TOLEDO - Olentangy Liberty High School football coach Steve Hale emphasized playing through adversity all year, and the eighth-seeded Patriots used that experience to upset top-seeded Toledo Central Catholic 34-7 on Friday in the first round of the Division II playoffs.

"That's just the experiences that we have learned from all year going through those crazy averse situations," Hale said about his team's 34-7 victory over the third-ranked team in state."It was to prepare us for a situation like tonight."

The Patriots used a ball-control offense to keep the high-powered Central running attack, led by Alabama-recruit Michael Marrow, on the sidelines. Liberty controlled the ball for 32:13 compared to only 15:47 for the Irish.

"Everybody in the stadium knew what was going to happen in the first quarter," Hale said of the Irish's running game. "We just had to keep playing through it, and, boy, they really smacked us and moved the ball. But our kids just fought through that and the momentum turned our way towards the middle of the first quarter."

"Our defensive line was tearing it up," running back/linebacker Clay Lust said. "Mike Hilty had an amazing game on the line."

Running back Allen Eggleston led the Patriots with 124 yards on 15 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Lust added 74 yards on 11 carries including his own 1-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Zach Michael completed 14 of 20 passes for 117 yards and an interception. He also opened the scoring with a 3-yard run.

A 7-yard touchdown run Cameron Whitner and field goals of 20 and 23 yards by Todd Henderly capped Liberty's scoring.

The Patriots outgained the Irish in total offense, racking up 363 yards to Central's 114. Liberty had 20 first downs, while the Irish out managed seven.

"We took a step forward form last week and hopefully we can build upon that," said Hale. "You can't coach what your team thinks about yourself, and right now, they're confident and they can take that confidence into next week," he added.


OLENTANGY LIBERTY 7 17 3 7 - 34
CENTRAL CATHOLIC7 0 0 0 - 7
OL-Michael 3 run (Henderly kick)
CC -Marrow 7 run (Burkhardt kick)
OL-Henderly 20 FG
OL-Whitner 7 run (Henderly kick)
OL-Lust 1 run (Henderly kick)
OL-Henderly 23 FG
OL-Eggleston 1 run (Henderly kick)