Van Wert’s Terrance Branson (10) is covered by Luke MacLennan (9) of Delphos St. John’s during the Van Wert County Hospital All-Star Football Clash at Eggerss Stadium on Friday night. (DHI Media/John Parent)
Van Wert’s Terrance Branson (10) is covered by Luke MacLennan (9) of Delphos St. John’s during the Van Wert County Hospital All-Star Football Clash at Eggerss Stadium on Friday night. (DHI Media/John Parent)
By JIM METCALFE
DHI Media Sports Editor
jmetcalfe@delphosherald.com
VAN WERT — The Western Buckeye League All-Stars had won the previous two Van Wert County Hospital All-Star Football Clash, so the newly-constituted Lima Area/Northwest Conference All-Stars (formerly NWC/MAC) were looking to break that string Friday night in the 15th annual clash at Eggerss Stadium in Van Wert.
It got done.
The Lima Area/NWC won the ninth game in this series with a 30-7 bashing on a pleasant late-spring evening.
The stats were relatively close: the Lima crew totaled 247 yards to 238 for their foes but only 33 on the ground. Wayne Trace’s Colby Speice was an effective 12-of-23 passing for 214 yards and two scores. His top two targets were Jefferson’s Zavier Buzard and Wayne Trace teammate Korbin Showalter with four catches each for 86 and 78 yards, respectively.


The WBL unit was more evenly split, with 121 yards rushing and 117 passing. However, Defiance’s Will Batt delivered a 10-for-35 passing night for 94 yards and one pick as he struggled either hitting his receivers or them having the dropsies.
After holding the the WBL to a 3-and-out on the first series, the guests got on board first via a 9-play, 55-yard drive, with Buzard catching two passes for 56 yards. At the WBL 12, Bluffton’s Noah Stratton took an option pitch to the right sideline and dove over the goal line with 8:05 left in the opening period. Speice found Ada’s Matthew Wilcox for the 2-pointer and an early 8-0 edge.
The WBL reached the LA/NWC 34 on its next possession, courtesy of a 33-yard pass from Batt to Van Wert’s Terrence Branson (4 catches, 52 yards), but went no farther.
However, its next drive saw an 11-play, 67-yarder. With Batt (15 rushes, 33 yards for the game) and Celina’s Louden Limon (10 for 51) doing most of the work, it was Limon who burst over right tackle and found paydirt with 16 seconds left in the first quarter. Wapakoneta’s Bailey Hinegardner added the kick for an 8-7 LA/NWC lead.
After a trade of punts, the LA/NWC commenced a quick 2-play, 57-yarder. After Buzard (14 rushes, 25 yards) ran for five, Speice dropped back and found Showalter on the left hash in stride at the WBL 30; he eluded the cornerback and headed for the end zone. Speice found Wilcox again for the 2-pointer and a 16-7 lead with 8:45 showing in the first half.
After holding the guests to a 3-and-out to open the second half, the WBL started at the 50 and eventually reached the LA/NWC 14. However, a holding penalty and a sack of Batt by Spencerville’s Anthony Schuh and Crestview’s Zen Burdette helped end the 14-play drive at the 31.
A turnover on the very next play gave the WBL possession at the guests’ 36. However, that chance ended as Showalter picked off a Batt pass in the end zone.
The guests were forced to punt after a 3-and-out but the boot was muffed, with Columbus Grove’s Mason Smith recovering at the 42. The LA/NWC gained the WBL 31 but turned it over on downs to begin the fourth period.
Its next possession ended via a 7-play, 58-yard sequence. At the WBL 4, Buzard bolted inside right guard to paydirt and Smith added the point-after for a 23-7 edge with 6:56 left.
On the second play of the WBL series, the guests swarmed to recover a fumble at the host 48 but could do nothing with it.
They did on the next drive, starting at the WBL 32. Two plays later at the 14, Speice threw to another Raider teammate, Jared Sherry, in the left corner of the end zone and he made a diving catch with 2:47 left. Smith tacked on the final point.
LIMA AREA/NWC ALL-STARS 30, WBL ALL-STARS 7
Lima/NWC 8 8 0 14 - 30
WBL 7 0 0 0 - 7
FIRST QUARTER
L - Noah Stratton 12 run (Matthew Wilcox pass from Colby Speice), 8:05
W - Louden Limon 4 run (Bailey Hinegardner kick), :16
SECOND QUARTER
L - Korbin Showalter 52 pass from Speice (Wilcox pass from Speice), 8:48
THIRD QUARTER
No Scoring
FOURTH QUARTER
L - Zavier Buzard 4 run (Mason Smith kick), 6:56
L - Jared Sherry 14 pass from Speice (Smith kick), 2:47
TEAM STATS
Lima/NWC WBL
First Downs 13 13
Total Yards 247 238
Rushes/Yards 27/33 41/121
Passing Yards 214 117
Comp./Atts. 12/24 11/37
Intercepted By 1 0
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 5/3
Penalties/Yards 3/30 10/104
Punts/Aver. 6/30.7 4/33.5
INDIVIDUAL STATS
LIMA AREA/NWC
Rushing: Zavier Buzard 14-25, Noah Stratton 2-16, Colton Miller 2-2, Saed Al-Oumat 1-0, Anthony Schuh 1-(-)4, Colby Speice 7-(-)6.
Passing: Speice 12-23-214-0-2, Matthew Wilcox 0-1-0-0-0.
Receiving: Buzard 4-86, Korbin Showalter 2-78, Jared Sherry 2-23, Tyler Mox 1-8, Lee Stewart 1-6, Dylan Henry 1-5, Miller 1-0.
WBL
Rushing: Louden Limon 10-51, Seanquez Frye 8-33, William Batt 15-33, Zach Schmerge 5-18, Team 3-(-)14.
Passing: Batt 10-35-94-1-0, Colin Gossard 1-1-23-0-0, Schmerge 0-1-0-0-0.
Receiving: Terrence Branson 4-52, Tyler Zender 4-26, Eric Heffner 2-16, Batt 1-23.