Last year Miamisburg earned the label as the Miami Valley’s biggest surprise. This season, the team that beat the Vikings on Friday can lay claim to that title.
Despite graduating 90 percent of its offensive output from last year, Lebanon improved to 7-2 with a convincing 35-26 win over Miamisburg on senior night at Harmon Field. The win improves Lebanon to 4-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division and sets up a winner-take-all title game with archrival Springboro (8-1, 4-0) next Friday. A berth in the Division I playoffs is on the line.
Lebanon’s only losses are to undefeated D-II power Loveland and Centerville.
“The motto of this team since Week 1 has been ‘Prove them wrong,’” Lebanon head coach Shawn Lamb said. “At 7-2, I think they’ve proved a lot of people wrong.”
The Warriors made believers out of the Burg, which suffered a blow to its own playoff hopes. The Vikings (6-3, 2-2) end with winless West Carrollton.
Unlikely heroes again carried Lebanon, which gashed the GWOC’s second ranked defense for 306 rushing yards on 48 carries. The Vikings entered the contest allowing 109 yards on the ground.
“That was our game plan,” Lebanon quarterback Tanner Clarke said. “We have a huge front line. The game plan was to give the ball to the back and let them run. I did the little knit-picking at the end.”
Clarke, a first-year starter, ran for just 33 yards on 12 carries but scored four TDs, three on 1-yard runs. His other TD was from three yards out.
Between the 20s, senior Matt MacDonald (30 carries for 175 yards) and sophomore Jango Glackin (four carries for 101 yards and a TD) did the damage. MacDonald, a move-in from Little Miami, wasn’t on the team last year and Glacklin had just three carries for 15 yards entering the game.
Lebanon starts three sophomores on its massive offensive line that dictated play in the second half. The Burg ran just 22 offensive plays in the third and fourth quarters.
“We’re playing for a league title and a shot at the playoffs, but more importantly we’re playing Springboro next week,” Lamb said. “That date is circled on our calendar.”
Said Clarke: “They are our biggest rival and we’re ready for it. Tonight shows we’re a team to be reckoned with. We’re pretty good.”