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Published: 11/20/2005

Hardin Northern eliminated

SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

LIMA, Ohio - It was Andrew DeWitt left. Andrew DeWitt right. Andrew DeWitt inside and Andrew DeWitt outside.

Delphos St. John's DeWitt ran for 195 second-half yards, including three touchdowns last night, as the Blue Jays handed defending state champion Hardin Northern a 19-7 loss at Lima Stadium in the Division VI, Region 24 final.

Delphos St. John's, state champions in 1997, '98 and '99, will play Hopewell-Loudon, a 43-14 winner over Norwalk St. Paul, Saturday in a state semifinal.

After a scoreless first half, Delphos St. John's handed the ball to DeWitt on six straight plays as the senior went all 60 yards on the opening drive of the second half. He capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run on a pitch sweep.

"DeWitt just did a heck of a job running the ball," Delphos St. John's coach Todd Schulte said.

Hardin Northern tied the score early in the fourth quarter when Nathan Bame backed into the end zone from two yards out, but DeWitt came right back with a 59-yard sprint down the right side on the next play from scrimmage to put the Blue Jays back on top.

DeWitt, who finished the night with 236 yards on 33 carries, added one more score on a 7-yard run with 1:07 left in the contest.

The Blue Jays (11-2), who are able to two-platoon, seemed to wear down Hardin Northern, which had 10 players going both ways, late in the contest.

"We were hoping to wear them down, but in the middle of the third quarter I didn't know if that would be true," Schulte said. "They are physical."

Hardin Northern had a good chance to score midway through the third period after a Bame interception. The Polar Bears ran the ball four times from inside the St. John's 5-yard line, but each time were turned back.

"We just could not move the ball," Hardin Northern coach Pete Brunow said. "We had a couple of great opportunities, but they stopped us."

Delphos St. John's had a number of opportunities in the first half, getting inside Hardin Northern's 35 three times.

Hardin Northern finished the night with just 56 yards rushing on 33 attempts.



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