BELLBROOK — One year agoBellbrook and Wapakoneta met in the same round of the postseason and played a barnburner of a game at Bellbrook.
The Golden Eagles put the pedal to the floor in the second half of that matchup to pull away for a 42-35 win. This year Wapakoneta supporters won’t have to overload the sidelines of Bellbrook’s field again as they will be the home team in a rematch between the two schools in Friday’s Division III regional quarterfinal round.
Bellbrook earned the No. 5-seed in this year’s rankings with Wapakoneta one spot ahead at four.
A career-high five touchdown runs by Elijah Brooks carried the Golden Eagles offense to a 42-21 win against Celina last week.
Brooks had 190 yards on 29 carries. He scored the team’s first 21 points on the way to Bellbrook building a 28-7 lead.
Celina scored before halftime and cut the Bellbrook lead to seven in the third quarter. Two more runs by Brooks in the fourth quarter gave his team its breathing room back and put the game away.
The rushing attack a few times against stronger opponents have struggled to gain yards and will need to overcome those woes against another strong unit to keep the season going.
Wapakoneta won the Western Buckeye League and its only loss this season came in its season opener against lower division powerhouse Marion Local. The Redskins had the best defense by total yardage and points allowed in the WBL this season.
The team rushed for almost three times as many yards as it had passing this year. Jace Knous led the charge with 18 total touchdowns scored while leading his league in all-purpose yards. Caleb Moyer isn’t called on as often to throw the ball, but does so with some efficiency at 11.8 yards per completion.
Wapakoneta’s run defense held its league’s best rushing attack under its season average in an overtime win early in the season. In the Redskins’ playoff opener a week ago against Wilmington, Wapakoneta jumped out to an early lead and was up 28-0 into the third quarter with the assistance of a pair of interceptions. The offense only averaged 3.3 yards per play though, but played enough ball control to drain the clock out.
The winner will await a regional semifinal game against either No. 1 Hamilton Badin or No. 9 New Richmond on November 11 at a yet to be determined neutral site.