[ Lucy Schaefer | WOUB ]

Watkins Memorial and Granville clash in LCL-Buckeye finale

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GRANVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — Defense was the word of the night for the Watkins Warriors who fell 20-10 to the Granville Blue Aces.

Granville began the game on offense and kept it short and simple with runs up the middle to tail back Matt Chaykowski.

After a solid opening drive Granville faced their first third and long. 

Tyler Ernsberger dropped back to pass but Watkins edge rusher Luke Mumford got in the backfield and forced a huge sack, knocking Granville out of field goal range.

The Warriors opening possession practically mirrored the Blue Aces.

Watkins drove down the field with runs and underneath passes that eventually put them in field goal range.

On third down, Granville defensive end Drew Vahalik came up with a big sack of his own to knock Warren out of field goal range, forcing them to punt.

Granville went back to the ground on their ensuing drive which didn’t get them anywhere. 

Granville was forced to punt on consecutive drives.

Warren sent the house on this punt and the gamble paid off as they blocked it which set up great field position for the Warriors.

Watkins got the ball inside the 10 but Granville’s defense stood tall, forcing a 4th down. 

Faced with a 4th and 3 from the 8 Warren elected to kick the field goal and take the first points of the game to go up 3-0.

Watkins defense had been phenomenal throughout the first quarter, and it got better on Granville’s next drive.

Tyler Ernsberger looked over the middle and ripped a pass right to Warrior’s linebacker Logan Fitch.

Once again though, that tough Granville defense would not let up and now Watkins had to punt after a great opportunity to extend their lead. 

Granville finally answered as wideout Dante Varrasso got behind the secondary and Ernsberger put the hall right on him in stride for a 65-yard touchdown to take a 7-3 lead.

Following the touchdown, Granville executed a perfect pooch kick and recovered their own kick off at the 25-yard line.

They would make a 43-yard field goal three plays later to go up 10-3.

With just about 4 minutes remaining in the half all the momentum was with Granville.

Watkins needed a response, and they got it from their quarterback Patrick Carney.

Carney converted on a third and 6 with his legs and then was able to complete a third and 7 through the air to get into the redzone.

Once in the redzone, Carney threw a short hitch over the middle to wideout Brody Lee who made a defender miss and dove towards the pylon for a huge touchdown to tie the game with a minute to go in the half.

With a minute left Granville drove down to the twenty-eight-yard line and drilled a 45-yard field goal as time expired on the half to take a three-point lead. 

That three-point lead changed to a 10-point lead almost instantly once the second half began. 

On the second play of scrimmage, Granville defensive back Maxton Messner read a fade ball perfectly, jumped the route and took it to the end zone for a pick six.

The Blue Aces were now up double digits just ten seconds into the third quarter. 

It would remain a 10-point game for the remainder of the game. Both defenses refused to give an edge throughout the second half. 

Watkins crossed midfield on multiple possessions in the second half, however they could just not capitalize on any of their big plays which is why Granville held on to win this one 20-10.