The Olentangy Liberty football team used a familiar formula to knock off rival and visiting Olentangy Orange, coupling a stingy defense with a strong ground game to earn a 21-7 OCC-Central Division win in Friday’s regular-season finale.
Offensively, the Patriots (3-7, 2-3) rushed for nearly 300 yards — 298 with an average of 6.5 yards a carry. Defensively, they held the Pioneers (4-6, 2-3) to just one score and less than 200 yards of total offense.
It’s a blueprint that works well this time of year … and it worked well for Liberty on a cool, damp, windy night in Powell.
It was anyone’s game at halftime, with Liberty clinging to a 7-0 edge, but the Patriots started the second half with a huge scoring drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown run from Jake Struck — his second of the night.
The drive, which lasted until the 3:35 mark of the third, featured a heavy dose of Struck while eating up the majority of the quarter. It was a microcosm of the game as a whole, as Struck rushed for a game-best 164 yards and three touchdowns.
His third — a seven-yarder — came as Liberty jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the fourth.
Orange got the last score back, pulling within 21-7 when Levi Davis hit Hunter Bright with a 12-yard scoring strike, but that’s as close as things would get.
Andrew Leonard backed struck with a big night of his own, rushing for 97 yards while completing 14 of his 20 passes for another 169 through the air.
Struck and Wilson Roberts had four receptions apiece while Christian Moulton hauled in three grabs for 36 yards.
Davis led Orange, completing 12 of his 20 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 55 yards. Will Musgrove was his top target, finishing with four receptions for 51 yards.
Also: Delaware Hayes 30, Franklin Heights 6; Big Walnut 17, Canal Winchester 0; Buckeye Valley 23, Whitehall-Yearling 7; Olentangy 39, Marysville 29.