Homecoming was spoiled for perhaps all but 2019 queen Madelyn Ham on Friday at Defiance High School as the Bulldogs dropped their fifth game of the year in six tries at the hands of Lima Bath, 13-6.
The visiting Wildcats (2-4, 2-3 WBL) took advantage of big plays in long-yardage situations while the host Bulldogs (1-5, 1-4 WBL) were hamstrung by penalties and a pair of field goals kicked inside the five instead of potential touchdowns.
“Every time we had a big play tonight, it got wiped out by something or there was a mistake or a penalty,” said a frustrated Defiance head coach Kevin Kline. “We were working behind the chains and right now we’re not very good when we’re in second and long and third and long. That’s not us, that’s not who we are and that’s all we’re able to do.
“We’ve got to be able to score when we’re getting in the red zone. Our kicking game was pretty good tonight all the way around. But we need to come away with touchdowns.”
With points at a premium on the night, Defiance broke through late in a punt-filled first half. After a 28-completion from Aaron Cruz to Simeon Sweeney, the Bulldogs continued a march in the final two minutes of the second quarter, moving all the way to the Bath 11 with less than 10 seconds to go. A Cruz scramble got the Bulldogs to the Bath 3 to call timeout with a second to go, setting up a Jordan Hutcheson field goal to give Defiance a halftime lead.
Following a punt on their first possession of the second half, the Bulldogs again had the chance to seize momentum as a Carter Parlapiano fumble set Defiance up at the Bath 22 with 9:05 to go in the third. Defiance’s Cameron McDonald darted 21 yards to the goal line on the right pylon, but three straight runs up the gut moved the Bulldogs back six yards and the hosts were again forced to settle for a field goal, this time from 24 yards away.
From there on it was plenty of the same for Defiance as Bath converted a first-and-20 for a 55-yard screen pass to Parlapiano before Parlapiano scored on a 13-yard TD pass two plays later to give Bath a 7-6 lead.
The Bulldogs had a 10-yard pass wiped out by a holding call that would have moved the Bulldogs to the Bath 25 and were later forced to punt.
On the very next play, Bath ran a play-action pass with freshman receiver Blaine Albright streaking down the left sideline. The Defiance defensive back guarding Albright on the play stumbled while matching step for step, leaving Albright alone for a 62-yard completion for a score.
A missed extra point left the door open, however, but Defiance was forced to punt.
The Bulldog defense came up with the stop the team needed, however, as Bath’s 14-play drive stalled at the DHS 10 but wound 7:48 off the fourth-quarter clock.
Pinned back at their own 10 with just 121 seconds in regulation, Defiance managed just 37 yards in their attempt to tie before a completion to Caden Kline came up short well behind midfield, earning Bath its second win of the year.
“(Parlapiano) made a couple of really nice catches tonight,” said Kline. “We had decent coverage and we just couldn’t make a play on him. That’s a young team that’s getting better every week. We talked in the pregame, it’s about execution and we didn’t execute well enough to win that game.
“There’s not much to say other than we just didn’t do enough right to win. We didn’t deserve to win. They outplayed us, they outhustled us.”
The Bulldogs were held to just 178 yards of total offense in the loss, including 43 yards rushing on 32 carries.
Defiance will take to the road in week seven action at Celina, which nearly knocked off Ottawa-Glandorf in a 24-23 thriller. Meanwhile, Bath will host Wapakoneta in week seven.
First Downs 11 13
Rushing Yards 25-76 32-43
Passing Yards 220 135
Total Yards 296 178
Passing 11-16-0 13-24-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties 5-30 6-65
Lima Bath 0 0 7 6 — 13
Defiance 0 3 3 0 — 6
D — Hutcheson 20-field goal.
D — Hutcheson 24-field goal.
LB — Parlapiano 13-pass from McDermott (Simpson kick).
LB — Albright 62-pass from McDermott (kick failed).
RUSHING: Lima Bath — Johnson 11-40; Parlapiano 9-12; McDermott 5-24. Defiance — Goings 13-56; Cruz 9-(-22); Kellermyer 5-10; McDonald 2-17; Kline 2-10; Thompson 1-6. PASSING: Lima Bath — McDermott 11-16-0-220; Boedicker 1-1-0-10. Defiance — Cruz 13-24-0-135. RECEIVING: Lima Bath — Armentrout 4-45; Boedicker 4-41; Parlapiano 3-82; Albright 1-62; Simpson 1-17. Defiance — Kline 4-35; Sweeney 3-47; Rivera 2-17; Goings 2-13; Pearson 1-17; Haynes 1-6.