OBETZ – Liberty Union Thur s ton Lions made history Saturday night when they won the district’s first ever football regional final. Hundreds of fans made the trip to Hamilton Township High School, braving the worst weather of the season.
The Lions stellar defense turned back everything that Mother Nature and Columbus Bishop Ready threw at them for a 13-3 victory. Offensively, the Lions sputtered in the strong wind driven icy rain. Defense and special teams got the job done.
A Shane Little sack of Ready quarterback Brennan McCarty set up the Lions’ first score. James Weaver blocked the ensuing punt which Ethan Pulvermacher recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Kicker Sam Tennant was a perfect two for two, kicking a 50-yard field goal in the first half and 47-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Ready threatened in the third quarter reaching the Lions four-yard line. The Silver Knights lost yardage on three running plays and was forced to kick a field goal for its only score. Another Ready drive in the fourth quarter was stopped by Zach Logue’s interception.
Liberty Union heads to New Philadelphia’s Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium Saturday to meet Youngstown Ursuline at 7 p.m. The Fighting Irish take a 13-0 record into the state semi-final. The Lions are 12-1. Ursuline was ranked No. 1 in Division V in the final Associated Press state football poll. The Lions weren’t ranked in the top ten, but defeated No. 9 Wheelersburg 14-7 in the regional semi-finals.
This is Ursuline’s 14th trip to the tournament. Last year, Maria Stein Marion defeated Ursuline 20-14 in the Division V championship. Defending state champion Maria Stein faces Findlay Liberty-Benton in the other Division V state semi-final. Ursuline defeated Columbus Bishop Ready 28-6 to reach last year’s state final.
The state semi-final winners meet at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29 in Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium for the final.