By John Howley / Sportingpumpkin.com
Liberty Union established itself as the more physical team and controlled visiting Amanda-Clearcreek in advancing with a 31-7 playoff win Saturday night.
“It’s a simple game, you’ve got to block and tackle. We didn’t block well, we didn’t tackle well and they did,” AC coach Steve Daulton said. “The result speaks to that. They did a very good job controlling the line of scrimmage and being aggressive.”
The Lions (6-1) had 447 yards of offense with 359 coming on the ground. Defensively, the Lions held AC (4-2) to 66 yards of total offense and five first downs.
“They played very hard and they’re a really good football team,” Daulton said. “They came out hungry. They used their bye week last week very well, they looked fresh and it’s too bad we didn’t give them a better game.
“It’s too bad in an environment like this and a beautiful night like this on a Saturday night in Ohio we couldn’t have shown up and made it a better game. That’s the worst feeling.”
LU quarterback Cayden Carroll ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns while adding 88 yards through the air.
Braden Shreyer led the Lions with 127 yards and Casey Fleahman added 66 yards on 13 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown.
The Lions also scored on a 30-yard fumble return after Dylan Anthony stripped the ball away from an AC ball carrier.
Andrew Harber had the lone score of the night for the Aces when he returned a kickoff 90 yards in the second quarter.
With the unique guidelines in place this season, a playoff loss doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the season. With time left in the normal regular season, teams are able to continue after a playoff loss.
“It’s pretty unique. The seniors right now feel that their season is over and the poor kids have only played six games,” Daulton said. “I don’t think high school athletes are getting enough credit for what they’re going through right now emotionally and mentally. You just never know when you might get that phone call that you have to stay home for two weeks.
“You can’t put a price on how important every rep is in practice and, unfortunately, we have not had enough and we’re not where we need to be to compete at the level a game like this requires and the scoreboard speaks for that.”
The Aces have a chance to turn the things around on the scoreboard next week when they meet up with league rival Logan Elm.
“We’ve told the seniors that this is it and as long we keep our masks on and do all the right things,” Daulton said. “We can come out and still have a lot to play for.”
Liberty Union takes on unbeaten Ridgewood next week.
Liberty Union 31, Amanda-Clearcreek 7
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Amanda-Clearcreek 0 7 0 0 7
Liberty Union 7 17 0 7 31
LU — Casey Fleahman 1 run (Storm Wolfel kick), 5:49.
LU — Cayden Carroll 11 run (Storm Wolfel kick), 10:07.
AC — Andrew Harber 90 kickoff return (Jonathan Weaver kick), 9:53.
LU — Storm Wolfel 38 field goal, 5:45.
LU — Dylan Anthony 30-yard fumble return (Storm Wolfel kick), 5:26.
LU — Cayden Carroll 24 run (Storm Wolfel kick), 4:50.
First downs 5 22
Rushing yards 33-6 51-359
Passing yards 60 88
Comp.-Att.-Int 6-9-2 9-19-0
Total yards 66 447
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-20 14-110
Punts-Ave. 4-32 3-26
RUSHING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Hunter Matheny 11-17, Nate Hunter 14-(-26), Grant Guiler 3-5, Tim Smith 1-0, Cade Young 1-1, Quintin Lott 2-4, Tayvon Miller 1-5. Liberty Union — Cayden Carroll 18-105, Camden Manson 1-13, Ty Boggs 2-33, Casey Fleahman 13-66, Braden Shreyer 16-127, Hunter Putnam 1-15.
PASSING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Nate Hunter 6-8-1-60, Tim Smith 0-1-1-0. Liberty Union — Cayden Carroll 9-19-0-88.
RECEIVING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Hunter Matheny 1-10, Grant Guiler 1-12, Tim Smith 1-8, Andrew Harber 2-22, Cade Young 1-18. Liberty Union — Casey Fleahman 1-21, Storm Wolfel 1-5, Jacob Denney 2-16, Jack Brown 3-19, Hunter Putnam 2-27.