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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.
Liberty Center will look for its fifth straight triumph against Henry County neighbor Napoleon while the Wildcats will try to capture its first win over the Tigers since 2015 when the two meet Friday.
Since the series resumed in 2014, Napoleon captured the first two clashes before LC claimed the last four by a combined 98-42 margin.
After a 27-21 triple-overtime win in 2016, the Tigers have coasted to 24-7, 21-0 and 26-7 victories over the Wildcats.
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!
DEFIANCE – Minutes after Defiance used four goal-line and five red-zone defensive stands to snuff out Napoleon drives in a 7-0 victory on Thursday night at Fred J. Brown Stadium, the voice of one of the last remaining Bulldog fans in the stands reverberated through the late August night, “Travis Cooper for President!”
The comment got a big smile out of the new Defiance sideline general in a debut that Bulldog faithful will not soon forget.
Defiance turned away Napoleon twice at the goalline in the final 4:26, including the game-clincher with just second remaining.
“It’s a lot of prayers, a lot of hard work and it comes down to the kids,” said Cooper. “We can have this vision and program in the summer but the kids had to buy in. They weren’t skeptical. They bought in and did everything they possibly could. What more could you ask from our kids?”
The Bulldogs’ defense lived on the edge four times with the Wildcats teetering near hallelujah land, but each time Defiance was up to the challenge.
After failing to score on its third goal-to-go situation a couple minutes earlier, Napoleon marched right back inside the Defiance 10 after forcing a three-and-out by the Defiance offense. With under a half minute left, Napoleon faced a fourth-and-goal. As Blake Wolf tried to hit Caleb Stoner with a pass over the middle at the goalline, he was interfered with, resulting in another play for the Wildcats.
Travis Cooper will experience the Maumee River dustup with arch-rival Napoleon for the first time as a head coach Thursday when his Defiance Bulldogs play host to the invading Wildcats at Fred J. Brown Stadium.
However, Cooper is not a newbie when it comes to the magnitude of the titanic clash.
Cooper simply stated of the yearly meeting: “There’s nothing like it.”
On the other sideline will be Napoleon frontman Tory Strock, who is gearing up for his 14th clash with his community’s rival adversary. Strock’s Wildcats have had the upper hand during his tenure, posting a 9-4 mark against Defiance.
Toe will be put to pigskin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the 99th meeting of two towns steeped in football tradition. Napoleon holds a 54-42-2 advantage in the series.
Audio from Tuesday’s Kickoff Show with Napoleon coach Tory Strock, as he talks about Thursday’s opener against Maumee River rival, Defiance. Audio below: Rest of Article Related News News and Podcast
Lynn Groll chats with Napoleon coach Tory Strock.
PDF of 2021 Black Swamp Football Preseason Magazine
Division IV Region 14 Playoff Projections. Definite bye for Wauseon in round 1. Napoleon also in mix for a bye.