By Rob Kiser
On paper, Saturday night’s football game between Lehman Catholic and Ridgemont seemed like a mismatch.
And it was exactly that.
The Cavaliers opened a 56-0 halftime lead in the NWCC opener for both teams, outgaining the Golden Gophers 331 to minus-25 in the first half and went on to a 63-0 victory.
It only took three plays for Lehman to take a 21-0 lead in the opening quarter.
On Lehman’s first possession, it took two plays to go 24 yards.
Elliott Gilardi threw a seven-yard pass to Gabe Knapke before throwing a 17-yard TD toss to RJ Bertini. Michael Denning’s kick made it 7-0.
On Ridemont’s second punt, Bertini returned it 45 yards for a touchdown and Denning’s kick made it 14-0 with 8:40 to go in the first quarter.
On the Gophers next possession, Evan Fogt intercepted a screen pass and returned it to the Ridgemont three.
Andrew Barhorst found the end zone on the first play and Denning’s kick made it 21-0 with 7:41 remaining in the first quarter.
On Lehman’s next possession, it took five plays to go 42 yards.
Barhorst and Gilardi had 16-yard runs on the drive, before Tyler Sollmann ran 12 yards for the score. Denning’s kick made it 28-0 with 4:48 to go in the first quarter.
Then, Lehman went 35 yards in one play, with Brendan O’Leary catching a 25-yard TD pass from Gilardi and Denning’s kick making it 35-0 with 2:46 remaining in the opening quarter.
Gilardi completed a six-play, 51-yard drive on Lehman’s next possession, running 10 yards for the score. Denning’s kick made it 42-0 with 10:50 remaining in the first half.
Sollmann then returned a fumble eight yards for a touchdown on Ridgemont’s first play after the kickoff and Denning’s kick made it 49-0 with 10:42 to go in the half.
Lehman’s last score of the opening half came when Michael McFarland threw a 40-yard strike to Noah Young and Logan Bunker ran it in from eight yards out on the next snap. Denning’s kick made it 56-0 at that’s the way the team’s went to the locker room.
The only score in the second half came on a 50-yard drive by Lehman.
Gilardi had a 20-yard run, with Barhorst running for 17 yards and Sollmann running for eight.
Gilardi ran it in from eight yards out and kicked the PAT, making the final 63-0.
Gilardi was 4-for-5 passing for 69 yards, while McFarland was 2-for-5 for 54 yards.
Eight different ball carriers combined to run for 275 yards for Lehman.
Sollmann had seven carries for 72 yards, Gilardi had six for 68 and Barhorst had five for 62.
Young led the receivers with two catches for 54 yards.
Lehman, 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the NWCC, will play at Marion Elgin Friday.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.