Ready High School football coach Larry Wolf is a believer in Lima Central Catholic.
The Thunderbirds, the state’s top-ranked team in Division V, dominated the Silver Knights in a 36-6 victory on Friday, Oct. 7, at Franklin Heights.
“That’s why they are ranked No. 1 in the state,” Wolf said. “They can execute from everywhere on the field. They have a great running attack, an outstanding quarterback, good receivers and their defense is pretty solid, too. Yeah, they’re a good team.”
It took the Thunderbirds just 51 seconds to score as quarterback Tyler O’Connor, who has verbally committed to Michigan State, threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Mykale Rogers.
A three-and-out gave the Thunderbirds the ball back two minutes later and O’Connor scored on an 11-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
“I thought we did a nice job of showing up right at the beginning of the game,” Lima Central Catholic coach Jerry Cooper said.
Things settled down a bit in the second quarter, as Ready’s defense came alive with Brady Taylor’s sack of O’Connor.
The Silver Knights followed by driving to the Thunderbirds’ 7-yard line and appeared to score when Matt Yoho hit Kelly Culbertson for a touchdown on fourth-and-2.
However, an offensive pass interference and subsequent loss of down negated the play and gave Thunderbirds the ball.
“It’s a pass interference, they are in bump coverage, press coverage, and we’re trying to run a pattern in the end zone,” Wolf said. “Yeah, they’re colliding. They initiated the contact and we get the penalty. It had nothing to do with the play. It was an unfortunate call.”
The Thunderbirds took that momentum and ran with it as Jonathon Washington scored on runs of 1, 35 and 58 yards on their first three possessions of the second half.
The 5-foot-9, 201-pound junior finished as the game’s top rusher, finishing with 158 yards on just nine carries.
“He is one of those kids,” Cooper said. “He hasn’t carried the ball a whole bunch for us. He’s only at 75 or so carries through the six games, so he doesn’t get the ball much more than 10 or 12 times, but he has really made the most of them. I thought today he was running as hard and looked as fast as he’s looked. He really ran well.”
Ready avoided the shutout when Matt Yoho connected with his brother, Gregg, for a 19-yard touchdown with just 38 seconds remaining.
Matt Yoho finished 15 of 32 for 160 yards. He also rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries.
LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 14 0 15 7 -- 36
BISHOP READY 0 0 0 6 -- 6
L--Rogers 77 pass from O’Connor (O’Connor kick)
L--O’Connor 11 run (O’Connor kick)
L--Washington 1 run (O’Connor kick)
L--Washington 35 run (Washington pass from O’Connor)
L--Washington 58 run (O’Connor kick)
R--Gregg Yoho 19 pass from Matt Yoho (kick failed)