SIDNEY — Lehman Catholic continued its rebound from an 0-3 start on Saturday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
The 43-12 win over Marion Elgin evened the Cavaliers record to 3-3 overall and improved them to 3-0 in the NWCC heading into a big game at Hardin Northern (4-2, 2-1) on Friday.
“We felt like we could have won two of the first three games,” Lehman Catholic coach Richard Roll said. “This was a good win for us.”
And once again, it was the R.J. Bertini-Brendan O’Leary connection doing plenty of damage for Lehman.
Bertini completed 16-of-29 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns, while O’Leary hauled in eight passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
“Brendan (O’Leary) had a big game,” Roll said. “Really it wasn’t (the passing game by design). He R.J. (Bertini) has the option based on what he reads. A lot of those pass plays were runs, where he changed the play.”
After an Elgin punt, Lehman got on the board early — starting from the Comets 45-yard line.
Bertini had an 11-yard pass to Tyler Sollmann on the drive and finished it with a four-yard TD pass to Nathan Sollmann. The PAT kick failed and Lehman led 6-0 with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Lehman made it 12-0 early in the second quarter on a 5-yard TD run by Andrew Barhorst to cap a 22-yard drive. The PAT kick failed and it was 12-0 with 10:18 remaining in the half.
Elgin got untracked on its next drive, going 35 yards in six plays after a long kickoff return.
Kevin Kline ran it in from four yards out and the try for two on the PAT failed, making it 12-6 with 7:44 remaining in the half. Lehman would go 57 yards in four plays after the kickoff.
Consecutive passes to O’Leary of 19 and 31 yards moved the ball down to the 1-yard line and Bertini ran it in from there. Ethan Potts kick made it 19-6 with 7:00 remaining in the half.
Lehman got the ball back at the Comets’ 37 after a turnover on downs and it took just one play to get in the end zone, with Bertini throwing to O’Leary for 37 yards and the score. Potts’ kick made it 26-6 with 5:30 remaining in the half.
Lehman got the ball back with 1:29 to go in the half and took it them just 19 seconds and three plays to go 74 yards.
After a 25-yard run by Tyler Sollmann, Bertini threw to O’Leary for 33 and 16 yards, the latter for a touchdown. Potts’ PAT kick made it 33-6 at the break.
Lehman started the second half with Johnny Edwards returning the kickoff 67 yards to the Comets 14-yard line. After three incomplete passes, Potts booted a 26-yard field goal to make it 36-6 and put the game in a running clock.
Lehman’s final score came after overcoming several penalties. Bertini appeared to throw a 75-yard TD pass to O’Leary, but a clip that had no affect on the touchdown brought the ball back to the Comet 33.
An offensive pass interference moved it back to the 48, but the Cavaliers would eventually scored on a three-yard pass from Bertini to O’Leary. Potts’ PAT kick made it 43-6.
“We still had stupid plays and mistakes we have to clean up,” Roll said.
Elgin scored a late touchdown on a 15-yard TD run by Kline. The two-point try failed, making the final 43-12.
Tempers flared in the final two minutes and no more plays were run before the clock ran out.
“I am not blaming anyone for what happened there,” Roll said. “Good to get win. We have a big game next week with Harden Northern.”
After continuing their momentum with a third straight win and evening their record on the season.