BOWLING GREEN – If you like high scoring games with plenty of action then Thursday’s Findlay-Toldeo St. John’s contest was your cup of tea. If you wanted good execution and solid defense the same game would have disappointed you greatly. Whether it was first game jitters or the extremely hot weather conditions neither team looked particularly sharp and, as a result, the game developed into an offensive donnybrook. St. John’s outlasted Findlay 40-27 at Bowling Green State University.
“We have a lot of work to do with the schedule we play,” St. John’s coach Doug Pearson said. “I was so disappointed with how sloppy we were. High school football is about senior play and our seniors made some serious mistakes tonight. They have to get better if we are going to be successful.”
Despite the sloppy play the Titans did manage to pile up over 500 yards in total offense. Senior running back Dajon Booth, who missed nearly the entire second quarter due to leg cramps, led the way with 267 yards on 26 carries. Teammate P.J. Wimberly also broke the century mark in rushing on 12 carries that resulted in 122 yards.
The Titans began the scoring parade by maintaining a scoring drive that resulted in a three-yard plunge by Booth. During this early drive St. John’s had several long gains on the ground but their passing efforts were anemic.
It did not take the Trojans long to answer the Titans’ scoring drive as Trojan quarterback Eric Gilbert led his team to a score on the very next possession. The highlight of the Trojan drive was a 44-yard pass from Gilbert to Jimmy Davidson that ultimately set up a one yard run by Matt Alexander.
Findlay’s first lead of the game came midway in the first quarter as the Trojans followed up on Alexander’s touchdown run to score again on their very next possession. Davidson, whose reception set up the first Trojan touchdown, this time took a snap from scrimmage and romped 75 yards through the Titan defense to score and give his squad a brief 13-7 lead.
The first quarter scoring finally ended when Booth broke through the Trojan defensive line and used his sprinter speed to outrun the rest of the defense for an 80-yard Titan touchdown. Booth’s score gave the Titans a 14-13 lead but the advantage did not last long.
Early in the second quarter, an unlikely hero, defensive lineman Travis Barnhill, put the Trojans on top again. Barnhill snatched up a fumble by Titan quarterback, Rick Rattay, and lumbered 51 yards for a Trojan touchdown. With the Barnhill touchdown the Trojans enjoyed their second lead of the game, 20-14, but it would be their last.
Over the remainder of the game the Titans would outscore the Trojans 26-7.
Both teams will be in action again next weekend. The Titans take on Columbus DeSales at home while the Trojans will entertain another Toledo City League member, St. Francis.