Dayton hasn’t been able to win three straight against Ludlow since 2007, but that all changed Friday night at O.W. Davis Field.
The Greendevils exploited the turnovers and penalties by the Panthers for a 22-6 win.
From start to finish Dayton had control. The star of the game, Mason Johnson put six points on the scoreboard to strike first after a six-yard rushing touchdown.
Ludlow tried everything, but couldn’t get anything going for the majority of the game. Jackson Mays threw one of his two interceptions on the next possession.
After a few bumps in the road for Dayton, they got back on track. On a trick play, Mason Johnson threw a 20-yard pass to land the Greendevils in the redzone. It was followed by his second touchdown and a two-point conversion.
“We are a run first team. Tonight, was right out of our playbook. They had possession for a total of four minutes in the first half. We kept running and running the ball and when we run like that it opens our passing game up. The trick play? It was all based off the run.” Greendevil coach Jessie Herbst said.
At the half, Johnson already had a stat line of a rushing and receiving touchdown to go with a combined 91 yards.
Right into the second half Ludlow was stopped on downs. On their next drive, Ethan Powell made a house call, but it was called back due to another flag. That was the theme for the Panthers. In total, they had 10 penalties for 95 yards.
Though Dayton came out with the win, they also struggled with penalties. They had 11 penalties for 100 yards.
The Panthers finally found the endzone in the fourth quarter on a Breckin Ralston 15-yard touchdown run to make it 16-6 with 8:12 to play.
In what could have been a drive to get just a step closer another interception was thrown and Eric Simpson brought it back for another touchdown and the icing on the cake.
Ludlow had four turnovers. Two interceptions and two fumbles.
The difference-maker Johnson finished with 72 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 20 passing yards, 26 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.
“It was all of us together. The running, passing, the blocks, it wasn’t just me. My confidence all night was pretty good. Normally I get really nervous before games, but tonight I was confident. I didn’t get nervous at all. I knew our team was going to go out there and do something special tonight.” Johnson said.
This win was a step in the right direction for the Greendevils, getting back to .500 at 2-2.
“This win was amazingly big. This team has fourteen seniors that’s packed with talent. They knew they had to learn to play as a team and play as a family. They figured out how to do that tonight. It’s something we haven’t done for three weeks, but we did it and it showed on the scoreboard. We’ve got a long road ahead and a lot of work to do, but again tonight was huge for us.” Herbst said.
The Panthers fell to 1-2, finishing with 205 yards on offense.
The Greendevils are back on the road to Sayre next week, while Ludlow will try and bounce back at home against Newport.
GREENDEVILS 22, PANTHERS 6
LUDLOW — 0-0-0-6 — 6
DAYTON — 8-8-0-6 — 22
(D) Johnson 6-yard run (7:49) Nickell run
(D) Nickell 6-yard pass to Johnson (18.7) Johnson run
(L) Ralston 15-yard run (8:12) Run failed
(D) Simpson 46-yard interception (6:31) Run failed
Passing Yards: Dayton 46 (Nickell 3/7, Johnson 1/2), Ludlow 85 (Mays 4/20)
Rushing Yards: Dayton 120 (Johnson 21-72, Jimenez 13-32, Nickell 12-16), Ludlow 120 (Ralston 8-61, Anness 12-60, Brandenburg 1-15, Mays 3-(minus)16)
Receiving: Dayton (Johnson 3-26, Baffoni 1-20), Ludlow (Garrett 3-52, Powell 1-33)
Turnovers: Dayton 1, Ludlow 4
Penalties: Dayton 11-100, Ludlow 10-95
Records: Dayton 2-2, Ludlow 1-2