Archbold allowed one successful drive that resulted in points for Collins Western Reserve and that was it as the Blue Streaks ran away with a 42-7 victory Saturday at home in a Division VI, Region 22 Quarterfinal.
“They did some good things. They’re a well-coached team,” said Archbold Coach David Dominique of Western Reserve. “They took advantage of some of our alignments and made some plays. But as a whole our guys played very hard tonight; very physical and we’re very proud of that.”
Archbold outgained Western Reserve 417-168 with five total touchdowns (4 pass, 1 rush) from quarterback DJ Newman.
The Blue Streaks took 2:15 off the clock in seven plays to go up 7-0 after their first possession. Newman found Gavin Bailey on a crossing route and Bailey did the rest, racing 37 yards to paydirt and Krayton Kern added the extra point.
The Roughriders picked up one first down on their possession, but the drive stalled at their own 41-yard line.
Newman and running back Carson Dominique each had first down runs to help Archbold to its second score of the game. That duo cashed in when Newman found an open Dominique who reached the end zone from 22 yards out for a 14-0 Blue Streak advantage at the 4:41 mark of the first quarter.
Following a Roughrider three-and-out, Archbold struck again.
Newman led them down the field with a combination of completions to Hunter Cullen-Lemley, Karter Behnfeldt and Dominique. The drive leaked into the second quarter, where Charlie Krieger caught a nine yard pass over the middle from Newman and walked in for a TD, extending the Blue Streak lead at 21-0.
Behnfeldt ended the next Western Reserve drive with an interception at their own 35. After that, they advanced the ball down to the Roughrider 41, but a questionable intentional grounding penalty and a holding call on the next play stymied the opportunity.
Outside of that possession, the Archbold coach was satisfied with the play of his offense.
“We had a couple penalties back-to-back that really set us back in that second quarter. That, you can’t come back from that. It’s third-and-40, you can’t convert that. But, otherwise though, I think our guys did a good job. We’re excited to move on to the final 16,” Coach Dominique said.
The Roughriders took advantage of the defensive stand. They got the ground game going with quarterback Jude Muenz, who plunged into the end zone from five yards out and Preston Ehrnsberger’s extra point made it a 21-7 game just before halftime.
While yes Western Reserve had some success offensively in the second quarter, the Streaks made adjustments at the half which led to them shutting down the Roughriders in the final 24 minutes.
They forced them into a three-and-out on the opening possession of the half.
“We started going a little more man coverage across the board and get more guys in the box. That really helped us in the second half. Our guys all year long they’ve done a great job being coached at halftime — making adjustments,” stated the Blue Streak coach.
Newman’s 22-yard scamper and his 16-yard completion to Cullen-Lemley set Archbold up with a goal-to-go situation just inside the 10. After the ball was batted down at the line on first down, Dominique took a toss left and traveled eight yards to paydirt for a 28-7 lead.
Western Reserve could not gain a first down on their next drive. That turned into another scoring drive for Archbold, culminating with a nine yard connection from Newman to Behnfeldt in the right corner of the end zone.
The Streaks then got one more third quarter score with just under a minute left to close out the scoring. It was a 27-yard rush by Newman that put the final margin at 42-7.
With a running clock in effect for the fourth per OHSAA rules, the rest of the game went by fast.
Newman went 16 of 21 through the air for 205 yards and a TD, and recorded 107 yards rushing and a score. Dominique finished with 75 yards on 17 carries and a TD.
Cullen-Lemley was the Blue Streaks’ top target on the night with six catches for 89 yards.
Archbold (12-0) now has a rematch with Liberty Center in the regional semifinal, a team they defeated 41-7 in the regular season. But that one should have no bearing on the upcoming matchup according to Archbold’s coach.
“It’s tough to beat a team once let alone twice,” stated Coach Dominique. “Like I just told our guys, you’ve got to clear your head about that first one. It’s a new week and they’ve gotten much better as the year’s progressed. And hopefully, we can take that next step this week.”
Liberty Center (10-2) upset previously unbeaten Columbus Grove Saturday. The regional semifinal game between the Blue Streaks and Tigers is set for this Saturday at Defiance High School at 7 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.