By Kevin Wannemacher

Times Bulletin Business Manager

DELPHOS - Football is a game that is won or lost up front is a phrase that nearly every coach in the state of Ohio would agree to.

Never was that truer that Saturday night at Stadium Park.

Lima Central Catholic dominated both sides of the ball "up front" and the Thunderbirds rolled to a 50-14 win over Delphos Jefferson.

With the win, the Thunderbirds move to 4-1 overall but more importantly remain unbeaten in Northwest Conference action at 4-0. Meanwhile, the Wildcats drop to 4-1 in all games and 3-1 in the NWC.

The T-Birds showed their game plan in the game's first drive. LCC put together an 11-play, 66-yard scoring drive that was capped on a 21-yard field goal from Tyler O'Connor at the 6:56 mark.

It wouldn't take the Thunderbirds long to add to the lead. After Delphos was forced to punt, the T-Birds would take over at their own 27-yard line.

The first play from scrimmage saw O'Connor hook up with Michael Rogers for a 67-yard gain to the Wildcat six. Two plays later, O'Connor plunged in from one-yard out for a 10-0 LCC lead.

"We knew they were strong up front and they came out and showed it on both sides of the ball," noted Jefferson head coach Bub Lindeman. "They completely dominated and that is where football games are won and lost."

Lima Central Catholic widened the margin to 17-0 on the last play of the first quarter. Percy Johnson picked up a blocked punt and returned it 17-yards for the T-Bird touchdown.

The Wildcats would get on the board on their next possession. Delphos put together four first downs inside of a 15-play, 77-yard drive, including a pair of third down conversions and a fourth down conversion. Mark McElroy capped the drive with a one-yard run for the Wildcat touchdown with 6:01 left in the first half.

"I thought our guys battled all night long and that is a tribute to their work ethic," continued Lindeman. "I am very proud of the effort our guys gave all night long."

LCC would add one more score just before halftime. Taylor Cook sprinted into the end zone on a two-yard run to put the Thunderbirds on top 24-7 at the intermission.

The T-Birds would put the game away in the third quarter. LCC picked up touchdowns on a 30-yard pass from O'Connor to Desmond Kirkman and a ten-yard run for a score by Xavier Allen.

Wildcat quarterback Jordan Jettinghoff found Logan Bonifas for an 11-yard touchdown pass to set the third quarter score at 37-14.

"Our guys have nothing to be ashamed of," concluded Lindeman. "They battled with a very, very good football team tonight. We will come back on Monday and start preparing for Crestview."

O'Conner hooked up with Kirkman for a four yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and found Bubba Krieg on a 15-yard score to set the final margin at 50-14.

The Thunderbirds finished the night with 191 rushing yards and 105 passing yards. O'Connor was seven of eight passing on the evening.

Delphos Jefferson was limited to only 17 yards rushing in the contest. Jettinghoff was 20 of 42 through the air for 190 yards.

The Wildcats will host Crestview on Homecoming Night at Stadium Park on Friday.