TOLEDO — It was tough for the Midview fans to watch. It was tough for the Middies to go through. It was even hard for opposing coach Rick Dempsey to witness.
“What happened to Midview is what happened to us last week against (Toledo) Whitmer,” Dempsey said. “Things just snowballed early, and it’s definitely not indicative of how their season has gone or what type of team they are.”
Toledo Central Catholic scored and scored and scored on Midview, finding the end zone on six straight first-half drives and breezing to a 50-7 victory in a Division II, Region 6 quarterfinal Friday night.
The Fighting Irish (10-1) blitzed junior quarterback Cody Callaway every time he dropped into the pocket, and they cut down Midview runners before they could even reach the line of scrimmage. The Middies finished the first half with five rushing attempts for minus-11 yards.
“Our inability to run the ball has been our Achilles heel all season,” Midview coach Bill Albright said. “We can pass pro with the best of them, but we have to make plays … bottom line.
Good football teams, 11th week, you have to make plays … and we didn’t make plays tonight on either side of the ball or on special teams.”
Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer made enough plays for two teams. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior completed 10 of 14 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran seven times for 32 yards and another two scores.
Callaway, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season, couldn’t match the spectacular play of his counterpart. He was often chased out of the pocket or forced to throw before he was ready, leading to an 8-for-35 performance and two interceptions.
“I thought my line protected me really well, I only got sacked once or twice,” Callaway said. “The key to that is when they bring (the pressure) you have to get rid of the ball as fast as you can. We worked on it all week. We knew they were going to blitz when we went five wide, so we put in different quicks and slants and stuff. But it definitely made it tough with all their blitzes.”
Callaway still completed several long passes, and finally connected for a 5-yard touchdown with senior wide receiver Eric Lauer in the fourth quarter. He did enough — on tape and in the game — to impress his opponents.
“That kid’s a great quarterback,” Dempsey said. “We’ve seen a lot of great quarterbacks and he’s right up there with any of them that are going on to play college football. We had to disrupt his timing, because if you let him he’s going to pick you apart.
“You have to put some heat on him and plus get some sacks and, boy, he got out of some of them, too. He’s a very underrated kid when it comes to his mobility.”
The Middies (9-2) did start strong with a three-and-out stop of the Irish on the game’s first possession. But Toledo Central Catholic matched the defensive stop and the offense began to roll.
Junior running back Paul Moses — starting for the injured Amir Edwards — zipped through the Middies defenders and Kizer finished them off with a 2-yard dive into the end zone. The Irish made it an 8-0 lead when Kizer couldn’t handle the PAT snap, spun out of a tackle and lofted a pass to Ian Butler for a 2-point conversion.
Kizer added another 2-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, and threw two touchdown passes to Derich Weiland to make it 29-0 early in the second quarter.
Weiland, who had to fight through a Midview pass interference on a 46-yarder in the first, made an incredible diving catch in the end zone on a 35-yarder.
Kizer’s last two touchdown passes were to senior tight end Keith Towbridge — one on a timing pass on the edge of the end zone and the other across the middle to beat a Middies zone.
“They’re a good football team and it would have taken a great, great effort on our part to compete with them, but I don’t know if we really competed tonight and that’s unfortunate,” Albright said. “You have to make plays in big games and that’s the bottom line.
“You have to get off the line of scrimmage, you have to fight, you have to compete. We thought if we could make them throw that would play into our hands. Have to watch film to see what happened secondary-wise, but it was bad out there. It was bad. It almost looked like junior high football.”
Albright said one of the big regrets of the game was that his team didn’t put forth the effort he believed the Midview fans who traveled to see the game deserved. He also would have liked the first playoff game any of his players experienced to be a little more fun.
“It’s good in one respect to get the experience, but on the other side it’s not good getting your butt kicked,” Albright said. “That doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth. It was a good year — 9-1 — good year. We played some great football. It’s just right now it’s a little sour because of this, and that’s unfortunately the way the playoffs go.”
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.