BELLBROOK — The Hamilton Ross triple-option running game was as good as advertised.
And then some.
And a whole lot more.
The Rams ran 61 times for 453 yards in a stunning 41-19 upset over the top-seeded Bellbrook Golden Eagles — No. 2 in the state in the final Division-III rankings — Friday in a Region 12 semifinal at Miami Valley Stadium.
Ross didn’t attempt a pass and didn’t need to in advancing to next Friday’s regional final against Alter, which beat Hamilton Badin — the only team to beat Ross this season — in the other semifinal Friday.
Bulky fullback Jackson Gifford ran 32 times for 241 yards and two touchdowns and QB C.J. Boze ran 20 times for 143 yards and three scores, including an 82-yard bolt after he appeared to be wrapped up at the line.
That play, late in the third, was emblematic of the kind of night it was for Bellbrook. While yards after contact were not available, the Rams bounced and spun off would-be tacklers all night.
Despite that, Bellbrook led twice in the first half and trailed by just one score, 21-13, at halftime.
After scoring on its first second-half drive, Ross picked off the Golden Eagles on consecutive possessions and led 34-13 after Boze’s long with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Bellbrook scored on the game’s opening drive, using a 23-yard pass from QB Alex Westbrock to Taylor Jordan. A 3-yard run by Boze tied it and then on their next possession, the Golden Eagles went up 13-7 after a 26-yard pass from Westbrock to Ethan Fryman.
On the next possession, Ross faced a first and 25 from the 50 after holding and illegal procedure penalties. But Gifford broke through the line for a 50-yard score and a 14-13 lead.
Bellbrook went four and out on its next drive, coming up a yard short on a fourth-and-four play from the Ross 47, and eight plays later it was 21-13 with 1:25 left in the half after a 33-yard TD run from Gifford.
The Golden Eagles were in position to tie it right before halftime after Seth Borondy — who returned after missing a couple weeks due to an injury — side-stepped through the defense for a 40-yard run to the Ross 33-yard line. Fryman picked up nine yards on the next play, but an incomplete pass, a delay of game, and a pair of sacks for minus 19 yards ended the threat.
Jordan scored on an 80-yard run with 1:22 left for the final margin.
Westbrock finished three of eight for 61 yards and two TDs, while Borondy carried 12 ties for 79 yards and Ashton Ault nine times for 41 yards.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.