By Tom Usher – firstname.lastname@example.org
LIMA — Lima Central Catholic’s Ethan O’Connor had time Saturday night to pick what he wanted to do.
As it turned out, he did pretty much whatever he wanted.
O’Connor threw for four TDs and ran for three more in a 48-18 victory over Toledo Rogers on Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
With plenty of time to throw, O’Connor completed 16 of 20 for 325 yards and four TDs. He was intercepted once. O’Connor had TD throws of 21, 2, 20 and 63.
On the ground, he had 17 carries for 115 yards and three TDs (7, 1, 6 yards).
“We emphasized this week for the offensive linemen to get their drops, which creates separation with the defensive linemen,” O’Connor said. “From there, you can pick up blitzes a lot easier. And this defensive line wasn’t as quick as the past week (against Edgewood).”
LCC coach Scott Palte said, “I thought our offense has been pretty good the last few weeks. This week we got stopped once on the interception and our kids did a really good job of being in the right spots and the line did a great job, run blocking and pass blocking.”
LCC stands 3-2, while Rogers is 0-5.
LCC led 14-6 after the first quarter and 27-12 at the half. After three quarters, the T-Birds led 41-18.
LCC also got its running game involved early, with the return to the offense of 5-foot-7, 178-pound Tate Lamb, who finished with seven carries for 40 yards.
“Tate just came back from a broken wrist so it’s just the first he could run the ball,” O’Connor said. “He’s quick and he’s small, so no one can really see him.”
O’Connor’s top target was Thomas Williams, mostly on crossing patterns. Williams finished with eight catches for 121 yards with two TDs (21, 2 yards).
“Their safety would go out, which led the middle of the field wide open,” O’Connor said of hitting Williams. “Thomas, who is 6-3, matched up with a guy who was smaller than he was, and he could get open any time he wanted to.”
Palte said, “They were sending their inside backers a lot and if we can find a way to spring a guy open over the middle, that’s what we’re going to attack.”
The first time LCC touched it the T-Birds went 50 yards in seven plays. The T-Birds finished off the drive with a 21-yard TD pass from O’Connor to Williams. That gave LCC a 7-0 lead with 5:57 in the first quarter.
Rogers came back to get within 7-6 on a 20-yard TD pass from Isaiah Solomon to Mike Moore.
O’Connor’s 7-yard TD run gave LCC a 14-6 lead.
Rogers’ Moore’s got loose for a 65-yard TD run to get within 14-12 with 11:47 left in the second quarter.
The T-Birds closed the half with a 1-yard TD run by O’Connor and a 2-yard TD pass from O’Connor to Williams. That gave the T-Birds a 27-12 lead at the half.
The TD pass to Williams was set up on a 53-yard pass from O’Connor to Nick Taflinger to take the ball to the Rogers’ 5.
Taflinger finished with four catches for 137 yards, with a 63-yard TD to give LCC a 48-18 lead.
Rogers was led by running back Mike Moore, who finished with eight carries for 138 yards. Quarterback Isaiah Solomon completed 14 of 33 for 119 yards. He had 20 carries for 105 yards.