Local Sports from The Courier
Saturday, October 13, 2012BVC Football: Big plays key L-B over P-G
Pandora-Gilboa coach Carey Arthur was succinct in his comments Friday.
"Our game plan was to pound the ball at them, run the clock and avoid giving up the big play," he said.
"Tonight went against our game plan."
Liberty-Benton scored on several big plays, rolled to leads of 14-0 after one quarter and 35-0 at halftime, and defeated Pandora-Gilboa 49-0 in a Blanchard Valley Conference football game.
"It's a difficult thing for our kids to have to go through," Arthur said. "We'd won four of our past five games and we thought we were building some momentum, and it kind of fell backward for us."
Liberty-Benton improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the BVC, and hosts co-league leader Leipsic next Friday. Eagles coach Tim Nichols was relieved his team didn't look past the Rockets.
"I thought offensively, we came out and were pretty sharp," Nichols said.
An eye-opening week of film study kept his team from looking too far ahead, Nichols said. Pandora-Gilboa (4-4, 4-3) came into the game on a hot streak and had a solid win over Van Buren.
"I think what was good was, as we watched the film of their game with Van Buren, our seniors are mature enough to understand that Pandora is very physical," Nichols said. "They played a very good football game last week, and it was good that we could see that video.
"Next week wouldn't matter if we didn't win tonight. We came out and our mindset was good."
Quarterback Mitch Linhart was pretty good, too.
Linhart scored on a 32-yard option keeper on the third play of the game and connected for two touchdown passes to Chase Cook in the first half.
Linhart, who threw a third TD pass to Cook in the third quarter, finished 7 of 7 passing for 168 yards. He gained 69 yards on seven carries.
"I think Mitch and I have pretty good chemistry," said Cook, who caught five balls for 127 yards. "We've been playing together ever since midgets. We just get each other.
"When he's scrambling, and he doesn't have anywhere to throw, he just finds me. I find a way to get open and we just have a connection."
The two connected on a 60-yard score midway through the first quarter, and late in the half on a 39-yard touchdown. Of L-B's five first-half TDs, two came on three-play drives and two on one-play drives. Bobby Snook scored on a 67-yard run and Austin Combs capped L-B's one long drive (13 plays) of the half with a 1-yard score.
"Coach Nichols said he wanted a good first quarter, since we've struggled early in games at times," Cook said. "Like the Arcadia game, they were in it the first half. We wanted to come out quick tonight."
Liberty-Benton added another score on a 38-yard Cook catch on its first drive of the third quarter. Tim Petrella rushed for a 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
"We knew that Pandora has been playing well, 4-3 and third in the BVC, so we knew we had to focus on Pandora," Cook said. "We focus on Leipsic starting tomorrow."
"This was good. It's always nice to be in a position to play for something at the end of the season," Nichols said. "This should be an exciting week coming up. It shouldn't be hard to get them excited."
Liberty-Benton rushed 35 times for 263 yards, led by Snook's 85 yards on three carries. Petrella had 54 yards on 10 carries.
Jacob Basinger ran for 46 yards on 16 carries to lead the Rockets. Quarterback Seth Schmenk was 4 of 9 for 26 yards and an interception. The Rockets had a 12-play drive in the fourth quarter come up short on a fumble on fourth-and-2 at the L-B three.
The loss likely ended Pandora-Gilboa's postseason hopes, but the Rockets can still finish above .500 and in the top half of the BVC.
"We have a senior class of six boys, one is out for the year and one got a concussion tonight, but we want to play for those six seniors and make the season worthwhile," Arthur said.
Pandora-Gilboa 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Liberty-Benton 14 21 7 7 -- 49
L-B -- Linhart 32 run (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Cook 60 pass from Linhart (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Snook 67 run (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Combs 1 run (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Cook 39 pass from Linhart (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Cook 38 pass from Linhart (Linhart kick)
L-B -- Petrella 3 run (Linhart kick)
First Downs 14 14
Rushes-yards 52-115 35-263
Passing Yards 26 168
Comp-Att-Int 4-9-1 7-8-0
Punts-Avg. 5-34.0 2-42.0
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 4-50 5-46
rushing -- Pandora-Gilboa, J. Basinger 16-46, Schmenk 15-32, Doyle 12-36, Walther 7-14, Koepplinger 2-(minus-11). Liberty-Benton, Petrella 10-54, Linhart 7-69, Combs 6-25, Snook 3-85, Gierke 3-6, Bowsher 2-32, Vandeneynde 2-(minus-2), Craft 2-(-4).
passing -- Pandora-Gilboa, Schmenk 4-9-1-26. Liberty-Benton, Linhart 7-7-0-168, Craft 0-1-0-0.
receiving -- Pandora-Gilboa, Osborn 2-17, A. Basinger 2-9. Liberty-Benton, Cook 5-127, Bowsher 1-38, Combs 1-3.
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