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Vandals go on road and thrash Panthers

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By Andrew Harner

The Vandals set season-high marks in several statistical categories and scored in each quarter during a 41-0 rout of Litchfield last Friday night.

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Senior Levi Ulmer rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, junior Tim Ritchey threw for 104 yards and a touchdown, and senior Quenten Austin had 73 yards on two catches and a touchdown. All those yardage marks were season-bests.

A 75-yard touchdown run by junior Ryan Ambuehl was also the team's longest scoring play of the year.

 "Our kids keep getting better at executing the offense each week," said coach John Stout on Monday. "Our perimeter and downfield blocking was excellent, and the offensive line got off the ball real well. 

"The presence of an inside and outside running game, along with the ability to complete passes, put their defense in a bind."

Ambuehl's run was actually the second score of the game for the Vandals (3-2), coming the drive after Ulmer had a 7-yard touchdown run.

Prior to his touchdown, Ulmer also had a burst of almost 30 yards.

In between those scores, it seemed that Litchfield (1-4) was going to even the score, as the Purple Panthers completed six passes to help drive to the Vandalia 10-yard line.

Ulmer sacked quarterback Alex Hull on a fourth-down play to end the threat.

"The spread is hard to simulate in practice, so it always takes us a series to adjust to the speed of the execution," Stout said. "Once we got settled in, they hardly moved the ball at all."

It wasn't until the fifth overall possession of the second half that the Vandals put more points on the board, this time coming from a 57-yard pass from Ritchey to Austin, with 1:02 left in the first half.

After forcing Litchfield to punt, and getting the ball back with 21 seconds left, the Vandals decided to continue moving the ball in hopes of gaining another big chunk of yards through the air, but Ritchey's pass attempt was intercepted.

Vandalia opened the second half by blocking a field goal on the first drive of the third quarter, and then moving the ball 85 yards down the field and scoring on a 27-yard run down the sideline by Ritchey to go ahead, 28-0.

A bad punt by the Purple Panthers on their next possession gave the Vandals a short field, and that turned into a 9-yard touchdown run for Ulmer.

Junior Alex Newsom closed the scoring in the fourth quarter, with his first career touchdown – a 15-yard rush.

Stats

Rushing: Ulmer, 18-159, 2 TD;  Ambuehl, 6-107, TD; Ritchey, 7-57; Newsom, 4-26; Bryan Hosick, 6-26; Dalton Smith, 1-10; Luke Smith, 2-6; Kip Taylor, 1-(-6)

Passing: Ritchey, 5-7, 104 yards, TD, INT

Receiving: Austin, 2-78, TD; Levi Carroll, 1-13; Hosick, 1-13; Ulmer, 1-5

 Defense: L. Smith, 9 tackles (one for loss), fumble recovery; Newsom, 8 tackles; Austin, 6 tackles; Blake Mills, 5 tackles (one for loss); Hosick, 4 tackles, fumble recovery; Jeff Lucken, 3 tackles (two for loss); Ritchey, 3 tackles; Ulmer, 2 tackles, sack; Chase Woolsey, tackle for loss. 

Week 6 Preview:

Time and place: Friday at 7 p.m. at Hillsboro.

 

Last time out: Vandalia scored 34 second-half points during a 48-19 rout of Hillsboro. Levi Ulmer had three rushing touchdowns and more than 150 yards to help Vandalia earn its third win of the year. 

 

Trends: The Vandals have recently done well against Hillsboro, having won the past four games against the Hilltoppers. Overall, however, Vandalia has struggled against Hillsboro, holding just a 17-42-1 record.

 

Stout says: Coach John Stout said, "Hillsboro is a power running team. We will have to be ready to play."

 

 Last week: Vandalia defeated Litchfield, 41-0, and Hillsboro defeated EAWR, 46-7, last week. The Vandals and Hilltoppers are both 3-2 on the season.