Delta scored on the opening kickoff and never looked back in what was a 49-0 rout of Paulding Friday to close out the non-league slate.
DJ Davis was the culprit on the opening kick, finding a seam and breaking through to paydirt. Phil Smithers’ extra point put the visiting Panthers (Paulding) in a 7-0 hole 13 seconds in.
“When you score seven points on the opening kickoff, that really sets the tone and gets the energy going,” said Delta Coach Nate Ruple. “Kickoff return team’s been struggling a little bit this year, but they were able to put one together. DJ Davis hit the hole fast, and when he hits the hole fast he’s hard to catch.”
Neither team could get anything going the rest of the opening quarter, but Delta exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Paulding 27-0.
Josh Tresnan-Reighard’s five yard touchdown with 8:59 before halftime and a Smithers extra point made it 14-0. His 27-yard catch helped set up the score.
Then, on the ensuing Paulding possession, they coughed it up and Delta’s Caleb Lantz was there to recover it at the 13. Davis would haul in an eight yard reception down to the five, where the next play Bryar Knapp went up the middle for the score and a 21-0 Delta advantage.
Although Paulding was able to move the ball at times, they were held in check by Delta for the most part.
“We were expecting them to come out and really get after us on the ground. They spread it out a little more than we thought. The quarterback can throw it a little bit, so we had to make some adjustments. Fortunately our guys were able to handle those, and we were able to pitch a shutout tonight,” said Ruple.
The home Panthers were able to increase their lead to 28 points on a short pass to Davis that he took 20 yards to the end zone with 2:29 left in the half.
A quick three-and-out by Paulding gave Delta the ball right back.
Knapp’s 36-yard reception got the ball down to the visiting Panther seven yard line with 47 seconds to go. On the next play, Tresnan-Reighard once again found his way into the end zone, but a mishandled snap on the extra point kept the score at 34-0 at the half.
With a running clock in effect per OHSAA rules, the second half went quick with Delta scoring two more times.
Tresnan-Reighard’s two yard run and a Smithers extra point extended the lead to 41-0 with 10:25 left. Near the end of the game, Landon Lintermoot added a 49-yard rushing TD and he also converted the two-point conversion for the game’s final points.
Tresnan-Reighard led Delta’s diverse rushing attack that saw nine athletes carry the ball. He accumulated 74 yards on 15 attempts with three scores.
Jerremiah Wolford carried it 10 times for 61 yards. Knapp had seven carries for 50 yards and a TD.
“We’ve been blessed. We got some guys that can really carry the rock for us. But more importantly, we got some guys up front that are blocking hard for us. That offensive line — Austin Kohlhofer, Zane Shindorf, Connor Bates — those guys are really working hard for us right now. Rollin Robinson. Don’t want to forget anybody because they’re doing a great job,” Ruple said of his team’s rushing attack.
Delta (2-1) hosts Evergreen (2-1) on Friday to begin Northwest Ohio Athletic League play.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.