Defensive backs Christian Brett and Ramal Iverson of the Olentangy High School football team broke up consecutive passes in the end zone in the final minute as the Braves held on for a 13-7 win over visiting Olentangy Liberty in an OCC-Cardinal Division game on Friday, Sept. 30.
After the plays made by Brett and Iverson, Patriots quarterback Joey Longhino threw an incomplete pass on fourth down with 15.3 seconds left, securing the Braves’ victory.
Olentangy improved to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal, while Liberty dropped to 2-4 and 2-1.
“We kind of knew what they were going to do,” said Braves defensive back Will Brett said. “We learned (after an 18-14 loss to Delaware on Sept. 2 in which the Pacers scored the winning touchdown on a 19-yard pass with 31 seconds left) that you can’t give up.”
Liberty looked as though it would have the ball at the Braves’ 1 with 47.3 seconds remaining, but a run by Longhino was nullified by a holding call. The penalty pushed the Patriots back to the 12 and forced them to pass four times.
“It got a little frustrating when we got that holding call,” Liberty coach Steve Hale said. “Once we got bumped back to the 12, we had to run some deeper patterns. On this wet, muddy field, those are a little more of a challenge.”
Olentangy running back Joshua Perry, who has scored nine touchdowns the last four games, rushed for 89 yards and scored two first-half touchdowns to give Braves a 13-0 halftime lead.
Two Liberty turnovers set up both scores. Will Brett intercepted Longhino at the Liberty 36. Seven plays later, Perry scored on a 6-yard run.
Midway through the second quarter, Liberty’s A.J. Motika fumbled on a punt return, giving the Braves the ball at their 38. Olentangy then capped a 62-yard, 11-play with a 7-yard run by Perry.
However, a Perry fumble on a halfback-option pass set up Liberty on the Braves’ 18 and Longhino hit Motika for a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-7 with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter.
“I really thought our defense played outstanding,” Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger said. “To hold these guys to one score is just a great job.”
OLENTANGY LIBERTY 0 0 0 7 -- 7
OLENTANGY 6 7 0 0 -- 13
O--Perry 6 run (kick failed)
O--Perry 6 run (Baumbach kick)
OL-- Motika 12 pass from Longhino (Vucelich kick)