This item has been corrected from the printed version which said it was the second straight year L-B beat PH in the playoffs.-11.19, 1:07 p.m.
Liberty-Benton Claims Regional Championship
It took a while, but the Liberty Benton Eagles (13-0) finally defeated the Patrick Henry Patriots (12-1) to lay claim to the Division V Region 18 football trophy.
Playing in front over 3000 fans at Bowling Green Doyt Perry Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 15, the Eagles recorded yet another shutout in their storybook season, dropping PH 28-0.
Last year PH defeated L-B in the regional final 44-27.
The Patriots started on their own 15-yard line, but on just their third play from scrimmage, Liberty Benton’s Aaron Craft came up with a turnover. Two plays later, Craft crossed the goal line from 1 yard out for the first score.
PH didn’t fare any better on its second possession. The L-B defense was starting to set the tone early, forcing a punt after PH tallied a pair of first downs.
That resulted in the Eagles’ second score- a Craft 29-yard pass to Brennan Lieb. A Justin Hype kick made the score 14-0.
Craft, who led the Eagles with 181 yards passing and 151 yards rushing, was just getting warmed up.
Neither teams mounted any offense on their next two possessions. PH put together a drive on its 45-yard line following an L-B punt.
The Eagle defense, which caused problems all night long for the Northwest Ohio Athletic League champs once again, forced a punt, which left L-B starting on its own 9-yard line.
Following a five-yard penalty on the Eagles, Craft dropped back into the end zone looking for an open receiver as a pair of Patriots was closing in.
Described as a "magic man" by John Downey, Archbold head coach, Craft worked his magic and his feet. He cut to his left, headed toward the line of scrimmage, eluded tackles, and disappeared into the Patriots’ backfield.
Ninety-six yards later, Craft crossed the goal line, putting his team up 21-0 that held up until the second half.
Craft crossed the goal line one more time in the third quarter, capping off a 6-yard run for the 28-0 final.