The Olentangy High School football team took advantage of two first-half turnovers to take the lead and put together two lengthy second-half drives to hold off host Olentangy Liberty 28-16 on Aug. 31.
A 38-yard touchdown run by Braves quarterback Andrew Horstman with 27 seconds left ensured his counterpart, Patriots quarterback Joey Longhino, wouldn't be able to orchestrate a comeback.
Luke Hartline's 1-yard run with 11:16 left in the fourth quarter ended a 12-play, 80-yard drive that gave Olentangy a 21-10 lead.
"(Those drives were) probably the best thing we could've done," said Horstman, whose team improved to 2-0 overall while Liberty fell to 1-1. "We were moving the ball down the field. That really sealed the deal for us."
Horstman, who scrambled for a number of first downs in the fourth quarter, finished with 112 yards rushing and completed 11 of 21 passes for 184 yards with an interception.
Longhino was even sharper through the air, completing 26 of 36 passes for 350 yards. The senior was 7-for-10 passing on a 13-play, 85-yard drive that made it 21-16 with 2:38 left when he scored on a 1-yard run.
Longhino’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Matt Kessler with 8:25 left in the second quarter made it 14-7 at halftime. Liberty pulled to within 14-10 when Sam Vucelich hit a 37-yard field goal with 4:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Like a week earlier in a 43-21 comeback win over Olentangy Orange, turnovers and mistakes put the Patriots in a first-half hole.
Austin Mullins fumbled a reception at Liberty’s 3-yard line, and Olentangy's Griffin Binkley ran in on the next play to make it 7-0 with 9:25 left in the first quarter.
Another Mullins’ fumble set up an Olentangy drive at the Liberty 34. Horstman's 1-yard score ended a 9-play drive and gave the Braves a 14-0 lead with 11:57 left in the second quarter.
"We've got to be a team that doesn't make mistakes," Liberty coach Steve Hale said. "This is two weeks in a row of us being our own worst enemy. We've got to figure out what's going on there or we're going to have problems with that all season."
O--Binkley 3 run (Baumbach kick)
O--Horstman 1 run (Baumbach kick)
OL--Kessler 15 pass from Longhino (Vucelich kick)
OL--Vucelich 37 FG
O--Hartline 1 run (Baumbach kick)
OL--Longhino 1 run (pass failed)
O--Horstman 38 run (Baumbach kick)