Saturday, October 9th, 2010
Blue Jays defense shuts out Cavaliers
By Gary R. Rasberry
DELPHOS - What originally looked like a potential offensive slugfest turned out to be a defensive battle in the trenches.
One solid drive and one big run allowed Delphos St. John's to stay unbeaten while handing Coldwater its third loss of the season, 14-0, on Friday night at Stadium Park.
The Blue Jays, the top-ranked team in the state for Division VI, goes to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Midwest Athletic Conference. The Cavaliers, shut out for the first time since losing in the Division IV state semifinals 14-0 to Versailles in 2004, drop to 4-3 (3-2 MAC).
The key of the game was the defense of both teams. Coldwater worked hard to keep the vaunted Blue Jay running game under wraps while St. John's worked to keep the aerial attack under wraps.
"Our defense did an outstanding job tonight and so did theirs," said Blue Jays coach Todd Schulte. "It was a defensive battle and not a whole lot of flash from either offense."
"Defense played great," said Coldwater coach Chip Otten. "Gave up one long run there and, really, one decent drive. They had one good scramble and one good pass (on the drive)."
St. John's rushed three defenders while dropping the other eight into a zone coverage, limiting Coldwater to just 127 yards passing. The Blue Jays also intercepted Ethan Bettinger, who rotated with Austin Bruns at quarterback.
Reese Klenke, who entered the game averaging almost 120 receiving yards per game, had just one pass play go for double digits, finishing with four catches for 52 yards.
"That was the idea with our front three. We were going to try and get pressure with three and cover with the other eight," said Schulte. "I thought the front (line) worked really hard tonight."
"We just couldn't take the opportunities we had and get a score," said Otten. "They rushed with three guys and eight playing back. Protection was okay, but I guess not good enough. When they have eight guys covering, it's tough to find guys open."
Coldwater put the pressure on the Blue Jay running game, especially quarterback Jordan Leininger and tailback Evan Burgei, both averaging around 100 yards per game.
The Cavaliers stopped the big runs for the most part, holding the Jays to just 4.8 yards per carry (41 rushes for 195 yards) and only three running plays of more than 10 yards.
Two of those plays, however, came as part of scoring drives. In the second quarter, Leininger picked up 25 yards on a third-and-six from the Blue Jay 30 to keep a drive going. Later, a 23-yard pass to Ty Bergfeld set up the opening touchdown as Evan Burgei punched in from six yards out with 3:19 left in the first half.
The other served as insurance points in the fourth quarter as Jordan Bergfeld broke open the biggest run of the game, breaking free for 80 yards and paydirt with 5:44 left to make it 14-0. Jordan Bergfeld, the younger brother of Ty, led the Blue Jays with 95 rushing yards.
Coldwater returns home for another stiff challenge in undefeated Marion Local. St. John's, which faces Marion in Week 9, heads to Barrenbrugge Park to face Fort Recovery.