ELKHART — The Jimtown football team is getting healthy and getting stronger as the clock ticks towards the state playoffs.
Friday night in a cold, driving rain, the Jimmies rushed for 268 yards and dominated arch-rival Bremen, beating the Lions 43-7 on senior night to improve to 4-4 on the year.
"We've been building well the last two weeks as we get closer to the sectional,'' Jimtown coach Mike Campbell said. "We're running the ball well and really playing good defense. I thought we did a great job tonight of taking away what Bremen likes to do offensively.''
Bremen finished with just 92 total yards – 45 coming on a tremendous catch by Hunter Bennitt that set-up the Lions' only touchdown.
While the Jimtown defense forced just one turnover, the hard-hitting Jimmies – led by linebacker Casey Pratt and safety Clay Campbell – made things miserable for the Lions, holding them to just 32 yards rushing and harassing quarterback Ethan Nunemaker all evening.
Offensively, the Jimmies kept it simple, with a talented group of running backs pounding the ball through the wind and rain.
Senior Ethan Devol led the way for Jimtown with exactly 100 yards on 16 carries, while scoring a pair of touchdowns. Classmate Trey Washington, rounding into form after returning from an ACL injury during basketball season, added 72 yards on just four carries. Cole Thompson and Oscar Zelaya also had good moments for the Jimmies and all four backs carried the ball at least once in the first quarter.
"Those kids are competitive and all four of them want to play,'' Campbell said. "But at the same time, they'll block for each other and encourage each other in practice and just go all out. It's great when you have a bunch of guys that get along as well as this team does and no one cares who gets the credit.''
While Jimtown dominated the first half, the lead was only nine at halftime (16-7), thanks in part to Bennitt's catch.
A 37-yard field goal by Isaac Daniels and a two-yard touchdown run by Duval had the Jimmies up 10-0 early in the second quarter.
That's when Nunemaker thew a strike to Bennitt down the sidelines for a 45-yard gain to the Jimtown 5. Bennitt made the catch while battling Jimtown corner Dustin Whitman for the ball in mid-air. The Lions cut the lead to 10-7 three plays later on a one-yard run by Blake Dingus.
But the Jimmies took advantage of a personal foul on Bremen to score right before halftime on a bruising 12-yard touchdown run by Duval to make it 16-7.
"I thought we had played well, but a couple big plays and they're right in it,'' Campbell said. "Thankfully, we were able to get things going again in the third quarter.''
The Jims would dominated the third quarter, scoring three times to put the game away.
Quarterback Clay Campbell scored on runs of 14 and one yard, while Washington picked up a fumble by Devol on the five-yard line and ran it in for another touchdown.
Thompson would complete the scoring on the second play of the fourth quarter in a 15-yard run, which meant a running clock for the rest of the game.
"I really like where we are right now,'' Mike Campbell said. "It's great to send our seniors off with a nice win at home. Obviously, we're not guaranteed another home game this year with the tournament draw, so it's a great win.''
JIMTOWN 43, BREMEN 7
Scoring By Quarters
J — Isaac Daniels 37 field goal; 6:20.
J — Ethan Devol 2 run; Daniels kick; 2:30.
B — Blake Dingus 1 run; Lenni Diaz kick; 10:10.
J — Devol 12 run; kick failed; 2:02.
J — Clay Campbell 14 run; Daniels kick; 8:30.
J — Trey Washington 5 run with recovered fumble; kick failed; 6:37.
J — Campbell 1 run; Daniels kick; 2:55.
J — Cole Thompson 15 run; Daniels kick; 11:18.
Bremen: Rushing — Blake Dingus 8-22, Hunter Bennitt 2-6. Passing — Ethan Nunemaker 4-11-60, Bennitt 0-1. Receiving — Bennitt 1-45, Sam Huffman 3-12.
Jimtown: Rushing — Ethan Devol 16-100, Trey Washington 4-72, Cole Thompson 5-52, Clay Campbell 4-19. Passing — Campbell 5-7-44. Receiving — Washington 3-24, Dustin Whitman 1-14, Devol 1-7.