High school football: Bishop Hartley grounds LCC

LIMA — Team records can sometimes be deceiving.

Coming into Saturday’s game against Lima Central Catholic, Bishop Hartley had one win to its credit and had dropped its first three games before being victorious last week. But now the Hawks can add another win after playing like the perennial powerhouse program they are known for to hand the Thunderbirds a 52-7 loss.

This is the T-Birds’ third straight loss as they fall to 2-3 on the season. Bishop Hartley improves to 2-3 for the year. LCC has not lost three regular season games since 2016.

LCC head coach Scott Palte said Bishop Hartley might have come in with a 1-3 record but described the Hawks as possibly the best team on the T-Birds’ schedule.

“Let’s be realistic, we would have needed to play an unbelievably perfect game and they play one of their worst games for us to have a chance to win. That is a Division IV power. They were clicking and we probably weren’t clicking as much as we would have liked to and that is the result.”

Like most teams, the Hawks focused on stopping T-Bird quarterback Carson Parker and the strategy paid off as the LCC offense never found its rhythm. Bishop Hartley limited the LCC signal caller to 95 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. One of Parker’s highlights in the game was a 45-yard scamper on a fourth and one play that led to a 7-6 advantage for the home team.

Unfortunately for the T-Birds, that was one of the few bright spots on both sides of the ball as Bishop Hartley’s relentless rushing game, coupled with timely passing, had the Hawks scoring on four of their five possessions in the first half to own a 28-7 lead going into the final two stanzas.

“He is a great player and we still didn’t stop him,” Bishop Hartley head coach Brad Burchfield said. “Everything we said was take him away and I thought we were OK but we can play better. LCC is a great football team. We are just trying to get better. We got off to a rocky start. and we are trying to get more guys in the game. The goal is always a long way away and today is another game where you’re trying to get better.

“We were a little bit bigger and a little bit faster. We’ve been there not too long ago.”

Last week, LCC scored 14 points. In their first two games, the T-Birds scored 81 points but in their last three games have managed 28.

“You look out there and I don’t know if every guy on our team is out manned by about 50 to 60 pounds and they are bigger, faster and stronger,” Palte said. “You can put 15 guys out there and I don’t know if we would have been able to stop them. They run hard. They block hard. Obviously there is some alignment things we can fix.”

Utilizing a host of backs, the Hawks established the running game and then used timely passing to rack up yards through the air. Robert Lathom led the rushing game with 107 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.

Hawks quarterback Peyton Underwood was an effective 9 of 10 for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

“I am not going to put a lot of stock in that one,” Palte said. ” We are going to move on and get ready for next week and see if we can be better. We just have some things we have to clean up with key errors, mistakes and penalties, along with mixed blocks, mixed reads and mixed assignments.

“We are close. We just have to clean it up and be the team we want to be and find an answer. “

Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.