By Brad Morris
AMANDA — An interception by Logan Elm senior Blayton Reid to open the second quarter was a momentum changing play on Friday, but no one knew at the time just how big the play was.
The takeaway sparked one of the more decisive quarters of football that the Braves have put together in recent memory. Logan Elm compiled 275 yards of offense, scored four touchdowns and came away with two takeaways in the period on its way to a 41-7 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win over host Amanda-Clearcreek.
“Blayton’s interception just seemed to get the ball rolling for us and our guys did an outstanding job of executing in the second quarter on offense, defense and basically put away the game right there,” Logan Elm coach Terry Holbert said.
Logan Elm was balanced with 218 passing yards and another 205 rushing in its second consecutive win in The Pit over Amanda-Clearcreek (20-13 win in 2020).
Reid rushed for 114 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns and Michael Bock covered 86 yards on nine totes and also scored.
Quarterback Aaron Walters was 10 of 13 passing for 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Landon Thompson made four receptions for 122 yards and caught both touchdown passes.
The Braves (7-2, 5-1) had their first two possessions end with a punt and a fumbled exchange between the quarterback and running back that Amanda-Clearcreek’s Dalton Stump recovered.
Logan Elm started to find its groove with an eight-play drive that stretched 86 yards late in the first quarter.
Walters was 3 of 4 passing for 38 yards during the drive that Reid capped with a 39-yard touchdown run. The first of five extra points from Owen Elswick gave the Braves a 7-0 lead.
“I felt like we came out good from the jump, but we had a couple of little fundamental things and a fumble that ended our first two drives,” Holbert said. “We started to put some things together on that third drive and finished it.”
Reid then stepped in front of a wide receiver to intercept a pass on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Braves the ball on the Aces’ 40-yard line.
The Logan Elm senior finished what he started five plays later with a five-yard run around the left side to make it 14-0.
“We did a nice job of shutting down what Amanda wanted to do, both running and passing the football, and that interception there right after we went ahead really got us going,” Reid said. “Once we scored again, everything just seemed to click for us.”
A 60-yard punt by Drew Dossman pinned the Braves back on their own 12-yard, but they were soon on the move again.
An 18-yard screen pass from Walters to Braylen Baker gave the Braves some room to work. Walters then connected with Landon Thompson three plays later on a pass that Thompson made a nice adjustment to grab. He then evaded a tackle around the A-C 20 and scored on the 56-yard connection that put the Braves ahead 21-0.
The Aces (0-9, 0-6) drove down to the Braves’ 28-yard line in a bid to dent the scoreboard, but Baker ended the drive when he intercepted a halfback pass on his own nine-yard line.
Logan Elm then assembled a nine-play drive that drained three minutes and 29 seconds off the clock to go ahead 28-0.
A 20-yard run by Michael Bock and a 29-yard screen pass from Walters to Thompson eventually helped to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Reid.
The Braves capped their second quarter onslaught on a 16-yard pop pass from Walters that Thompson took to the house, sending Logan Elm into intermission with a 35-0 lead and initiating a second half running clock.
Walters was a perfect 6 of 6 passing for 146 yards in the quarter and Reid led the run game with 86 yards.
“It all starts with the offensive line. When they do their job then we can run or pass the football,” Walters said. “Then it’s up to me to do my job and get the ball to our wide receivers. When you have guys like Braylen Baker, Landon Thompson, Tanner Holbert, Carson Summers, Camden Redd and Keegan Diehl, it’s hard to cover everyone and someone is going to get open.”
Bock stretched the lead to 41-0 on the opening drive of the second quarter by solely powering a 60-yard drive that he capped with a 15-yard touchdown run.
“We were able to give some of our guys most of the second half off or at least a few blows here and there,” Holbert said. “It’s Week 9, so everyone is battling some bumps and bruises and being able to do that could pay big dividends down the road.”
Amanda-Clearcreek prevented the shutout on an 11-yard touchdown run by Tommy Stai in the fourth quarter.
The Aces were checked to 134 yards by the Braves. Landon Mills rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries.
Amanda-Clearcreek closes play for the season next week at Fairfield Union (4-5, 2-4), which defeated Circleville 45-13 last night. The Aces will seek to avoid their first winless season since 1973.
Logan Elm closes the regular-season portion of its schedule next week when it hosts Teays Valley (5-4, 4-2), which fell 35-27 last night to Bloom-Carroll. The Bulldogs (8-1, 6-0) clinched a share of their fifth consecutive league championship with the victory.
The Braves will be playing for the Pickaway County championship after defeating Westfall 35-0 and Circleville 21-0 earlier this season, and a first-round home playoff game. Logan Elm has already clinched a playoff berth.
“It was big to come in here after losing (41-20) to Bloom-Carroll last week, to play well as a team and get a nice win to go into the Teays Valley game with,” Reid said. “Every week has been about playing the way we are capable of and being physical on both sides of the football. That’s what we’ll need to do again next week.”
Logan Elm 41,
Score By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Logan Elm 7 28 6 0 41
Amanda-Clearcreek 0 0 0 7 7
LE — Blayton Reid 39 run (Owen Elswick kick), 1:07.
LE — Blayton Reid 5 run (Owen Elswick kick), 9:47.
LE — Landon Thompson 56 pass from Aaron Walters (Owen Elswick kick), 7:35.
LE — Blayton Reid 1 run (Owen Elswick kick), 2:42.
LE — Landon Thompson 16 pass from Aaron Walters (Owen Elswick kick), 0:36.
LE — Michael Bock 15 run (kick failed), 8:57.
AC — Tommy Stai 11 run (Brennan Rich kick), 8:19.
First downs 23 10
Rushing yards 35-205 35-78
Passing yards 218 56
Comp.-Att.-Int 10-13-0 7-16-2
Total yards 423 134
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 2-25 5-45
Punts-Ave. 3-37.3 6-32
RUSHING – Logan Elm — Blayton Reid 14-114, Michael Bock 9-86, Landon Thompson 4-19, Cameron Drake 3-(-4), Aaron Walters 5-(-10). Amanda-Clearcreek — Landon Mills 15-75, Tommy Stai 16-7, Dalton Stump 2-5, Drew Dossman 2-(-9).
PASSING – Logan Elm — Aaron Walters 10-13-0-218. Amanda-Clearcreek — Drew Dossman 7-15-1-56, Landon Mills 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING – Logan Elm — Landon Thompson 4-122, Camden Redd 1-24, Tanner Holbert 2-21, Carson Summers 2-23, Braylen Baker 1-18. Amanda-Clearcreek — Landon Mills 1-1, Tommy Stai 1-17, Taylon Conrad 2-25, Colton Westhoven 3-13.
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