It wasn’t the prettiest game for Archbold, but a solid defensive effort helped the Blue Streaks shut down Liberty- Benton (1-1) 34-20 in their home opener, Friday, Sept. 6.
The Blue and Gold overcame four turnovers to move to 2-0 with one more game before the start of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League season.
“Tonight wasn’t pretty, but our kids hung tough, and that’s the most important thing,” said David Dominique, AHS head coach.
“Week 1 is the week where you usually come out undisciplined and have turnovers. I think ball security was careless tonight; it’s just one of those things.
“Moving forward we just need to clean it up.”
Not Perfect, But Effective
Starting a drive at their own 33-yard line, the Streaks turned the ball over on a fumble deep in their own territory.
L-B had a chance to score the first points of the game but missed on a 36-yard field goal.
Archbold scored on its next three possessions on touchdown passes of 10, 6 and 20 yards from Brandon Taylor to Antonio Cruz for a 20-0 lead.
The Eagles drove all the way to the Archbold 6 before Elijah Zimmerman intercepted a Michael Erdeljac pass to send the Streaks into the half up 20-0.
L-B’s Marshall Rose returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards to pay dirt to give the Eagles new life and cut the difference to 20-6.
Starting at its own 40 and helped by a Taylor-to-Cruz 34-yard pass, Archbold then scored in five plays on a Noah Gomez 19-yard run.
The AHS defense gave up its first touchdown of the season when Erdeljac found Marcellus Eckford with a 75-yard touchdown pass to trail 27-13 with 4:18 left in the third.
The next two Archbold possessions ended on a fumble and interception– both turnovers inside of its own territory– but the defense stopped L-B each time.
Archbold started an 11- play drive that chewed up nearly seven minutes and ended with a DJ Newman 27-yard touchdown pass to Cruz for a 34-13 lead with 4:02 remaining in the game.
The Eagles scored on a 5- yard Erdeljac run with only 14 seconds left. The Streaks recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock for the 34- 20 victory.
“The defense played pretty good all night long,” said Dominique. “Our offense put our defense in some bad situations. We’ve got to get better in that regard.”
Archbold had 397 yards of offense to LB’s 235.
Archbold rushed for 189 yards and passed for 208 yards.
Gomez rushed for 134 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown and caught three passes for 51 yards.
Taylor threw for 159 yards and three touchdowns with a pair of interceptions.
Newman was 3-3 for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Cruz caught seven passes for 114 yards and four touchdowns.
Erdeljac was 14-24 in passing for 171 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Eckford caught five passes for 102 yards with one touchdown.
AHS-Cruz 10-yard pass from
Taylor (Witte kick)
AHS-Cruz 6-yard pass from Taylor
AHS-Cruz 20-yard pass from
Taylor (Witte kick)
LBHS-Rose 80-yard kickoff return
AHS-Gomez 19-yard run (Witte
LBHS-Eckford 75-yard pass from
Erdeljac (Boyd kick)
AHS-Cruz 27-yard pass from
Newman (Witte kick)
LBHS-Erdeljac 5-yard run (Boyd