[ Mitch Mollison | WOUB ]

Reigning LCL-Cardinal champions Heath upset by Licking Valley

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NEWARK, Ohio (WOUB) — It’s finally here. The first Friday night matchup between the Heath Bulldogs and the Licking Valley Panthers in three years. The last time these two teams met, Heath came out on top and tonight, the Panthers looked to change that.

Early in the first quarter after a slow and steady drive, Licking Valley began the game with QB Hayden Rodgers rushing into the end zone to put six on the board. Extra point good. Heath, attempting to match LV’s touchdown, drove down the field and was stopped by the Panthers’ defense. The Bulldogs set up for a punt on a 4th and 3, faked it, and succeeded in gaining the yardage. Heath went on to go inside the 10, and went down in flames for this drive as they turned the ball over on a fumble, which resulted in another LV touchdown. As for the second quarter, Heath finally put some points on the board with a passing touchdown by QB Brayden Bayles, although the team’s two point conversion attempt was failed. Licking Valley also put more points up on the board, just inside two minutes with a rushing TD. Halftime score: 21-6 Panthers.

Starting off the third quarter strong, Heath went in for another rushing touchdown, and another failed two point conversion. After a muffed punt by LV’s Carter Hartman and putting Heath on the Panthers’ 16 yard line, the Bulldogs put three points up on the board, this was a large change in momentum for Heath, as they appeared to be coming back. On LV’s following drive, Heath’s defense intercepted Rodgers’ pass and the ball was back in the hands of the Bulldogs, only to result in a short drive for no score to end the third quarter. As for the last quarter of the game, LV led a heart throbbing drive down the field to result in a successful touchdown on a fourth down play to make the score 28-15. Despite Heath’s repeated efforts to catch the Panthers, slow advances and standstills, and a significant blindside block penalty kept them away. The Panther’s defense, still relatively young, did a fantastic job in holding Heath back, and LV’s quarterback Rodgers had quite an impressive game with two touchdowns on the ground and two in the air. Licking Valley on top, 28-15.