Delta had some success moving the ball on the ground in the first half, but they couldn’t keep it away from Archbold long enough, as the Blue Streaks shut out the Panthers 35-0 at home in Northwest Ohio Athletic League football Friday night.
“That first drive, they put a good drive together against us. Took it down the field. Kept converting on third down which has been our Achilles heel the last couple of weeks. As the game went on, we were able to make some corrections. Play more physical, I think, at the point of attack…and limit their yards. I think we started to really hit in the second half, but we got to do that for four quarters,” said Archbold coach David Dominique of the game and facing the Panthers’ offense.
Archbold’s Caleb Hogrefe, who filled in for star quarterback DJ Newman, who sat out with an undisclosed injury, accounted for all three first half touchdowns.
He connected with Antonio Cruz and Brandon Taylor on touchdown passes of 12 and 13 yards, then added an eight-yard rushing score with under two minutes left in the first half. The Streaks would take that 21-0 lead into intermission.
“We knew going into the game that we would need to control the ball, win time of possession, and keep Archbold’s explosive offense off the field. To some extent, we were able to do that in the first half. What we didn’t do was put the ball into the end zone. Credit goes to the Archbold defense for a solid game. Defensively, our kids battled for the entire game but, in the end, Archbold’s many offensive weapons proved to be too much for us,” said Delta coach Nate Ruple.
The Streaks forced a turnover on downs to begin the second half and proceeded to turn it into points.
With the ball near midfield, they advanced into Panther territory at the 44-yard line following a 11-yard pass hook up from Hogrefe to Taylor. The very next play, he connected down the right sideline with Cruz down to the 10.
The Streaks put it in the end zone three plays later when Hogrefe ran it in from three yards out, extending the lead to 28-0 after Krayton Kern’s extra point.
Hogrefe was 9-13 passing for 139 yards and two TDs. He added 53 yards on the ground and a pair of scores.
“Caleb had a great week of practice. Brandon had a good week of practice as well — you know, repping quarterback too. That’s just our guys. Somebody’s gonna step up each week. They don’t really care about the stats; they just want to win,” said Dominique.
As for Newman’s injury his coach wouldn’t divulge too much, only that the junior missed the entire week of practice.
“We’re gonna kind of re-evaluate (next week). He wasn’t able to practice this week, so he wasn’t ready to go tonight,” stated Dominique. “He just wasn’t feeling well this week. So we did not want to run him into the ground. I don’t feel comfortable not getting him to practice and then trying to put him out here on a Friday night. I don’t think that’s fair to our kids and him.”
Closing the game’s scoring was Noah Gomez with a one-yard run with 8:37 remaining in the contest. Gomez finished the game with 89 yards and that score.
Cruz led the Blue Streak passing attack with three catches for 56 yards.
Archbold outgained Delta in total yards, 317-68. The Panthers did not complete a pass, only attempting two for the game.
Jerremiah Wolford paced the Panther rushing attack with 40 yards on 10 carries.
Archbold (3-0) is at winless Evergreen this Friday. Delta (1-2) hosts Swanton (0-3).