Patriots pull away from Pioneers


The Olentangy Liberty football team trailed 17-7 early in the second quarter, but outscored visiting Olentangy Orange 26-0 the rest of the way en route to a 33-17 win in the regular season finale Friday night in Powell.

After Jack Behre buried a 46-yard field goal to give the Pioneers (1-9, 1-4) a 10-point edge with 9:41 left in the second quarter, the Patriots (5-5, 2-3) answered with a quick 65-yard touchdown connection between quarterback Ryan Grohe and Chase Brecht at the 6:41 mark of the second.

After a Collin Mulder interception gave Liberty the ball back, Orange looked poised to come up with a key stop, forcing an incomplete pass and knocking Grohe out of the game for a play or two in the process.

Backup QB J.J. Sebert came in and calmly converted a third-and-17 play, though, picking up 26 yards on a run to the Pioneers’ 39-yard line. Three plays later, the Patriots were back in the end zone as Alex Okuley hauled in a 26-yard TD reception on what turned out to be the final play of the half.

A safety midway through the third ballooned the Liberty advantage to 23-17 before Brecht pushed the Patriot lead to 30-17 with a seven-yard TD run with 9:24 left in the game.

Connor Ingram added a 32-yard field goal with 3:20 left to seal the deal.

Jake Werling had a hand in both Orange scores. His 18-yard TD run opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game before connecting with Andre Robinson from 24 yards out to make it a 14-7 game late in the first.

Olentangy Berlin 42, Thomas Worthington 6

The Bears — the second-seeded team in the most recent Division II, Region 7 computer rankings — didn’t do anything to hurt their seeding Friday, dominating on both sides of the ball on the way to a lopsided league win over the visiting Cardinals.

Berlin (8-2, 4-1), which outgained Thomas (2-7, 0-5) 339-204, scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters to run away with things.

Dylan Reyes completed seven of his 11 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns — a 53-yard strike to Bennett Lawrence and a 75-yarder to Jason Harris.

Nick Tiberio led the Bears on the ground, collecting 100 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

Caleb Ortega led the Cards, finishing 16-for-29 passing for 145 yards.

Big Walnut 45, Canal Winchester 24

The Golden Eagles (10-0, 7-0) wrapped up a perfect regular season and outright league title Friday night, riding running back Nate Severs to a convincing OCC-Capital Division win over the host Indians.

Severs finished with a game-best 219 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. His first, set up by an 83-yard kickoff return by Garrett Stover on the game’s opening kickoff, made it 7-0 less than a minute into things. The last, meanwhile, made it a 42-17 game with 1:35 left in the third.

Canal (6-4, 4-3) was within striking distance at the break — down 28-17 thanks in part to a 67-yard TD run by Ethan McGlone and a 21-yard TD connection between QB Reece Musick and Travis Hines with 41 seconds left in the first half — but Severs and company were too much in the end.

Harvest Prep 18, Buckeye Valley 13

Marchello Cox scored twice in the first half to stake his team to an early lead, and the visiting Warriors (6-2, 5-0) held off the host Barons (5-5, 3-3) in the second half en route to a win Friday night in Delaware.

Cox broke the scoring seal with a pick six, returning an interception 65 yards to put his team up 6-0 with 4:46 left in the first quarter.

He made it 12-0 with a nine-yard TD grab midway through the second before Zane Lucas got BV on the board with a 17-yard touchdown run 20 seconds before halftime.

An Aidan Rogers 70-yard TD run with 6:22 left in the third made it 18-6 before BV’s Alex Contreras accounted for the final margin with a 16-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth.

Also: Delaware Hayes 49, Franklin Heights 0.

Olentangy Liberty’s Chase Brecht looks to put a move on Olentangy Orange’s Michael Clouse (12) during the first half of Friday’s OCC showdown in Powell. Liberty’s Chase Brecht looks to put a move on Olentangy Orange’s Michael Clouse (12) during the first half of Friday’s OCC showdown in Powell. Ben Stroup | The Gazete

By Ben Stroup

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