LIBERTY CENTER – Evergreen battled one of the top ranked Division V teams in Ohio, almost even for a half.
However, Zack Bowers’ 72-yard touchdown on the first play of the second gave Liberty Center some breathing room, and the Tigers went on to defeat the Vikings 37-7 in a game where the score was not indicative of the game itself.
Using a 28-yard run by Bowers on the opening drive, the Tigers drove deep into Viking territory before the Evergreen defense stiffened in the red zone.
Orry Killam’s 26-yard field goal put the Tigers up 3-0 and that’s where it remained as both defenses forced punts until with 9:48 left in the half, Bowers got loose for a 78-yard run to put Liberty up 10-0.
After the teams again exchanged punts, the Viking offense got rolling and got a big play from the Tiger 46 when Chandler Lumbrezer took Jack Etue’s slant pass and raced 44 yards to the 2 where the same combo connected for a scoring strike to slice the lead to 10-7 with 1:22 left in the half.
Jarrett Krugh hit four straight passes to get the Tigers again into the red zone, but a sack from Isaac Yunker and Brian Floyd forced another Killam field goal attempt.
That kick never got off as Lumbrezer and Jace Jenkins broke through to smother the kick on the last play of the half, keeping the score at 10-7.
However, Bowers long run with the help of a hotly disputed crackback block gave LC some space in the third quarter, 17-7.
Krugh’s 24-yard pass to Trent Murdock late in the third extended the lead to 24-7.
The score stayed status quo until very late when the Vikings, rather than submitting to a 24-7 score, gambled twice deep in their own territory on fourth down, only to come up short and the Tigers cashed in both times to extend the final score.
The loss dropped Evergreen to 2-2 and 0-1 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League with the Swanton Bulldogs (2-2, 0-1 NWOAL) waiting Friday night at Pifer Field.
Liberty Center moves to 4-0.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org