Archbold junior Antonio Cruz (3) tries to break a tackle against Hicksville as he nears the end zone. Cruz and the Bluestreaks rolled past the Aces 56-0, giving momentum heading into a matchup with Liberty-Benton.

Archbold expects to keep momentum going after a 56-0 triumph over Hicksville last week when they host Liberty-Benton on Friday. The Eagles will look to do the same after a 34-29 victory over Bucyrus Wynford.

“Friday was a good game for us, it was one of those games where everything went well offensively and defensively,” stated Archbold head coach David Dominique. “I think this week, the big thing for us is coming back out and having another good week of practice, and on Friday night, executing our gameplan. Liberty-Benton is perennially a great team. Last year they were a little worse than they usually are, but they return a majority of their team this year, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.”

After holding a 493-106 advantage on offensive production against Hicksville, Archbold hopes to have much of the same success Friday.

Junior running back Noah Gomez led the rushing attack that garnered a total of 339 yards with 121 yards and three touchdowns on 12 touches. Junior signal-caller Brandon Taylor was a leader with 154 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-15 passing while adding 107 yards and two additional scores on nine carries on the ground.

Carson Dominique added 79 yards and a score on seven carries for the Streaks. Antonio Cruz and Elijah Zimmerman hauled in six passes for 56 yards and a 43-yard touchdown pass for the Streaks, respectively.

On a defense that only allowed 106 total yards of offense and forced two turnovers, Archbold hopes to be just as stifling on Friday. Carson Meyer was the leading tackler with 10, while Matthew Gladieux and Adrian Juarez both had five tackles with one sack apiece. Caleb Hogrefe picked off a pass and returned it for a 37-yard score.

“Offensively, they’re a spread team much like what we saw last week in Hicksville, they’re going to try to spread you out,” added the Blue Streaks mentor about what he expects out of the Eagles. “They have a lot of great athletes. We have a fast team, I’d say, but a lot of these guys are just as fast, if not, faster. The big key for us is going to be making plays in space and getting them to ground when we can.”

“Defensively, they’re an aggressive scheme, they want to come after you,” noted Dominique.. “They blitz a lot so we’re going to have to find ways to keep that in check and keep them off balance. I don’t think we’re going to be able to rely on the run like we did last week as much, we’re going to have to mix it up.”

Liberty-Benton will look to enact revenge from a 28-27 defeat to Archbold last year, and hopes to have the same kind of offensive production from last week when they rushed for 178 yards and passed for 214 yards for a total of 392. Senior quarterback Michael Erdeljac carried the Eagles with 214 passing yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-19 passing.

Dru Baker carried the ball 15 times for a total of 92 yards and a touchdown, while Marshall Rose found pay dirt twice on eight carries for 64 yards. Rose also hauled in two passes for 57 yards and a touchdown for Liberty-Benton. Malik Eckford caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles.

Defensively, Liberty-Benton forced four turnovers, all interceptions, to overcome allowing 462 total yards in the win last week. Dylan Schimmoeller led the Eagles defense with 12 tackles and one for loss. Nathaniel DiRe also had double digit tackles with 10 and Marshall Rose had nine tackles. Eckford, Brycen Abbott, Mehkei Jenkins and Steven Kintner all had a pick apiece for the Liberty-Benton defense last week.

What will be the key points to the game on Friday for Archbold?

“To me, it’s going to be the line of scrimmage battle again,” concluded Dominique. “I think they (Liberty-Benton) have a bunch of very skilled athletes, and so do we. So I think that just like last week, whoever wins up front is going to win the game.”

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