By JIM METCALFE

DHI Media Sports Editor

jmetcalfe@delphosherald.com

LIMA — Lima Central Catholic used a strong second half to knock Jefferson from the ranks of the unbeaten Friday night, besting the Wildcats 37-20 in non-conference action under the lights of Spartan Stadium.

The Thunderbirds (4-1) were aided by the Wildcats (4-1) being down leading rusher Hunter Binkley and starting quarterback Jace Stockwell, who were both injured late in the first half and did not return. Stockwell was carted off the field at 3:10 of the second period.

With a 20-20 tie at the half, the teams exchanged turnovers to start the second half and after a second Jefferson punt, LCC took control at the visitor 43. They overcame an intentional grounding call with a roughing the passer call and needed 11 plays to take the lead for good. At the two, Dimitri Floyd took a sweep to the left side and ran to the pylon. Nick Taflinger converted for a 27-20 edge with 6:40 to go in the third period.

The next four series ended in three punts and a Delphos turnover as the Wildcat defense stiffened.

The Wildcats traveled from the 20 to the LCC 41 but on 4th-and-7, Adam Rode was thrown for a yard loss.

On the second play from the 45, Ethan O’Connor, in the gun, ran a keeper up the middle, cut to the right and found the seam all the way to the end zone. Taflinger made it 34-20 with 11:10 remaining.

Jefferson then reached the LCC 49 on the next series but was forced to punt; the snap was dropped and Tyler Talboom was stopped for a 4-yard loss.

LCC drove from the Delphos 47 and on play seven from the 14, Taflinger made good on a 31-yard field goal for a 37-20 edge with 3:44 left.

Jefferson then drove from its eight to the LCC 38 in six plays, but the drive then ended as Chase Lauck picked off a pass to effectively end the game.

The Wildcats amassed 269 of their 389 yards rushing the first half and gained 20 of their 27 first downs.

Their three scoring drives lasted eight plays and 71 yards; 13 plays, 74 yards; and 12 plays, 65 yards.

The first ended on a 4th-and-10 from the LCC 17, when Stockwell found Talboom for a quick toss down the middle with 2:18 showing in the first period (Kurt Wollenhaupt’s extra point failing) for a 6-0 edge.

The second finished on as 16-yard sweep of left end by Binkley, finding the seam and erupting to the end zone with 8:53 to go in the second. Stockwell ran for the 2-pointer for a 14-6 spread.

The third culminated on an 8-yard run up the gut by Rode. The conversion run failed as Delphos led 20-13 with 4:52 left in the second. Binkley was banged up during the series and did not return.

LCC answered all three scoring drives.

The first was a 5-play, 63-yarder, with O’Connor, rolling left from the Delphos 48, finding a wide-open Cameron White going the other way. Taflinger missed the PAT for a 6-6 tie with 1:03 left in the first.

The second drive was answered on the ensuing kickoff. Floyd muffed it, picked it up at the 12, took off for the left sideline, found the convoy and simply outran the Wildcats to the end zone. Taflinger’s kick made it a 14-13 Jefferson lead with 8:37 left in the half.

LCC tied it with a 4-play, 60-yarder. At the Delphos 45, O’Connor threw down the right sideline to Taflinger, who beat the last defender to the ball. Taflinger tied it at 20 with 3:18 left in the half.

It was the first play of the next series that saw Stockwell injured on an incomplete pass.

“We had to overcome some adversity today but injuries are part of football,” Jefferson coach Chris Sommers said. “Kurt came in under tough circumstances and Dalton (Hicks) played more both ways in the backfield. We still moved the ball on them offensively. We just gave up too many big plays to an explosive offense. My kids battled to the very end even with the adverOVERSET FOLLOWS:sity. I am very proud of them.”

Jefferson visits Crestview Friday.

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 37, JEFFERSON 20

Score by Quarters:

Jefferson 6 14 0 0 - 20

Lima CC 6 14 7 10 - 37

FIRST QUARTER

DJ - Tyler Talboom 17 pass from Jace Stockwell (kick failed), 2:18

LC - Cameron White 48 pass from Ethan O’Connor (kick failed), 1:03

SECOND QUARTER

DJ - Hunter Binkley 16 run (Stockwell run), 8:53

LC - Dimitri Floyd 88 kickoff return (Nick Taflinger kick), 8:37

DJ - Adam Rode 8 run (run failed), 4:52

LC - Taflinger 45 pass from O’Connor (Taflinger kick), 3:18

THIRD QUARTER

LC - Floyd 2 run (Taflinger kick), 6:40

FOURTH QUARTER

LC - O’Connor 55 run (Taflinger kick), 11:10

LC - Taflinger 31 field goal, 3:44

TEAM STATS

Jefferson Lima CC

First Downs 27 15

Total Yards 441 348

Rushes/Yards 73-389 30-152

Passing Yards 52 196

Comps./Atts. 6/17 14/26

Intercepted By 0 1

Fumbles/Lost 4/2 1/0

Penalties/Yards 4/40 7/59

Punts/Aver. 3/33.7 4/42.3

INDIVIDUAL STATS

JEFFERSON

RUSHING: Adam Rode 17-115, Hunter Binkley 19-106, Mike Cline 11-85, Dalton Hicks 10-44, Jace Stockwell 6-30, Kurt Wollenhaupt 7-18, Tyler Talboom 1-(-)4, Team 2-(-)5.

PASSING: Stockwell 3-6-25-0-1, Wollenhaupt 3-11-27-1-0.

RECEIVING: Grant Wallace 3-24, Talboom 2-29, Cline 1-1.

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC

RUSHING: Ethan O’Connor 13-114, Alex Krumel 12-29, Aidan O’Connor 2-10, Dimitri Floyd 3-(-)1.

PASSING: E. O’Connor 14-26-196-0-2.

RECEIVING: Cameron White 5-92, Floyd 4-29, Nick Taflinger 3-64, A. O’Connor 2-11.