COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove utilized all facets of its football team, offense, defense and special teams, to dominate Ada 52-6 in a Northwest Conference clash Friday night.
Columbus Grove improves to 2-0 on the year and 2-0 in the NWC and Ada falls to 0-2 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Columbus Grove Andy Schafer said a lot has been swirling around Putnam County with the coronavirus and other events and he reiterated to his team to stay focus and they responded.
“I tell you what I thought that was one of the sharpest teams that I have coached,” Schafer said. “They just came laser focused and really played until we pulled them. We battled and I liked how sharp we looked tonight.”
Offensively, Columbus Grove came out like a well-oiled machine as they scored on its all its offensive possessions of the first half. The home Bulldogs held a convincing 49-6 lead at halftime.
Last week, Columbus Grove put up 41 points against Bluffton and followed that up by scoring 11 more points this wee
Schafer said this marks the second straight week all three facets of his team have played tremendous football.
Ada could do little to stop the well-balanced Bulldog offensive attack as they were led by their versatile field general Blake Reynolds. The senior standout signal caller, who only played the first two quarters like the rest of the first team starters, was an efficient 5 of 6 for 90 yards and two touchdown tosses. On the ground, Reynolds scored twice on runs of 10 and 15 yards after running it three times for 52 yards.
Junior running back Colin Metzger handled most of the rushing duties as he rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries.
“Offensively when we can run and pass we are a pretty dangerous team,” Schafer said. “I thought Blake did a good job of hitting receivers and our receivers did a great job of making some blocks down field but we were springing some big plays when our receivers made blocks and that was nice to see.”
Schafer added that he challenged the offensive line to establish the run game.
Having a banner night as a receiver and a punt returner was senior Gabe Clement. The fleet-footed receiver had two catches for 46 yards and one touchdown but also visited the end zone with back-to-back punt returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter as he ran one in from 34 yards and followed it up with a 64 yard jaunt to pay dirt.
Grove receiver Jon had two catches for 37 yards and one touchdown.
The Columbus Grove defense was just as effective as the offense after shutting down the visiting Bulldogs and Brandon Hull, the talented Ada quarterback. Hull, who did finish with two touchdowns and 173 yards on 22 carries, was held in check in the first half to 59 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.
Ada did not enter Columbus Grove territory until Hull broke off a 57 yard run late in the first half to set up the purple and gold’s first touchdown.
“He’s (Hull) an athlete. He really is,” Schafer said. “We knew that we were going to rally to him and spy him and that kind of stuff and I thought again with our varsity guys we did really good. He had a lot of good plays against our freshmen so congratulation for that.”
An unsung hero for Columbus Grove was the kicking of Rece Verhoff who after each score produced touchdowns to continually put Ada deep in their territory.
Columbus Grove dominated the first half and owned a 49-6 lead at halftime.