(BLUFFTON) - Ada and Bluffton came into their Week 8 matchup headed in two different directions. The Bulldogs had won three straight contests while the Pirates found themselves on the short side of the scoreboard the last three weeks. The game was tight for a half before Ada pulled away in the third quarter for a 38-14 victory.
Both defenses stood tall in the first quarter. Bluffton forced a turnover on downs on Ada’s first possession. On Ada’s next possession, the pass happy Bulldogs attempted a halfback pass. Chase Sumner was hit as he threw and Hunter Busch intercepted the pass and made a short return. After Bluffton advanced into Ada territory, the Bulldogs got the ball back on an interception by linebacker Jordan Bailey. Bailey returned the pick down to the Bluffton 28 yard line. Ada’s Seth Conley completed a pass to Sumner for 25 yards and then completed another pass to Bailey for a three yard score. After a Pirate punt, Ada fumbled the ball away with Bracy recovering it at the Ada 22 yard line. The Pirates took advantage and tied the game with a Bracy strike to Kaleb Jefferson covering 9 yards.
After a 35 yard field goal by Ada’s Aaron Everhart gave the visitors a 10-7 lead, BHS got a burst of offense from Dakota Bricker. The speedy junior took a pitch and zig zagged up the left sideline for a 65 yard touchdown. Kyle Koontz booted the extra point through and Bluffton led 14-10 with 5:01 left in the half. Ada retook the lead on an eight play drive. All eight plays were called passes although Conley displayed his elusiveness and scrambled on two of the plays. Conley rolled to his right and threw to Everhart for the go ahead score with a minute left in the half.
With a 17-14 halftime lead, Ada poured it on with three third quarter touchdowns. Conley completed two of the touchdown passes and Sumner connected on the third. Ada’s usual offensive setup included five wide receivers and Conley, a third year starter, was an expert at finding the open man. For the game, the junior completed 32 of 42 passes for 363 yards and three scores. The signal caller also ran 10 times for 50 yards. His favorite target was Owen Conley who stands 6’4 and 240 pounds. The senior caught 12 passes for 145 yards. The final touchdown of the night came when Ada’s Mason Klingler blocked a Brice Rayle punt, picked up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone.
While the Bulldogs threw the ball all over the place, Bluffton found some success on the ground. BHS rushed for 198 yards on the night. Bricker led the way with 134 yards on 15 carries. Jason Bracy added 43 yards running out of the quarterback position. Bracy completed 3 of 11 passes for 24 yards. Defensively, the Pirates had their hands full defending the Bulldog passing attack throughout the night. Brady Basinger and Kaleb Jefferson made plays from their linebacker spots all night with 4.5 tackles each. Hunter Busch and Dakota Bricker added 4 tackles a piece.
Bluffton will take to the road Friday to battle Crestview. The Knights are 5-3 and are coming off a 20-12 loss at the hands of Delphos Jefferson. Crestview has lost three of their last four games but the lone win was one of quality, a 40-9 defeat of Allen East.