The Blue Streaks hummed like Indy car going down a straightaway, scoring every one of the five times they touched the ball in the first half in a 44-7 opening round Division VI playoff win over Delta. The top-ranked Streaks are now 11-0, while Delta finished at 4-7 for the year.
The only mistake the Streaks might have made was on the opening kickoff when the return man sllipped down and had to recover the pigskin at the 4 yard line.
No matter. It took Archbold just six plays to cover the 96 yards to paydirt.
DJ Newman hit Jack Hurst for 15 and 17 yard plays. Carson Dominique rambled for 22 and Newman had one carry for 21, then ran the last 23 for a score a minute and a half in.
On Delta’s third play, the Streaks forced a James Ruple fumble that Mason Siegel pounced on at the Panther 44.
Two Newman passes to Charlie Krieger and Gavin Bailey set up Dominique’s one yard burst for a 14-0 lead.
It was Hurst on defense this time, with a sack and strip that he also fell on at the Delta 15 on the next series. Again it was Dominique from the one with 3:50 still to go in the first for a 21-0 gap.
“We challenged our defense this week to force some turnovers,” Archbold Coach David Dominique said. “It helped us get some points on the board in a hurry. As a whole we played very well offensively.”
A three-and-out gave the Streaks the ball back at their own 47 and on the third play Bailey took a short pass and romped 49 yards for a 28-0 bulge by the end of the first quarter.
Delta got one back on a time consuming 11 play drive that ended with a James Ruple to Justin Ruple 23 yard slant pass for a score to cut the Archbold lead to 28-7.
But Archbold answered right back with a 13 play trek, mostly running behind an offensive line that seemingly got a push every play. That drive ended with a Karter Benfeldt three yard catch for six to make it 34-7 at the half.
“Our offensive line might have been a question mark going into the season,” explained Dominique. “We had three sophomores and two juniors starting. They were new but they have really risen to the occasion.”
Bryar Knapp’s fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half again gave the Streaks great field position, which they took advantage of. Dominique had runs of 15 and 11 to set up Newman’s one yard push into the end zone to make the score 41-7.
Krayton Kern added a 37 yard field goal later in the third for the Streaks final score of the night.
Archbold totaled 293 yards in their very efficient first half with Newman going 11-17 for 163 of those yards.
“He’s a great player,” Dominique said of his senior quarterback. “He makes people around him better. He’s a good leader for us so it’s nice to have him obviously. We have a lot of good football players, a lot of guys contributed tonight, we had a lot of bodies on the field playing. Hopefully we imporved as the game went on, that’s the most important thing.”
The Archbold defense held the Panthers to just 68 first half yards.
Archbold now plays Collins Western Reserve this Saturday night at Archbold in a Region 22 semi-final.