Times Bulletin photo
St. John’s A.J. Klausing breaks away from Tinora defenders during the St. John’s victory over the Rams on Friday, Sept. 4, in Delphos.
Times Bulletin photo St. John’s A.J. Klausing breaks away from Tinora defenders during the St. John’s victory over the Rams on Friday, Sept. 4, in Delphos.
BY JIM COX

Times Bulletin Correspondent

sports@timesbulletin.com

DELPHOS - If some Delphos St. John's fans were a bit uneasy after a narrow 21-14 Week 1 win over Lima Central Catholic, those fans are feeling a lot better now. Friday night the Blue Jays looked very much like the defending Division VI state champs that they are in a 48-0 pounding of Tinora. The Rams have begun a winning tradition of their own with several good seasons and a 35-7 Week 1 romp over Liberty Center. They were, however, no match for St. John's.

Tinora actually had the better of it during a scoreless first quarter. The Rams went 86 yards in 11 plays from their own six-yard-line to the Blue Jay eight, but opted for a field goal on 4th-and-2 with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The kick was wide, and the visitors would not get that close again.

Delphos started from its own 20 after the missed field goal, going 80 yards in eight plays, the last one being a 14-yard scoring sweep by junior tailback Jordan Leininger. Sophomore Josh Rode kicked the PAT - 7-0, Jays, with 8:38 left in the second period.

Tinora went three-and-out, and the punt was either shanked or partially blocked, putting St. John's in business at the Ram 40. On the next play Leininger broke two tackles on a sweep for a 40-yard touchdown. Rode's PAT kick made it 14-0 with 7:17 left in the half.

The Rams went three-and-out again, and this time the Blue Jays started from their own 28. Four plays later they were in the end zone again, this time on a Leininger one-yarder. Rode kicked the lead up to 21-0 with 4:37 remaining in the second period.

Tinora's fine junior quarterback Landon Drewes then led the Rams on an impressive 12 play, 48 yard drive, but time ran out as Delphos junior Chris Pohlman picked off a Drewes pass.

St. John's quickly ended any doubt on the first play of the third quarter. Senior quarterback Wes Ulm hit junior Tyler Bergfeld with a perfectly thrown bomb, which went for 70 yards and a TD. Rode's kick upped the lead to 28-0 with 11:41 left in the third.

On their next possession, the Jays went 90 yards in four plays, with Leininger again doing the honors, this time on a 48 yarder, during which he broke three tackles. Rode's kick was good - 35-0, Blue Jays, with 6:18 left in the third. Leininger left the game for good at that point, taking a well-deserved rest.

Senior running back Blake Williams took over for Leininger on the next St. John's series, carrying the ball for gains of 12, 2, 28 and 15, the last going for a score with 11:53 remaining in the game. The PAT kick was wide - 41-0, Jays.

Sophomore Jordan Bergfeld came in at tailback on the next Delphos series and was equally effective. The Blue Jays went 65 yards in ten plays, with Kyle Neumeier going the last yard for the score with 4:16 left. Rode's kick provided the final margin.

It was another big night for Leininger, who carried the ball 13 times for 170 yards and four TD's. He also caught one pass for 36 yards. Ulm threw the ball only five times, but completed all five for 166 yards and one TD, before turning the signal calling duties over to sophomore Alex Clark in the fourth period.

It was also a big night for Blue Jay coach Todd Schulte, who picked up the 100th win of his career.

The rifle-armed Drewes hit on 8 of 16 passes for 89 yards with one interception.

Delphos Jefferson defeated Paulding 35-12 on Friday.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total

P 6 0 0 6 12

DJ 14 0 14 7 35