troy Christian to 59 total offensive yards. For the game, the Eagles mustered just 88 total yards of offense.
With at least a 30-point lead in the second half, the game went to a running clock.
LCC’s defense got after Troy Christian quarterback Caleb Twiss, sacking him three times.
Jason Blake led the Eagles with 57 rushing yards on 15 carries.
“I was really proud of our kids, coming out and being ready to play,” Palte said. “I thought we did a good job on both sides of the line, offense and defense. I thought our kids played really well.”