LEIPSICK — Both Leipsic and Bluffton have proven they can run.

But the difference was Bluffton’s passing game.

Bluffton beat Leipsic 34-14 on Friday night at John Edwards Stadium.

Bluffton is 5-2, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Leipsic is 3-4, 2-2 in the NWC.

“Our Achilles’ heel the last few years has been our inability to pass,” Bluffton coach Jeff Richards said. “We’ve got speed this year and we’ve got some guys, if they get the ball in their hands, they can score at any moment. And our quarterback, Garrett Bogart, is getting better at the little things, and I’m very proud of this group considering a lot of people picked us not to play in the conference this year.”

Leipsic rolled out Hayden Higel, who finished with 31 carries for 172 yards and two TDs.

Bluffton faced Landen Worcester, who had 21 carries for 171 yards and two TDs.

Bluffton quarterback Garrett Bogart hit non-stop slant and crossing patterns most of the night. He completed 8 of 12 for 174 yards. He threw TD passes of 29, 20 and 9 yards.

“With what we do in the option, we’re very scary on the perimeter when we run,” Richards said. “So they tried to pick up some things on the perimeter that opened it up in the middle.”

Bluffton led 7-0 after the first quarter and 14-8 at the half.

After Higel’s 5-yard score, Leipsic cut Bluffton’s lead to 20-14 with 11:14 left.

But Bogart put together a 6-play, 65-yard drive down the field for the score.

Bogart hit Gavin Bogart with a 20-yard TD pass to give the Pirates a 27-14 lead with 8:43 to play.

Bluffton went down the field again on its next possession and when Worcester scored from the 1, it was 34-14 Bluffton with 5:04 to play.

“He (Garrett Bogart) made an interception early in the game and bounced off it,” Richards said. “It’s resilience. You don’t have it naturally. You have it with experience. And his brother (Gavin) gave us some big plays at receiver.”

Leipsic started defenseman Quinn Schroeder, who suffered a calf strain last week. He threw for 87 yards.

Tommy Offenbacher came out and threw a 104.

On the third play from scrimmage, Bluffton running back Landen Wooster took a pass from the right tackle and then returned it 69 yards for a TD.

That gave Bluffton a 7-0 lead with 11:10 left in the first quarter.

On Leipsic’s second possession, the Vikings pounded it to the ground behind Northwest Conference leading rusher Hayden Higel.

The Vikings put together a 14-play, 80-yard TD drive with Higel leapfrogging the pile from the 2 for a 2-yard TD.

The two-point conversion gave Leipsic an 8-7 lead with 10:42 left in the second quarter.

On the drive, Higel had 10 carries for 66 yards.

Bluffton then put together a 10-play, 76-yard drive, mixing it up between the run and the pass.

Bluffton quarterback Garrett Bogart hit Braden Jordan on a slant pass over the middle for a 29-yard TD.

That gave Bluffton a 14-8 lead with 6:59 left in the second quarter.

Higel had 19 carries for 109 yards in the half.

Worcester had 120 yards on nine carries.

Contact the Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.