As part of his game planning this week, Olentangy Liberty High School football coach Steve Hale decided to reach out to some of his colleagues in central Ohio.
One of those contacts was Hilliard Davidson coach Brian White, whose teams won state titles in 2006 and 2009.
“He said you have to talk to your kids about believing in the fact that they can win the game,” Hale said. “(Davidson) went up against great teams … and has state championships to prove it. From day one, you’ve got to believe you can win the game.”
The seventh-seeded Patriots will need plenty of confidence as they prepare to face second-seeded Lakewood St. Edward, which won a state title in 2010 and reached a state semifinal last season.
The teams will meet Saturday, Nov. 15, at Mansfield’s Arlin Field in a Division I, Region 1 second-round playoff game. The winner will play third-seeded Westerville Central or sixth-seeded Austintown Fitch in a regional semifinal Nov. 22 at a site to be determined.
“We are going to be hyped about this game,” said Liberty quarterback Alex Lando, who threw five touchdown passes in a 49-21 home victory over 10th-seeded Toledo Whitmer in a first-round game Nov. 8. “We had a good game plan last week and, instead of practice, we will likely be watching a lot more film this week.”
Liberty scored 28 third-quarter points against the Panthers en route to improving to 9-2.
St. Edward scored 27 second-quarter points in a 37-3 victory over 15th-seeded Brunswick on Nov. 8, as the Eagles won their sixth consecutive game to improve to 9-2.
The Eagles have been tested this season, with road wins against two-time defending state champion Cincinnati Moeller (24-10 on Oct. 25) and perennial power Cleveland St. Ignatius (41-10 on Nov. 1).
St. Edward’s roster is loaded with Division I recruits, including quarterback Brett Kean (South Florida), wide receiver Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame), defensive back Andrew Dowell (Kentucky) and linebackers Troy Dipre (Kent State) and Troy Henderson (Syracuse). The Eagles lost wide receiver Alex Stump, an Ohio State recruit, to an injury in week four.
by Scott Gerfen | ThisWeekSports.com
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