Olentangy Liberty at Olentangy Orange: Pioneers going for three straight wins over Patriots
Olentangy Orange will be looking for its third consecutive victory against visiting Olentangy Liberty when the teams meet Friday, Oct. 2, to close the OCC-Central Division schedule.
Pioneers coach Zebb Schroeder knows that won’t be easy against one of central Ohio’s top programs, however. Liberty enters the game 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Central.
“(The Patriots) are really big and physical, and they’ve been able to avoid the injury bug,” said Schroeder, whose team is 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the league. “They don’t play anyone both ways, so their ability to wear on you is what concerns me most.”
Orange has won the last two meetings, including 10-7 last fall, but Liberty holds an 8-3 advantage in the series. Its last victory was a 25-24 decision in 2017.
The Patriots rolled up 355 total yards in a 45-7 league victory over Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 25, with 255 coming on the ground.
Aidan Kenley rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, and Tyler Rosselli added 67 yards on six carries.
Quarterback Mitch Fields was 9-for-16 passing for 95 yards and one touchdown, and he also rushed for 44 yards and one score on two carries. Dom Magistrale had two receptions for 34 yards, and Chase Brecht added three catches for 19 yards and one touchdown.
“Aidan Kenley is an elite player in our conference,” Schroeder said. “You can do things well defensively and bottle him up and he gets away.
“They play a tight front defensively and move a lot of guys around in the back eight that can cause confusion to your offensive line. They’re really physical and dissect things quickly.”
Orange picked up a last-second victory Sept. 25, defeating host Hilliard Bradley 37-34 in league play — despite falling behind 34-30 with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With 3 seconds remaining and the Pioneers at midfield, Orange quarterback Josh Laisure threw a pass over the middle to Andre Robinson, who turned and lateraled to Caden Konczak, who ran 40 yards untouched to the end zone.
Laisure was 13-for-26 passing for 152 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 102 yards and two scores on 12 carries. Isaac Campbell added 94 yards on the ground in 22 carries.
Konczak caught three passes for 36 yards and also rushed four times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Logan Shearer had three catches for 39 yards and one score, and Julian DiSabato added four receptions for 38 yards.
“(The Pioneers) will be a great challenge as always because they have a talented group,” Liberty coach Steve Hale said. “I’m sure this will be another classic in the series. Hopefully we’ll both come out of it injury-free.”
OLENTANGY LIBERTY at OLENTANGY ORANGE
•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
•Last meeting: 2019, Orange 10-7
•Liberty (4-1 overall, 3-1 in OCC-Central) to date: Defeated Olentangy Berlin 35-21; lost to Dublin Coffman 24-17; def. Upper Arlington 21-14; def. Hilliard Bradley 38-17; def. Hilliard Davidson 45-7
•Orange (3-2 overall, 3-12 in OCC-Central) to date: Lost to Olentangy 7-3; def. Davidson 20-7; lost to Coffman 28-7; def. UA 31-14; def. Bradley 37-34
•Top Patriots: Cam Barcus (WR), Jacob Bonacci (DL/TE), Mitch Fields (QB), Aidan Kenley (RB), Dom Magistrale (WR), Tyler Rosselli (RB/WR), Drew Thornton (DB), Matthew Wrather (OL) and Brian Yamokoski (LB)
•Top Pioneers: Jadon Ampadu (LB), Dylan Dempsey (DL), Rico Franklin (TE/DL), Joey Guagenti (WR/DB), Luke Houston (RB/LB), Caden Konczak (WR), Josh Laisure (QB), Tanner Lester (DL), Ryan Minott (OL) and Dom Sylvesteri (OL/DL)