Braves rally past Shamrocks 28-24


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



Tough to beat a team twice in a season, huh? Not if you’re the Braves.

Olentangy, which upset the then eighth-ranked Shamrocks 31-14 earlier this fall, rallied from a 10-0 halftime deficit to do it again, this time by a 28-24 score in the first round of the OHSAA Division I playoffs Friday (Nov. 3) at Dublin Coffman.

With 1:24 left in the game, and 80 yards between them and the end zone, the Braves got moving. A personal foul penalty after a 15-yard pitch and catch moved the ball to midfield and, a few plays later, quarterback Riley Bruening found Jace Middleton for a 33-yard touchdown strike with 20 seconds left.

Coffman got the ball back with 13 seconds to play, but a Middleton interception ended the game.

The Braves, who blanked the Shamrocks in the second half of their regular-season showdown, were the ones who found points hard to come by this time around … at least early on.

Coffman’s Cam Scott had a solid run and Garrett Bajac picked up a first down with a key reception to set up the game’s first points: a 26-yard field goal off the foot of the Shamrocks’ Jordan Drye.

Bruening and Ali Iverson moved the chains on a pair of early drives for the Braves, but both stalled.

The 3-0 game stayed that way until Coffman’s Marcus Ernst scored on a 34-yard quarterback keeper to make it 10-0 with 11:42 left in the second.

Olentangy, slowed by turnovers and penalties in the first half, was sharp early in the second as Adam Primm hauled in a 15-yard pass from Bruening for a touchdown to make it a 10-7 game with 8:24 left in the third quarter.

Coffman was quick to answer, regaining a 10-point edge when Scott powered into the end zone from two yards out with 3:48 left in the third, but the Braves had found their footing.

Bruening found Middleton for an 18-yard TD to make it a 17-14 game with 10 minutes to go and, after Coffman scored on a three-yard pass from Ernst to Luke Crabtree on a fourth down, Bruening and the Braves answered right back with an eight-yard scoring strike to Luke Riedel to make it a three-point spread, 24-21, and set up the frantic final 3:44 of the game.

Next up, Olentangy will take on top-seeded Toledo Whitmer at Tiffin Frost-Kalnow Stadium Friday night (Nov. 10) at 7:30 p.m.

2017 OHSAA Football Regional Semifinal Pairings

Pairings are shown with seeds and current records. Central Ohio teams and/or venues are shown in italics.

Home team listed first. All games played on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Division I

Region 1

1 Cle. St. Ignatius (10-1) vs. 4 Euclid (9-2) at Bedford Bearcat Stadium

2 Lakewood St. Edward (10-1) vs. 3 Mentor (10-1) at Parma Byers Field

Region 2

1 Tol. Whitmer (11-0) vs. 5 Lewis Center Olentangy (8-3) at Tiffin Frost-Kalnow Stadium

2 Powell Olentangy Liberty (9-2) vs. 6 Gahanna Lincoln (7-4) at Westerville North Jim McCann Stadium

Region 3

1 Centerville (10-1) vs. 5 Pickerington North (9-2) at Springfield Evans Stadium

2 Hilliard Bradley (11-0) vs. 3 Pickerington Central (10-1) at Cols. St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium

Region 4

1 Cin. St. Xavier (10-1) vs. 4 Cin. Sycamore (9-2) at Mason Dwire Field, Atrium Stadium

2 Cin. Colerain (9-2) vs. 3 Mason (9-2) at Cin. Princeton Mancusco Viking Stadium

Division II – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 5

1 Akron Archbishop Hoban (10-1) vs. 4 Lyndhurst Brush (9-2) at Macedonia Nordonia Boliantz Stadium

2 Barberton (11-0) vs. 3 Bedford (10-1) at Ravenna Gilcrest Field at Portage Community Bank Stadium

Region 6

1 Avon (11-0) vs. 4 Medina Highland (9-2) at Strongsville Pat Catan Stadium

2 Wadsworth (11-0) vs. 3 Olmsted Falls (10-1) at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium

Region 7

1 Cols. Walnut Ridge (9-1) vs. 5 New Albany (7-4) at Westerville South Wildcat Stadium

2 Massillon Washington (8-3) vs. 6 Ashland (9-2) at Wooster Follis Field

Region 8

1 Cin. La Salle (9-2) vs. 4 Sidney (10-1) at Miamisburg Holland Field

2 Cin. Winton Woods (10-1) vs. 3 Cin. Anderson (10-1) at Lakota West Firebird Field

Division III – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 9

1 Canfield (11-0) vs. 4 Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (9-2) at Warren G. Harding Mollenkopf Stadium

7 Tallmadge (8-3) vs. 6 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (8-3) at Richfield Revere Joe Papano Stadium

Region 10

1 Tol. Central Catholic (9-2) vs. 5 Clyde (9-2) at Oregon Clay Memorial Stadium

2 Bay Village Bay (11-0) vs. 3 Parma Padua Franciscan (9-2) at North Royalton Serpentini Chevy Stadium/Gibson Field

Region 11

1 Bellefontaine (10-1) vs. 5 Dresden Tri-Valley (10-1) at Westerville Central Warhawk Field

2 Cols. Independence (9-1) vs. 3 Cols. Bishop Hartley (10-1) at Hilliard Darby Stadium

Region 12

1 Trotwood-Madison (11-0) vs. 5 Day. Dunbar (8-3) at Vandalia Butler Memorial Field at Good Samaritan Athletic Complex

7 Day. Chaminade Julienne (8-3) vs. 6 New Richmond (9-2) at Monroe Hornet Stadium

Division IV – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 13

1 Steubenville (11-0) vs. 5 Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (7-4) at Salem Reilly Stadium

2 Perry (11-0) vs. 6 Girard (10-1) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium

Region 14

1 Bellville Clear Fork (11-0) vs. 5 Bellevue (8-3) at Mansfield Arlin Stadium

2 Shelby (11-0) vs. 3 St. Marys Memorial (10-1) at Marion Harding Ohio Health Field at Harding Stadium

Region 15

1 Newark Licking Valley (11-0) vs. 5 New Concord John Glenn (9-2) at Zanesville Sulsberger Stadium

7 Duncan Falls Philo (8-3) vs. 3 Gnaddenhutten Indian Valley (11-0) at Byesville Meadowbrook Eugene Capers Field

Region 16

1 Germantown Valley View (11-0) vs. Clarksville Clinton-Massie (10-1) at Beavercreek Frank Zink Field at Miami Valley Hospital Stadium

2 Cin. Wyoming (11-0) vs. 6 Cin. Indian Hill (9-2) at Cin. Withrow Angus King Stadium

Division V – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 17

1 Canfield South Range (11-0) vs. 4 Akron Manchester (9-2) at Louisville Leopard Stadium

7 Wickliffe (8-3) vs. 3 Sullivan Black River (10-1) at North Ridgeville Ranger Stadium

Region 18

1 Pemberville Eastwood (11-0) vs. 5 Tontogany Otsego (9-2) at Millbury Lake Community Stadium

2 Marion Pleasant (9-1) vs. 3 Archbold (9-2) at Findlay Donnell Stadium

Region 19

1 Wheelersburg (11-0) vs. 5 Gahanna Cols. Academy (9-2) at Chillicothe Herrnstein Field

2 Portsmouth West (10-1) vs. 3 Johnstown-Monroe (9-2) at Chillicothe Zane Trace Athletic Facility

Region 20

8 Cin. Reading (8-3) vs. 5 West Jefferson (10-0) at Xenia Doug Adams Stadium

2 Middletown Madison (9-2) vs. 3 Cin. Hills Christian Academy (8-2) at Liberty Twp. Lakota East High School

Division VI – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 21

1 Rootstown (11-0) vs. 4 Creston Norwayne (10-1) at Green Memorial Stadium

2 Mogadore (9-1) vs. 3 Kirtland (11-0) at Solon Stewart Stadium

Region 22

1 Findlay Liberty-Benton (10-1) vs. 4 Hicksville (9-2) at Defiance Fred Brown Athletic Complex

7 Carey (8-3) vs. 6 Jeromesville Hillsdale (8-3) at Marengo Highland Fishburn Field at Covrett Stadium

Region 23

1 Nelsonville-York (11-0) vs. 4 Beverly Fort Frye (10-1) at New Lexington Jim Rockwell Stadium

2 Chillicothe Southeastern (11-0) vs. 3 Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant (10-1) at Lucasville Valley Indians Stadium

Region 24

1 Lima Central Catholic (10-1) vs. 4 Coldwater (8-3) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field

2 Maria Stein Marion Local (11-0) vs. 3 Spencerville (9-2) at Piqua Alexander Stadium

Division VII – Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10

Region 25

1 Dalton (11-0) vs. 4 Windham (9-2) at North Canton Hoover Memorial Stadium

2 Cuyahoga Heights (9-1) vs. 3 East Canton (9-2) at Medina Ken Dukes Stadium

Region 26

1 Norwalk St. Paul (11-0) vs. 5 Tiffin Calvert (8-3) at Fremont Ross Don Paul Stadium

2 McComb (9-2) vs. 3 Pandora-Gilboa (9-2) at Napoleon Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium

Region 27

1 Danville (10-1) vs. 5 Glouster Trimble (9-2) at Newark Paul “Hoss” Starr Stadium at White Field

7 Portsmouth Sciotoville Community (9-2) vs. Hannibal River (7-4) at The Plains Athens R. Basil Rutter Field

Region 28

1 Convoy Crestview (10-1) vs. 4 Minster (7-4) at Lima Spartan Stadium

2 Sidney Lehman Catholic (10-1) vs. 3 Delphos St. John’s (7-4) at Harrod Allen East Goodwin Field

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By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com

Gary Budzak contributed to this story for the Delaware Gazette.

Gary Budzak contributed to this story for the Delaware Gazette.