BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath endured a tough one-win regular season but the Wildcats came out in dominating fashion in the Division V opening round of the playoffs by stopping Swanton 37-0 Saturday night.
The Wildcats, hosting their first playoff game since 1999, improved to 2-5 on the season. Bath will travel to West Salem Northwestern (5-1) in the next round. Swanton goes to 0-7 for the year.
“Our kids were focused and we talked about it that the playoffs are a new beginning,” Bath head coach Ryan Reindel said. “We got after it tonight and we were very physical up front on both sides of the ball.”
Offensively, Bath effectively mixed the pass and the run to move the ball as the Wildcats scored points on its first three possessions of the game, two touchdowns and a field goal, and then added another score on its first possession of the second half.
Bath quarterback Bradyn Fleharty, a freshman, looked like a poised veteran against the Bulldogs. The first-year signal caller was 17 or 27 for 176 yards and smartly distributed the ball to a number of receivers.
“He (Fleharty) makes a lot of great throws and was every explosive and our receivers caught the ball,” Reindel said. “He hit a lot of different receives.We tell them that you run your route and the quarterback will get you the ball.”
Six different Wildcats made catches with three of them, Dallin McDermott, Blaine Albright and Carter Parlapiano, making four catches each. McDermott led all receivers with 52 yards.
Tailback Parlapiano was the driving force on the ground for the Wildcats as the junior amassed 131 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Burly fullback Trey Johnson was Mr. Clean-up, scoring two touchdowns from one and two yards out to cap off the first two drives of the game. Johnson finished the game with 34 yards on nine carries.
“Carter Parlapiano ran the ball well and Trey Johnson led the way at the fullback position,” Reindel said. “Credit goes to our line they ead the way and they kind of pushed them around a lot.”
Defensively, Bath was just as impressive as its offensive counterparts.
The Wildcats held Swanton to 125 total yards and only 30 yards on the ground.
Bath recorded five sacks and two interceptions. Both pick-offs came from Lex Boedicker and his second takeaway resulted in six points when he returned the pigskin 58 yards for a touchdown in the second half to pretty much seal the victory.
Swanton quarterback Trent Weigel was 12 of 21 for 155 yards. Fifty-one of those yards came on one play.
“Our philosophy was to keep them in front and avoid the big plays and I think we got hit with one or two of those but our guys really attacked and applied the pressure,” Reindel said.
Bath went up 7-0 after it took its opening possession 80 yards on 16 plays for the touchdown. Mixing the run and the pass the Wildcats marched downfield and Johnson capped it off by plunging it in from 1-yard out. After the extra point Bath led 7-0 with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter.
In the scoring drive, Bath quarterback Fleharty was 6 of 7 for 74 yards.
Bath upped its lead to 14-0 on its next possession and traveled 48 yards for the score. Again it was Johnson doing the honors from 2-yards out to finish off the nine play drive. Parlapiano did most of the damage on the ground as he carried the ball five times for 37 yards.
The Wildcats made it three for three in terms of scoring points on possessions as Bath made it 17-0 when Kenton Liles booted a 27 yard field goal with 5:20 left in the first half.