TC rebounds with win

This was a little more of what Brian Colatruglio had in mind.

One week after his team suffered its first home loss in four years, the Columbian coach saw another strong defensive effort from his squad.

This time, his offense did its part, too.

Ryan Lynch ran for 154 yards and three touchdowns, and the Tornadoes capitalized on five Maumee turnovers to top the Panthers, 27-7 Friday night at Frost-Kalnow Stadium.

“Our defense was flying around and hitting people,” Colatruglio said. “Almost all those fumbles, they were all forced. Our defense, again, they’re playing hard, they’re playing good.”

And the offense, led by Lynch and punishing offensive line, got going.

With the game scoreless in the second quarter, TC (1-1) quarterback Stone Simmons connected with Nate Hoyda over the middle. The pass only went about 10 yards, but Hoyda outran the defenders for what became a 67-yard scoring play.

It was Hoyda’s only catch of the day, and Columbian’s longest play from scrimmage.

“Nate, he waited his turn,” Colatruglio said. “He was sitting behind seniors, waited his turn, and he’s really paid off. He’s solid for us.”

The Tornadoes upped their lead to 13-0 when Lynch found the end zone from 8 yards out with 1:34 to go in the second quarter.

Lynch was a workhorse, getting the ball 25 times.

“He’s our go-to guy,” Colatruglio said. “We’re gonna sprinkle Spencer [Franklin] in there, he’s a different type of back, plus Ryan does a lot on defense too. But when we needed to take control of the game, we put the ball in (Lynch’s) hands.”

Franklin, who carried the ball 10 times in the fourth quarter, finished with 70 yards on the ground, and the Tornadoes had 274 overall.

Maumee (0-2) opened the third quarter by turning the ball over on its first three possessions. The Panthers lost a pair of fumbles, and quarterback Brian Utter was intercepted by the Tornadoes’ Cliff Miller.

Columbian turned two of those miscues into points; Lynch ran in touchdowns of 6 and 1 yards.

“Turnovers are the tale of the ballgame for us,” Maumee coach Marc Gibson said. “I don’t know if we had five, six … I can’t even tell you, we had so many.

“You’re not gonna win, and you don’t deserve to win when you put the ball on the ground,” he said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to make a more competitive game.”

The Panthers finally broke through in the fourth quarter, when Utter flipped the ball to a wide open Jeff Goatley for 6-yard touchdown pass with 10:46 left.

The Panthers recovered a TC fumble on the ensuing kickoff and drove the ball to the Columbian 27. On a fourth-and-9, Utter threw a dart to Zak Mathias, who picked up the first down and took the ball to about the TC 10 before he was hit and fumbled. Columbian recovered.

“Coming in here, we’re a young team and we’re still learning, still learning how to play this game at a high level on a Friday night for four quarters,” said Gibson, the former Clyde coach. “The more experienced we get, the better we’re gonna be.”

The Tornado offense then ran a 15-play drive, which went 70 yards and ran out the clock.

Colatruglio called 15 runs.

“Our offensive line took over the game,” he said.

Simmons, making his second start at QB, completed 4 of 7 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.

“He made some good plays, made some good reads,” Colatruglio said. “Most of our completions were off the run game, and I think that’s what we can be good at.”