New Lexington’s season comes to a close with upset loss to Bishop Hartley

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NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio (WOUB) — The playoffs are finally upon us, and they started off with an intense matchup between the 8-2 New Lexington Panthers and the 4-6 Bishop Hartley Hawks.

The Panthers dropped to the 7 seed after a week 10 loss to the Sheridan Generals and looked to get things going back on the right track to open the playoffs, while Bishop Hartley, on the other hand, made the trip over from Columbus following a loss to Bishop Watterson in their last game of the regular season, giving them the 10 seed.  

Bishop Hartley got the football to start the game and they methodically marched down the field. It was all about the run game as Deaunte Hubbard led the way into the endzone. The drive took a total of 5 minutes off the clock, and then it was time to see what kind of answer Lukas Ratliff and the Panthers offense could give. 

New Lexington drove down the field with ease through the air before their workhorse, Hunter Rose, found paydirt to tie things up.  That’s just about all the offense New Lexington put up on the scoreboard. 

Bishop Hartley would retake the lead on their next drive after a rushing touchdown from Robert Lathon, and the defense proceeded to step up. Ratliff was picked off by Donovan Tucker on the very next possession, and the Hawks capitalized beautifully as they went up two scores after another rushing touchdown from Robert Lathon!

That made the score 21-7 and the Hawks never looked back. Lathon added one more touchdown at the end of the first half to make the score 27-7, and the second half was much of the same. New Lexington couldn’t get another score until late in the 4th quarter, and by that point it was too little too late. The Hawks ran all over the Panthers defense and thus ended their season in blowout fashion. The final from New Lexington ended up being 48-13. 

Bishop Hartley will advance in the Region 15 bracket to take on Steubenville next week, while New Lexington will go back to the drawing board and look to come out next season with a chip on their shoulders.