Battling more than the usual bumps and bruises this early in the high school football season, the beat-up Centerville Elks delivered some punishment of their own Friday night.
Centerville used an Elks-esque drive for the decisive points in a 28-19 win over Lebanon at James VanDeGrift Stadium. After the Warriors pulled to 21-19 to start the fourth quarter, the Elks methodically moved downfield with a 15-play (all runs), 80-yard drive that drained 7:28 off the clock. Kyle Wenning capped the drive with his second touchdown of the game.
“That’s Centerville football. It doesn’t always make people in the stands happy, but it wins football games,” Centerville coach Ron Ullery said. “It was a great team victory.”
Lebanon’s prolific passing attack needed just three plays to reach Centerville’s 15-yard line, but failed to score on four straight passing plays. They turned the ball over with 3:38 left in the game and never got it back.
The Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game boosted the Elks to 2-2 and left the Warriors at 3-1.
“We made it interesting and I think it says a lot about our team and the heart it has,” said Lebanon coach Shawn Lamb, whose team trailed 21-0 with 11:43 left in the second quarter. “I told them before we went into the locker room, ‘If you want to make the playoffs the goal is still there. If we win out we’re going.’ Hopefully next Friday we can clean up some of those mistakes.”
Unofficially, Wenning grinded out 198 yards on 31 carries and Nick Bozzo, who started at quarterback in place of banged-up Jimmy Brooks, added 102 yards on 20 carries. Brooks entered the game in the fourth quarter and added a few clutch carries to help Centerville finish with 349 yards on the ground.
“He was banged up with a whole lot of other guys,” Ullery said of Brooks. “If you check our starter list from a few weeks ago, you’re going to see a lot of new faces at different positions. That’s why I’m so proud of these guys tonight.”
Lebanon quarterback Luke Morgan completed 18-of-35 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 119 yards and another score. Among his favorite targets was Devin Monroe (nine catches for 142 yards) and Austin Wolf (five catches, 85 yards).