The Generals Stun Golden Eagles, Earn First Playoff Win In Seven Years

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Only a foot away from taking the lead, Sheridan lined up for a third and goal play. While the Bellbrook faithful let the opposing offense hear it, senior quarterback Ethan Heller took the snap and powered his way into the end zone. The Generals took the lead: a lead they would hold for the rest of the contest.

Sheridan (10-1) entered hostile territory on Friday night looking to take down undefeated Bellbrook on its home field. Though the Generals entered the game as the sixth seed in Region 11, it was hard to call them a true underdog coming into this first-round matchup. The Golden Eagles came into Friday night undefeated.

While early physical play hinted at a defensive showdown, an early disaster for the Generals on a failed lateral pass quickly gave the Golden Eagles an offensive kickstart. Capitalizing off of the turnover, running back Justin Sloan provided Bellbrook with an early lead.

Heller managed a touchdown drive on the next possession before another response from Sloan. Blocked PATs from both sides led to a 13-6 score after the first half, which saw tremendous starts from both defenses.

The Golden Eagles’ speed and athleticism on the defensive line pressured Heller throughout the first half. He overcame the pressure with electrifying quarterback runs and often ran outside the pocket to find his targets for big plays downfield.

The Generals’ defense, led by senior middle linebacker Chance King, did its best work after halftime, forcing three turnovers and holding the Golden Eagles scoreless. The Sheridan offense put up 21 unanswered points out of the locker rooms.

Sheridan rattled the Bellbrook side after it surrendered its lead in the second half. After falling to a tough 27-13 deficit, the Golden Eagles offense scored late and even recovered an onside kick. On the first play following the onside recovery, a bad snap and huge sack on quarterback Brendan Labensky essentially sealed the win for Sheridan, 27-13.

With the win, the Generals nab their first playoff victory since 2011. They will travel to a neutral site to face Granville next Friday. A familiar face – Justin Buttermore, who coached Tri-Valley for 12 seasons and won 12 playoff games – now coaches the Blue Aces. It will be the first rematch between Buttermore and Paul Culver III, in his third season at Sheridan, since Buttermore took over in Granville. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.