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Bryan defeats Liberty Center on last play of the game

October 16, 2012
Bryan High School

The 1980 Cleveland Browns were nicknamed the “Kardiac Kids” for their last minute come-from-behind wins.  The 2012 Bryan Golden Bears are beginning to lay claim to that title.

For the second straight week, the Golden Bears pulled out a fourth quarter win against a state-ranked, league foe team.  Bryan scored with under five seconds left in the fourth quarter for a 14-7 victory at Liberty Center Friday night.

Quarterback Austin Schimmoeller hit Sean Culler with a 20-yard touchdown pass on the last play from scrimmage holding off a Tiger team playing for a tie in the NWOAL.

“You don’t always want to win games that way, but when they had to make a play, they did,” said Coach Kevin Kline.

With the win, Bryan, is now 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the NWOAL, and is the driver’s seat for its first Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship since 1986.

After last week’s fourth quarter comeback, Bryan needed the final play of this game to pull out the win.

“That’s two pretty tough weeks back to back right there,” said Coach Kevin Kline.  “We struggled a little bit early on just finishing drives and it was nice to get one at the end.”

Bryan had trouble stopping the Tigers’ running attack early on, but Liberty Center finished the game with under 220 yards of total offense.  Sean Westhoven was the workhorse for the Tigers, finishing with 36 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown.  He represented all but 50 yards of the Liberty Center offense.

Bryan started the scoring in the first quarter as Brandon Poncsak caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Schimmoeller with 4:47 remaining.  

Liberty Center answered at the beginning of the second quarter as Westhoven ran it in from two yards out to tie it up at 7.  The score would remain that way until the game’s final play.

During the game, Bryan forced two turnovers, one an interception by Brandon Poncsak and the other a fumble recovery by Jerad Carroll that was forced by Matt Frame.

Bryan still needs to beat either Swanton or Evergreen to win the league title.  They are the only undefeated team left in the league.  Archbold is in second place at 5-1, while Patrick Henry and Liberty Center now have two league losses.  The Bears can clinch a share of the title with one more win or if Archbold loses.

Liberty Center drops to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the NWOAL.  For LC, the loss all but ends its hopes of an NWOAL title.  The Tigers still do have a chance at making the state playoffs. LC?is at Delta next week and finishes the season with Archbold.

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