High school football: Celina shuts down Bath

CELINA – It took a little time for Celina’s offense to start clicking.

However, after going into the halftime break with a 7-0 lead over Bath, Celina came out of the locker room and reeled off 22 unanswered points to pull away for a convincing 29-0 victory over Bath in a Western Buckeye League football matchup at Celina Stadium Friday night.

With the win, Celina improves to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the WBL.

Bath (0-6, 0-5 WBL) is still looking for its first win of the season.

“Every year, Bath is one of the most physical teams that we play, especially up front,” Celina head coach Brennen Bader said. “It certainly wasn’t a shock to us in the first half, with them (Bath) being in it, because what they were doing up front with their size.

“But I was proud at how our guys responded in the second half. We were able to move the ball a little bit better. … We were able to run the ball better, which was our point of emphasis at halftime – and just making plays on the perimeter.”

On the first possession of the contest, Bath turned the ball over on a fumble.

Celina took over on its 48-yard line, and then promptly marched 52 yards on nine plays to find the end zone. Running back Zander Jones (11 carries, 47 yards) capped off the scoring drive with a one-yard run. The point-after gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 7:02 left to play in the first quarter.

In the first half, Celina’s offensive unit rolled up 125 total yards. Quarterback Nick Adams was 5 of 10 passing for 46 yards, and had an interception.

Adams ended the night, 15 of 22 passing for 166 yards with two interceptions. Adam Faber led Celina with seven receptions for 68 yards.

For the game, Celina’s offensive unit rolled up 326 total yards. The Bulldogs moved the first-down chains 19 times on the night.

Bath recorded just 45 total offensive yards in the first 24 minutes of action. Bath utilized two quarterbacks. Zach Welsch was 3 of 4 passing for 27 yards. Kahne Sullivan, who shared snaps behind center, was 2 of 7 passing for three yards in the first half for the Wildcats.

Bath ended the night with just 91 total yards. The Wildcats recorded just seven first downs. Sullivan led Bath on the ground, rushing for 39 yards on 11 carries.

Celina got the football to start the second half.

The Bulldogs marched down the field, but eventually settled for a field goal. Logan Billerman booted a 30-yard field goal to give Celina a 10-0 lead with 6:26 left to play in the third quarter.

Celina added another score in the third quarter.

Landen Ackley (8 carries, 71 yards) ran it in from 14 yards out to cap off a quick four-play, 40-yard scoring drive for the Bulldogs. With the point-after, Celina led 17-0 with 3:43 left in the third.

Celina struck again.

Just seconds into the fourth quarter, Jones ran it in from 13 yards out to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 23-0.

Celina rounded out its scoring with a 20-yard TD run by Layndin Alidou with 1:56 remaining in the game.

Bader said they made some adjustments at halftime.

“It was just little things,” Bader said in reference to what the problems were in the first half. “Little things up front – just missing assignments. We got aggressive and took some shots, and we didn’t hit them. … We had some sacks. A couple times, we got behind the chains.

“At halftime, we said that we wanted to stay ahead of the chains, and take what they give us. … We did a good job of doing that. Our players executed what our plan was at halftime.”

Bader was especially pleased at his team’s defensive effort.

“Defensively, we held strong in the second half. We got the stops when we needed to,” Bader said. “But we have to be much better on special teams, and on offense. … We turned the ball over on some situations. But we’ll take the win. … That’s all that matters.”

Mark Altstaetter wrote this story for The Lima News. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.