By DAVE HANNEMAN
TOLEDO — Toledo Central Catholic’s Jase Bowen is being recruited to play baseball for Notre Dame.
When he gets there, the football staff might want to see if they can get him to expand his interests.
Bowen, a junior with great speed and a knack for being around the ball, scored one touchdown rushing and another receiving, had another called back after a 70-yard punt return and did a little of everything.
He led the way as the Irish rolled to a 35-0 win over Findlay on Friday in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference matchup at TCC’s Gallagher Stadium.
“Offensively, that’s the most we’ve clicked all year,” Central Catholic coach Greg Dempsey said after the Irish climbed to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the TRAC. “It’s nice that we can score some points and take some pressure off the defense.”
TCC’s defense was not so much feeling the pressure as applying it. The Irish limited Findlay to 40 yards rushing and 157 yards total offense. Findlay got to the Central Catholic 32 twice on one late first half drive, but two illegal procedure penalties backed them up both times. The Trojans got as far as the Irish 29 late in the third quarter, but Jesse Crowell and Vincent Klempner teamed up to sack Tanner Rickle.
Rickle was sacked seven times in the game, with 6-1, 275-pound defensive lineman Domonique Kimble having a hand in four of them.
“They are going to get to the quarterback,” said Findlay High coach Mark Ritzler.
“They didn’t do anything different than what we saw (on film) but when they come after the quarterback, boy do they come after the quarterback with a passion. “They’re a great football team. They don’t do a lot, but what they do they do very, very well.
“What ever they do, whether it’s blitzing or running jet sweeps or whatever, they do it with great passion. And if you don’t rise up to that passion, you’re going to get steamrolled.”
Bowen’s first touchdown was a 13-yard scamper when he lined up at quarterback in a Wildcat formation midway through the second quarter. He also caught a 30-yard TD pass from quarterback Troy Durden with 7:01 left in the third quarter. The 6-foot, 170-pound junior had a 70-yard punt return for a score late in the first quarter negated by a clipping penalty, and a 64-yard punt return to the Findlay 5-yard line backed up by a holding call.
Toledo Central Catholic is second (8-1, 5-1 TRAC) in the league standings. But the Irish have been the league power over the years and from the get-go they showed it.
After holding on fourth and 1 from the Central 47, the Irish flipped the field and covered those 53 yards in just three plays. Running back Devon Rivers bounced it outside and went 29 yards on first down. Bowen went 10 yards on a jet sweep, and Durden covered the final 15 yards on a quarterback keeper.
TCC’s defense got into the scoring as well in the first half when corner back Sean Blue stepped in front of a Rickle pass and returned it 11 yards for the score with 1:27 left in the first quarter.
“The defense has been great all year and they continued to bring it tonight,” Dempsey said.
“And we need that. That’s what we’re built for. The offense is getting better every week. But I think the defense likes the challenge of saying, ‘We’re not going to let you score.’ We play some pretty good offenses in this league but they’ve been answering the call.
“They’re a different breed. They are some high-energy guys and it’s a contagious energy. They know if the other team can’t score, we can’t lose.”
Findlay wraps up the 2017 season at Toledo Whitmer, Ohio’s No. 3-ranked Division I team that clinched at least a share of the TRAC championship on Friday with a 34-14 win over Toledo St. Francis.
Findlay 0 0 0 0 — 0
Toledo Cent. Cath. 14 7 14 0 — 35
TCC — Durden 15 run (Landrum kick)
TCC — Blue 11 interception return (Landrum kick)
TCC — Bowen 13 run (Landrum kick)
TCC — Rivers 4 run (Landrum kick)
TCC — Bowen 30 pass from Durden (Landrum kick)
First Downs 7 15
Rushes-yards 30-40 35-314
Passing Yards 117 69
Comp-Att-Int 13-26-2 4-11-0
Punts-Avg. 5-30-.4 1-36
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-32 65
rushing — Findlay, Rickle 16-0, Morse 6-14, P. Dillon 7-23, Rader 1-3. Toledo Central Catholic, Durden 7-72, Sulaica 4-15, Rivers 13-102, Bowen 4-51, Norrils 2-1, McGee 2-41, Williams 1-12, Riccardi 1-22, Smith 1-(-2).
passing — Findlay, Rickle 9-19-1–76, Rader 4-6-1–41, Morse 0-1-0–0. Toledo Central Catholic, Durden 4-9-0–69, Sulaica 0-2-0–0.
receiving — Findlay, Gutting 4-36, Gonzalez 2-13, Morse 2-9, Douglas 1-13, Rader 1-10, P. Dillon 3-23. Toledo Central Catholic, Bowen 1-30, Copeland 1-12, Griffin 2-27.
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