Davin Kinsman broke loose for a 54-yard run early in the first quarter and the Toledo sideline took a sigh of relief.
It was the first indication that Toledo was right where it wanted to be. And it wasn’t a false reading. The Indians, behind 150 yards on the ground from Kinsman, another 113 from Duke Schaplow and 93 from Trey Rego, raced past the Raymond Seagulls 47-9 in a 2B Crossover game at Schroeder Field on Thursday, claiming a spot in the 2B Round of 16.
“It was a big relief, that first drive,” Toledo coach Mike Christensen said. “You watch film on a team, you watch so much film. You watch, seven, eight, nine, ten hours of a team and everyone starts to look good. You know you can get beat by anyone, so you go in worried about how you will respond and our guys responded really well and executed the gameplan perfectly.”
Thursday wasn’t about how Toledo won. The Indians (7-3) bullied the Seagulls (4-6) all night, sending Kinsman or Schaplow or Rego to big runs with sound blocking and elusive, weaving runs.
That much was clear. Kinsman had 122 yards in the first quarter. All of Schaplow’s 113 came in the second period. Both of Rego’s two touchdowns were in the first period, as well.
Toledo also held Joseph Villalpando to just 16 first-half yards (he finished with 91). Without McCartney Maden, Toledo knew what the main option was and totally eliminated him while the clock was still operating normally.
But that wasn’t what the night was about.
It was about getting into the bracket, where anything can happen.
After the game, the Toledo coaches reminded their players that some thought that 2019 would be a year that wouldn’t feature Toledo in the final 16, to keep proving those folks wrong.
The Indians have taken it to heart.
“We just want to prove everybody wrong,” Kinsman said. “We’re out here working our butts off. Our linemen are doing great. It’s incredible for us.”
Toledo certainly played like it had something to prove.
The Indians got the ball first and, on the third play, Kinsman shot through the Raymond secondary and down his own sideline, claiming the 54 yards and flipping the field, getting to the Raymond 20. Two plays later, Rego got the corner with a stiff arm and scored. Schaplow found Carlo Arceo-Hansen for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead with not quite three minutes taken off the clock.
Toledo handed Raymond a first down on the ensuing drive with a 15-yard illegal helmet contact penalty on third down that the Toledo sideline did not like.
It mattered little, though, as Raymond punted shortly thereafter and Toledo scored quickly again.
Kinsman ran for 14, Rego ran for 24, Kinsman ran for 34 than Rego punched in one from 3 yards out, then Arceo-Hansen ran one in for two. The stable of backs that Toledo has makes it difficult for any defense to key on one guy.
“We got four good running backs,” Kinsman said. “Me, Duke, Trey, Carlo, Jacob Marley. We’re out there working our butts off and our great line, of course.”
Raymond again punted, this time in a three-and-out, and Schaplow broke a 66-yard score down the Raymond sideline three plays later. Schaplow himself added the two points and Toledo led 24-0 with still 1:25 left in the initial period.
Toledo got the ball back almost right after, retaking possession with 10:02 and embarked on its lone long scoring drive.
It was nine-plays long (no other Toledo drive was longer than five) and more reminiscent of the Toledo offense: plodding, willing to take short gains to wear down a defense.
It finally ended with a 1-yard plunge from Schaplow, backed by a Jacob Marley run, that put Toledo up 32-0.
After a turnover on downs, a 44-yard scamper from Rego set up an eventual 4-yard scoring run from Arceo-Hansen with a Kinsman two-point run and Toledo had done enough to start the running clock in the second half.
After halftime, Toledo emptied its bench and Raymond had some minor success. Jose Delgado kicked a 31-yard field goal after a Toledo drive stalled at its own 19, then Villalpando scored on a 46-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
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“We knew going in (Villalpando) was their guy,” Christensen said. “(Maden) is also a good athlete for them and he had a broken hand. So we knew that (Villalpando) was gonna be their offense and we knew if we stopped him, we’d have a good chance to win. And our guys did that really well.”
After the field goal, though, Schaplow took a reverse handoff on the ensuing kickoff and added a 75-yard kickoff return score to the mix.
The only thing Toledo didn’t do was pass the ball. Schaplow was 0-for-2.
With a pseudo-day off on Friday, Toledo awaits its fate from the seeding committee.
Christensen doesn’t know where his squad will land. He doesn’t much care. After a rocky September, the Indians are in.
That’s all that matters.
“We’ve shown that we deserve, definitely, to be in that top 16, maybe even the top 8,” Christensen said. “I know it’s gonna be tough with our record — three losses — but our three losses are two three really good teams. So we’ll have to see how it shakes out. We’ll be ready to go.”
Toledo 47, Raymond 9
Raymond; 0; 0; 3; 6;—;9
Toledo; 24; 16; 7; 0;—;47
T: Trey Rego 19 run (Carlo Arceo-Hansen pass from Duke Schaplow)
T: Rego 3 run (Arceo-Hanson run)
T: Schaplow 66 run (Schaplow run)
T: Schaplow 1 run (Jacob Marley run)
T: Arceo-Hanson 4 run (Kinsman run)
R: Jose Delgado 31 field goal
T: Schaplow 75 kickoff return (Rowdy Kirkendall kick)
R: Joseph Villalpando 46 run (run failed)
RUSHING — R: Joseph Villalpando 19-91, Audison Phimmasone 10-20, Jose Delgado 5-5, Adrian Quintana 2-(-4). T: Davin Kinsman 9-150, Duke Schaplow 7-113, Trey Rego 5-93, Carlo Arceo-Hanson 3-12, Justin Filla 1-5, Jacob Marley 2-3, Geoffrey Glass 1-3, Ryan Bloomstrom 2-(-3), Zane Raney 1-(-4).
PASSING — R: Adrian Quintana 2-7-0, 22. T: Duke Schaplow 0-2-0, 0.
RECEIVING — R: Joseph Villalpando 2-22.