By Ben Stroup
Liberty rushed for a season-best eight touchdowns, including two each from Brendon White and Derek Ritter, to cruise to a convincing 54-0 OCC-Central Division win over visiting Thomas Worthington Friday in Powell.
Not a bad way to head into the postseason.
Quarterback Alex Lando, back after sitting out the last handful of games with an injury, made his presence felt right away, scoring on a seven-yard TD run with 9:50 left in the first quarter. The score was the first of four the Patriots (7-3, 4-3) put on the board in the first.
White scored from six yards out two minutes later, Johnny Wiseman scored on a five-yard run not long after and White added his second TD of the period 26 seconds before it ended, making it 28-0 to all but seal the deal just 12 minutes in.
Backup quarterback Corbin Rapier scored from two yards out early in the second, Ritter scored from 46 yards out in the third and 16 yards away in the fourth and Zach Zabonik smoothed out the scoring summary with an eight-yard TD run with 1:15 to play in the game.
Liberty outgained Thomas 442-185, covering 276 yards on the ground and another 166 through the air.
Ritter finished with 102 rushing yards to go with his two scores while White was the team’s second-leading rusher with 47 yards and the two TDs on nine carries.
Wiseman led the receiving corps, finishing with five receptions for 120 yards.
North Union 26, Buckeye Valley 3
Sam Scharff connected on a 39-yard field goal with 9:15 left in the third quarter, but the three points were the first and last the Barons would score during Friday’s season-ending 26-3 loss to host North Union.
BV (5-5, 4-3 MOAC) quarterback Tim Schilling completed 19 of his 37 passes for 206 yards, but the Barons managed just four yards on the ground.
Gabe Miller was Schilling’s top target, finishing with seven grabs covering 99 yards.
Nate Hammons led the Wildcats (5-5, 3-4 MOAC), who rushed for 328 yards, with 136 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Luke Krawczyk was also solid, rushing for 124 yards and a score of his own.
Worthington Kilbourne 31, Orange 28, OT
Orange rallied from a 28-7 halftime deficit to send the game into overtime, but a 32-yard field goal from Josh Stoner ended the upset bid as host Kilbourne survived 31-28 Friday in Worthington.
Down by the three scores at the break, Pioneer QB J.D. Dayhuff started the second-half surge with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Collins at the 9:01 mark of the third.
After the defense got a stop, Dayhuff and Hunter Shepherd connected for a 59-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game with four minutes to go in the third. Dayhuff then found Collins again, this time for a 21-yard strike, to even things at 28 with 4:05 left in the fourth.
Orange (3-7, 3-4 OCC) outgained Kilbourne (9-1, 6-1 OCC) 351-233 in what was one of its most efficient offensive efforts of the season.
The Pioneers, led by Dayhuff’s 244 passing yards and four TDs, didn’t turn the ball over. Shepherd was his top target, finishing with four grabs for 116 yards and the two scores.
Isaiah Young had a monster game for the Wolves, finishing with 178 yards on just 19 carries.
Also: Franklin Heights 52, Big Walnut 41.