Wow! That was about all that was left to say after the visiting Whitmer Panthers turned Friday night’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference football showdown into a lopsided 42-0 victory over Central Catholic before a standing-room-only crowd of 7,800 at Gallagher Stadium.
What looked like a dead-even matchup between two unbeaten teams — Central ranked No. 1 in Division II, Whitmer No. 5 in D-I — was nowhere near that.
The Panthers (10-0, 7-0 TRAC) topped the Irish (9-1, 6-1) 383-179 in total offense, and took full advantage of Central’s four first-half turnovers to win their fourth straight league championship and 28th consecutive regular-season game.
Perrysburg bruising running back Mark Delas sat on the sidelines with a grimace on his face and an ice pack on his knee as halftime neared, but the formidable runner was just getting started against cross-river rival Maumee.
Delas, a 6-foot-3 and 240 pound force, limped to the locker room with Perrysburg holding a 15-point lead at home Friday night.
Delas had already rushed for 117 yards and two scores at the half. Yet Delas, who also starts at middle linebacker, returned to lead the Yellow Jackets to a convincing 55-26 victory.
No matter the outcome of Friday night's title match between Bowsher and host Start, a City League championship was at stake and long overdue for both parties.
Jimmy Carter was President when either of the two teams claimed CL bragging rights.
Bowsher rode running back Khane Collins for four quarters, and the junior responded by rushing for 234 yards on 26 carries, including both of the Rebels’ scores to lead to a 16-15 victory over the Spartans.
"It was great," Bowsher coach Craig Lubinski said. "The kids played hard, and that's what we asked for them to do tonight. We told them if they did that they'd be City champs."
AROUND THE LEAGUES:
- CITY LEAGUE: Waite routs Woodward 68-18
- TRAC: Titans roll past Knights 39-17
- NLL: Napoleon secures outright crown
- NBC: Comets claim outright crown
- TAAC: Rangers romp to 6th consecutive title
- NWOAL: Bryan completes 10-0 season
- AREA: Ishmael leads Tigers to win; Perkins wins SBC
- SE MICH: Saline slips by Mules again