Celtics trip up Bears, 17-7


The Olentangy Berlin football team got something going in the third quarter, but couldn’t climb out of a 17-0 first-half hole as host Dublin Jerome held on for a 17-7 OCC-Cardinal Division win Friday night in Dublin.

The outcome, coupled with Thomas Worthington’s 35-17 win over Marysville, sets up a four-way tie atop the league standings as Berlin, Jerome, Thomas and Marysville all have 2-1 records in OCC play.

With first-place on the line, the Celtics (7-1, 2-1 OCC) started fast, scoring on their opening possession to set the tone. Luke McLoughlin broke free for a 30-yard gain to the Bears’ 27 before quarterback Zack Tschirhart found Marek Tzagournis on play action for an 11-yard score. Carter Holden added the point-after attempt to make it a 7-0 game less than five minutes in.

The Bears (5-3, 2-1 OCC) looked poised for a response as QB Harrison Brewster found Joe Beaumier for 29 yards on their first turn with the ball, but the drive stalled at the Jerome 24 when the Celtics came up with a stop on a fourth-and-five play.

Berlin’s Aiden Eviston sacked Tschirhart on the next drive to put Jerome behind the chains, but Tschirhart found Tzagournis for 31 yards on a third-and-20 to keep the drive alive.

The Bear defense stiffened from there, but a 30-yard field goal from Holden pushed the lead to 10-0 to make it a two-score game with five seconds left in the opening quarter.

It got worse for Berlin before it got better as Tschirhart and McLoughlin hooked up for an eight-yard TD strike with 2:02 left in the first half to balloon the lead to 17-0 at the break.

The Bears, in desperate need of getting something going, did just that out of the locker room. After the defense forced a punt, Brewster hit Beaumier and Aaron Nebraska for gains of 18 and 15, respectively, pushing the ball to the Celtic four before Brewster found Evan Fabrizio for a three-yard touchdown one play later. Spencer Conrad added the PAT to make it a 17-7 game with 4:28 left in the third.

Berlin had a couple shots at getting closer in the fourth quarter, but its first drive ended with a Conrad punt before an interception by Jerome’s Kyle White ended the second.

The Bears got the ball one more time, but started at their own one-yard line with 2:39 left. They got out of the shadow of their own end zone when Brewster connected with Jared Moeller for a 13-yard gain with just over two minutes left, but the Celtics took over three incompletions and short run later before running out the final minute and change.

Brewster led Berlin, but was never able to get much going on the ground. He completed 15 of his 32 passes for 174 yards and a score, but ran for just 25 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Bears had just 49 yards on the ground.

Tschirhart, meanwhile, completed 22 of his 26 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. McLoughlin had 102 yards rushing and Tzagournis had 10 grabs for 107 yards and his score.

Berlin will host Marysville next Friday before traveling to Thomas Worthington for the regular-season finale Oct. 21.

Dublin Jerome’s Marek Tzagournis (11) tackles Olentangy Berlin’s Jared Moeller (13) during the first half of Friday’s OCC-Cardinal Division showdown in Dublin.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_berlintrip.jpgDublin Jerome’s Marek Tzagournis (11) tackles Olentangy Berlin’s Jared Moeller (13) during the first half of Friday’s OCC-Cardinal Division showdown in Dublin.
Jerome win sets up four-way tie atop league standings

By Ben Stroup

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Ben Stroup | The Gazette

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