FINDLAY — Hopewell-Loudon had too much speed and too much power.
Hopewell-Loudon rolled out a powerful offense which Lima Central Catholic could never fully halt.
Hopewell-Loudon notched 580 total yards in a 54-26 victory over LCC in the Division VII, region 26, regional finals Saturday at Donnell Stadium.
Hopewell’s top weapons were the passing arm of Ashton Bour and the straight-ahead running of tank-like Hayden Welly.
Hopewell-Loudon (13-1) advances to the state semifinals against the Marion Local/St. Henry winner at 7 p.m. Saturday at a site to be named.
LCC (11-3) reached the Division VII state semifinals last year before falling to eventual state champion New Bremen, 28-26.
“They out physicaled us on both sides of the ball,” LCC coach Scott Palte said. “We didn’t make enough plays, but that doesn’t diminish how proud I am of our guys. We had to replace a lot of guys after last year. We lose our starting quarterback in Week 7 (Evan Unruh). I’m ecstatic about how hard we played. Hats off to Hopewell-Loudon.’’
Hopewell led 13-6 after the first quarter and 25-12 at the half. It led 32-19 after three.
Bour completed 15 of 21 passes for 292 yards with three TDs. Sherron Jones had five catches for 149 yards with three TDs, including one for 98 yards.
Bour also ran for 96 yards on 19 carries.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Welly had 29 carries for 162 yards. He had three TD runs.
In the final quarter, Welly bulled over defenders and carried others for first downs.
Jones’ 25-yard TD run on the jet sweep gave Hopewell a 47-26 lead with 3:44 to go and it sealed the game away.
“They have great speed and great quickness and great size,” Palte said. “They were too much for us tonight.’’
LCC quarterback Carson Parker completed 11 of 22 for 209 yards and two TDs.
Traves Hoyle Jr. had seven catches for 169 yards. He had TDs of 54 and 36 yards.
Keiron Bailey had nine carries for 71 yards.
LCC scored on its first drive to take a 6-0 lead.
Parker weaved his way for a 19-yard TD to give the T-Birds the early lead.
The TD was set up on a 25-yard, one-handed catch by Traves Hoyle Jr. to take the ball to the Hopewell 24.
Hopewell also scored the first time it touched the ball.
Welly, a 6-foot, 220-pounder, bulled over from the 3 to give Hopewell a 7-6 lead.
The TD was set up on a 47-yard screen pass from Bour to Devin Felter to put the ball on the LCC 3.
The Chieftains’ lead expanded to 13-6 on a 1-yard TD by Welly on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
That came with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.
LCC was moving the next time it touched it. Parker scrambled down the sideline for 18 yards to the Hopewell 2, but the ball was punched out of his hands and Hopewell’s Eric Hoover recovered at the Hopewell 2.
Two plays later, Bour connected with Sherron Jones on a post patter and Jones pulled away from the LCC secondary for a 98-yard TD.
That gave Hopewell a 19-6 with 8:35 left before halftime.
LCC got within 19-12 on a 46-yard TD pass from Parker to Hoyle.
That came with 6:39 left before the half.
Hopewell again pushed its margin to two scores on a 7-yard TD pass from Bour to Jones, who made a sliding grab in the heart of the end zone.
That gave Hopewell a 25-12 lead with 52 seconds left before halftime.
LCC knocked off Hopewell 62-20 in last year’s regional championship game.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.