Delphos Jefferson 20 Bluffton 14

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(Photo by Marvin Foster)

(Photo by Marvin Foster)

(BLUFFTON) - Delphos Jefferson won a physical, old school football game Friday night at Harmon Field by a 20-14 count.  The game was the final home game of the season for the Pirates who are now 3-4.  Jefferson improved to 5-2 with the win.

Both teams loved to run the ball tonight and Delphos found more success, out rushing the Pirates 194-71. Bluffton found some success through the air as Dakota Bricker threw 15 and 20 yard touchdown passes to Kaleb Jefferson for the two Pirate scores. 

The storyline of the night became turnovers and both hard hitting defenses.  Bluffton turned the ball over three times while Jefferson committed just one.  The Wildcats built a 12-0 lead before the Pirates answered late in the third quarter.  The Pirates advanced inside the Wildcat ten yard line but due to penalties and a sack, Bluffton faced fourth and goal from the Delphos 20 yard line.  Quarterback Dakota Bricker lofted a pass down the seam for Kaleb Jefferson.  Jefferson outleapt his defender for the score cutting the lead to 12-7.  The Pirate defense had started to contain the Wildcat rushing attack and looked to get the ball back right away but Delphos had other plans.

The visitors methodically marched 82 yards in 16 plays while over 8 minutes bled off the clock.  Running back Brennen Auer carried the ball for the lion's share on the drive and eventually scored from one yard out to put DJ up 20-7 with 5:50 left in the game.  The drive was a back breaker for the Pirates as they couldn't get off the field on third down.  But the Pirates did not quit.

Deandre Nassar returned the kickoff into Jefferson territory.  The Pirates were able to get a first down and then Bricker found Kaleb Jefferson alone on the left side after his defender lost his footing.  The pass was on the money and Kaleb sprinted into the end zone for a 35 yard touchdown.  Now trailing 20-14, Bluffton tried an onside kick which was recovered, ending the Pirate comeback bid.  

The Pirates completed 7 of 12 passes for 110 yards and two scores, with an interception.  The stingy Delphos defense limited Bluffton to just 71 yards rushing on 36 carries.  For Bluffton's 'D', Hunter Busch had four tackles with Kaden Reneker and Baylor Garmatter adding three each.  Garmatter also intercepted a pass in the third quarter that was ruled pass interference on a Pirate defender.  Brice Rayle averaged 43.8 yards per punt.  Also on special teams, Kyle Koontz attempted a 38 yard field goal.  The kick had the distance but was wide right. 

Up next for Bluffton is a trip to Spencerville to face the conference leading Bearcats.  SHS is 5-2 with no Northwest Conference losses.  

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