COLLINS — “It’s about time.” Those were the words of Western Reserve coach Mike Stoll after his Roughriders clinched at least a share of the Firelands Conference title Friday. It was Stoll’s first FC crown his 12th season at the school.
Western Reserve routed New London 71-0 to improve to 9-0, 6-0 FC.
The Roughriders put up 37 first quarter points with the help of two Wildcat turnovers and great field position.
Blake Buckhannon opened the scoring with a 50-yard run on the fifth play of Western’s first series. Josh Good’s first PAT kick was good, and the Roughriders led 7-0.
The Roughriders got a safety just over one minute later when a New London snap went over the punter’s head into the end zone.
Following a New London punt on its next series, Buckhannon ripped off another long run, this time from 32 yards out to make it 16-0. Western added three more first-quarter touchdowns.
Darren Johnson hauled in a 23-yard pass from Kyle Pressley, while Buckhannon and Willie Roth each added 8 yard touchdown runs.
New London quarterback Clayton Hall was intercepted by Dustin Miller, who returned the 30 yards for another score. With 11:09 left in the second quarter, Western led 44-0.
Buckhannon added a 41-yard run with :55 left before halftime. Hall was intercepted again in the third quarter, as Buckhannon scored his fifth touchdown of the night to put Western up 57-0.
Theron Martz scored on a 49-yard run halfway through the third. He finished with 113 yards on five carries.
Niko Valentine concluded the scoring on a 6-yard run with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter, giving Western 71 points in all and securing at least a share of the league title.
Buckhannon tallied 143 yards on eight carries and four touchdowns. Pressley went 7-of-18 for 96 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
“We got one more to go, and we’ll see what happens in the playoffs,” Stoll said. “I’m just excited for our kids and excited for our community.”
For New London, Clay Wilson gained 99 yards on 13 attempts. Hall went 8-20 through the air for 39 yards. Dane Held grabbed four passes for 32 yards.
“You just gotta make plays,’’ Wildcats coach Kyle Marett said. “You gotta be able to get the ball back and move the ball. And we weren’t able to move the ball in any way.
“We thought we’d be able to throw the ball,’’ the coach added. “But give their players and their coaches credit, they had a good scheme.”
Western travels to Mapleton Friday to try and complete an undefeated regular season. New London visits South Central Friday to close the regular season.Score by Quarter
NL 0 0 0 0 — 0
WR 37 13 14 7 — 71
WR: Buckhannon, 50 yard run (Good kick good)
WR: Buckhannon, 32 yard run (kick good)
WR: Johnson, 23 yard pass from Pressley (kick good)
WR: Buckhannon, 8 yard run (kick good)
WR: Roth, 8 yard run
WR: Miller, 30 yard INT return (kick good)
WR: Buckhannon, 41 yard run (pass failed)
WR: Buckhannon, 34 yard interception return (kick good)
WR: Martz, 49 yard run (kick good)
WR: Valentine, 6 yard run (kick good)