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Playoff preview: Cleveland Rhodes at Anthony Wayne
A victory Friday night with Northview in town would assure NLL unbeaten Anthony Wayne of its fourth league crown since 2017.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats can jumble up the NLL standings with an upset on the road. Northview (5-3) and Perrysburg are both 4-1 in the NLL going into week 9.
“To be on top is difficult and special,” said Anthony Wayne coach Andy Brungard.
The league title would be the ninth overall in AW football history. The Generals started playing football in 1952.
PERRYSBURG – Anthony Wayne took a giant leap in returning to king of the NLL hill on Friday night with a 42-20 triumph over fellow NLL unbeaten Perrysburg.
“This game in this environment is what you play high school football for,” said AW coach Andy Brungard. “You see two ‘pink outs’ in the stands and I can’t remember being part of this environment in a long time … go back before COVID. It was like a playoff atmosphere, it was incredible.”
The Generals (5-2, 4-0 NLL) led by a 7-6 margin at the half before outscoring the hosts 35-14 in the second half.
“We had to convince our kids we might have to win 7-6,” admitted Brungard. “We felt like both offenses were going on long drives and getting stalled at the end. Just a couple adjustments on the offensive line and Cam making a big throw opened up the run game. The start of the third quarter was huge.”
Combined against their last seven foes, Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne have outscored the opposition, 278-7.
The two NLL giants will tangle Friday night in what will go a long way in deciding this year’s league champion.
The Generals and Jackets are both 3-0 in league action along with Northview, which hosts Bowling Green this week and then faces the two perennial NLL contenders over the next two weeks.
Perrysburg, Northview and us have already separated themselves,” said AW head coach Andy Brungard. “This game gives one of us a clear advantage over the other with only three games left.”
Lynn Groll, Tony Haynes and Andrew Mickey look back at week 3, hand out Offensive Player of the Week to Otsego’s Trent Leiter and co-Blockhead of the Week to Leiter and Columbus Grove’s AJ Schafer.
The torch has been passed and it resulted in more Lichtenberg magic.
Trailing 20-16 with 1:37 left and 80 yards between St. John’s and the go-ahead touchdown, junior Titans’ maestro Blake Lichtenberg marched his team to the game-winning score as time expired. He rifled a pass through the Anthony Wayne defense to wideout Justyn Toler as the clock struck zero for a game-winning 10-yard touchdown in a 22-20 seat-squirming victory.
Blake took over the reigns of the St. John’s offense after big brother, Brady, guided the Titans the last four years. Brady, now a freshman at the University of Cincinnati, was on the St. John’s sideline to witness the St. John’s comeback.
St. John’s Jesuit will get its first taste of gridiron action with the short trek to Anthony Wayne, while the Generals are looking to avoid an 0-2 start.
AW suffered a 24-14 setback to Findlay a week ago, surrendering a 14-7 halftime advantage.
“We need to improve getting our skilled guys involved more on offense, getting a pass rush from our defensive line and finishing all four quarters,” expressed AW mentor Andy Brungard of the loss to Findlay.
The Titans did not take the field last Friday, as COVID issues at Waite caused the game to be canceled Friday afternoon.
Lynn Groll, Tony Haynes and Andrew Mickey recap week 1 from the area while handing out Offensive Player of the Week to Jonas Tester of Wauseon and Blockhead of the Week to Liberty Center’s Owen Box! They also predict week 2 of the area high school football scene!
PDF of 2021 Black Swamp Football Preseason Magazine