Pirates Shutout Jefferson

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Photo by Marvin Foster

Photo by Marvin Foster

(DELPHOS) - Bluffton earned a hard fought road victory by a 7-0 score Friday night at Delphos Jefferson.  The Pirates completely shut down the Jefferson offense and now stand a 2-5 on the season.  

Bluffton’s opening drive was a thing of beauty, eating up over half the first quarter clock.  The Pirates rushed the ball on 13 consecutive plays starting at their own 32 yard line.  Baylor Garmatter opened the drive with a 16 yard gain up the sideline and added an 8 yard dash later.  Logan Rhodes added runs of 11 and 8 yards and scored from 9 yards out using his speed to get into the end zone on the left side.  Quarterback Nate Schaadt sprinkled in three quarterback keepers to keep the Delphos defense guessing.  Deandre Nassar was limited by the defense and gained 4 yards on 3 carriers.  Nassar left the game in the second half with a knee injury, he walked off the field with assistance. Kyle Koontz nailed the point after to put Bluffton ahead 7-0 with 4:48 left in the first quarter.  

The Delphos offense moved the ball throughout the game but the Pirate defense never fully cracked.  Late in the first half, the Wildcats went on a 12 play drive and had fourth down and goal from the Pirate 2 yard line.  They threw a wide receiver screen which Austin Reynolds and Garmatter blew up for a loss and a change of possession.  The Pirates had made a goal line stand to protect the lead with just over a minute left in the half.  

The Pirate offense was unable to gain much ground in the second half but defensively the Pirates stood strong.  Repeatedly, the Jeffcats worked their way downfield only to have a stellar defensive play end the drive.  Mickey Ault opened the second half with a tackle for 2 yard loss and brother Mason Ault sacked DJ quarterback Collin Bailey.  The next Jefferson drive started at their 14 and advanced to midfield.  Another Mason Ault sacked went for a 9 yard loss and then Rhodes blew up a wide receiver screen on their down.  A few minutes later, Jefferson was inside the Pirate 10 yard line but Andrew Wehrly broke up a fourth down pass in the end zone to preserve the shutout. 

The Pirate offense benefited from a Jefferson fumble and took possession at the enemy’s 34 yard line to start a drive.  Tucker Neff picked up 10 yards on first down but after that the drive stalled.  Kicker Kyle Koontz came out for a 35 yard field goal but an illegal motion penalty backed the Pirates up 5 yards and the ensuing kick was just short.  Jefferson had one last drive in them taking over at their own 20 yard line.  Four plays later, Pirate defensive back Tyson Shutler intercepted a Bailey pass at the Bluffton 20 yard line to end the threat.  Pirate quarterback Nate Schaadt ended the game with a 33 yard winding run and then kneeled out the clock to end the game. 

Jefferson was held to just 133 total yards by the Bluffton defense, 83 via air and 50 via ground.  Bluffton gained 223 with 209 on the ground.  Schaadt was the leading rusher with 109 yards on 17 carries.  Mason Ault caught the only completed Pirate pass of the evening for 14 yards. Defensively, Logan Rhodes had 8 tackles including 3 for loss.  Mason Ault had 5 including 3 sacks.  Baylor Garmatter and Mickey Ault had 4 tackles each. Tucker Neff punted well averaging 42 yards per punt on 5 tries. 

Bluffton finishes the season with three consecutive home games beginning Friday with Spencerville.  Ada and Columbus Grove will follow to end the year. Spencerville is coming off a dramatic 23-21 victory over Columbus Grove with the game winning kick coming as time expired.  The Bearcats are 5-2 with losses to Lima Central Catholic and Crestview by a 50-49 score. 

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