Saturday, November 06, 1999
Lebanon 17, Springboro 0
BY JOHN FAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LEBANON In the first half Friday night, Lebanon looked like a team ready to make an early exit from the playoffs.
In the second half, Lebanon looked like a team capable of defending its Division II state title.
The Warriors overcame a lackluster start to beat Springboro 17-0 before a packed house of about 5,000.
Lebanon took control of the game with its first two drives of the second half. Casey Abrams hit a wide-open Steve Johnson for 25 yards on the first play of the half.
Running back Nick Singleton, held to 23 yards in the first half, ran 18 yards to the Springboro 20 on the next play.
Six plays later five of them Singleton runs Singleton followed his blockers in from 2 yards for the touchdown to give the Warriors a 10-0 lead.
We made some adjustments at half, Singleton said, and then we came out and rammed it right down their throats.
Singleton finished with 97 yards on 19 carries. He needs 53 yards to reach 2,000 for the season.
I knew they would be keying on me, Singleton said. I said, "Let 'em key on me. We've got other guys who can play.'
Down 10-0, Springboro took the kickoff but was forced to punt after three downs.
Lebanon then went 69 yards on nine plays. Abrams scored on a 1-yard sneak. That made it 17-0 with 2:57 to go in the third quarter.
That's significant, because 17 is the most points Springboro allowed all year. The Panthers had yielded only 49 points in the previous 10 games.
Springboro never threatened in the second half.
Everyone talked about their defense, said Jordan Hicks, Lebanon's 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end who recovered two fumbles. We wanted to show them that we could play defense too.
I'm really proud of the kids, Lebanon coach Dave Brausch said. To get a shutout in the playoffs is great. I was a defensive coordinator at Withrow and CAPE before I came here, so we tried to build the program around defense.
We just play enough offense to keep the fans watching.
Lebanon forced four turnovers and did not turn the ball over.
Lebanon (9-2) moves on to the regional semifinals against Kings, which beat Vandalia Butler 32-23. Kings beat Lebanon 14-7 in Week 3.
Springboro finishes 8-3.
Neither team could get anything going in the first quarter, but Lebanon's defense came up with a big play early in the second.
Ty Merchant came free on a safety blitz and blind-sided Springboro quarterback Luke Howard. Howard fumbled, and Lebanon's Hicks recovered at the 19.
On the next play, quarterback Casey Abrams hit Merchant for 10 yards to give Lebanon a first-and-goal from the 9.
But back-to-back false-start penalties pushed Lebanon back to the 19, and the Warriors settled for Josh Eldridge's 36-yard field goal.
That gave them a 3-0 lead with 7:24 left in the half.
Springboro drove to the Lebanon 17-yard line late in the half, but Adam Dillon fumbled and Hicks recovered again to end the threat.
Lebanon ....... 0 3 14 017
Springboro ....... 0 0 0 0 0
LEldridge 36 FG
LSingleton 2 run (Eldridge kick)
LAbrams 1 run (Eldridge kick)
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Bellbrook 30, Purcell Marian 15
Centerville 35, Mason 31
Edgewood 63, McNicholas 28
Kings 32, Vandalia Butler 23
Lebanon 17, Springboro 0
Twin Valley South 25, Batavia 20
Beechwood 44, Raceland 12
Bellevue 55, Paris 20
Garrard County 28, Newport 27
Highlands 68, Anderson County 14
Holmes 41, Franklin Co. 25
Lou. Fern Creek 12, Boone Co. 0
Ludlow 37, Nicholas County 24
Newport Central Catholic 35, Berea 13
Badin (7-3) vs. Wheelersburg (9-1)
Huber Heights Wayne (9-1) vs. Fairfield (8-2)
Ironton (6-3) vs. Wyoming (9-1)
Madeira (9-1) vs. Indian Hill (9-1)
Mechanicsburg (7-3) vs. CCD (10-0)
Moeller (6-4) vs. St. Xavier (9-0)
Oak Hills (7-3) vs. Elder (8-1)
St. X, Edgewood win poll titles
Enquirer's final polls
19 area teams make playoffs
Expanded playoffs promise November Madness
St. X, Elder, Moeller carry GCL flag