BELOIT, OH- In a riveting matchup, the West Branch Warriors held off a determined Streetsboro Rockets team to claim a hard-fought 31-28 victory in a game that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The Rockets were the first to make their mark on the scoreboard as Preston Hopperton powered through the Warriors’ defense for a 6-yard touchdown run, putting Streetsboro up 7-0 in the first quarter. Garrett Tiller’s successful kick added the extra point, giving the Rockets an early lead.
The Warriors, under the guidance of play-caller Tim Cooper, responded with a powerful second quarter. Beau Alazaus connected with Jeremiah Thomas for a 24-yard touchdown pass, and Eliza Hirst’s successful extra point brought the score level at 7-7. West Branch didn’t stop there. Boston Mulinix bulldozed through the Rockets’ defense for a 12-yard rushing touchdown, and Jeremiah Thomas added a 7-yard touchdown run, putting the Warriors ahead 21-7 at halftime.
Streetsboro refused to back down, with Cohen Klimak connecting with Jackson Gula for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the second quarter. Garrett Tiller’s successful kick narrowed the gap to 21-14.
In the third quarter, Eliza Hirst extended the Warriors’ lead with a 25-yard field goal, making it 24-14. However, Streetsboro’s Preston Hopperton answered with a spectacular 58-yard touchdown run, and Garrett Tiller’s kick brought the Rockets within striking distance at 24-21.
The fourth quarter was a thrilling showdown. Preston Hopperton once again showcased his skills with another 58-yard touchdown run, giving Streetsboro a 28-24 lead.
With the game on the line, West Branch’s Joey Jackson delivered a game-changing play, returning the kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. Eliza Hirst’s successful kick sealed the deal, and the Warriors regained the lead at 31-28.
Despite the Rockets’ efforts to mount a comeback, the Warriors’ defense stood strong, securing the narrow victory.
Both offenses put on a show, combining for nearly 1000 yards on the night. West Branch gained a total of 454 yards, compared to Streetsboro’s 418. Preston Hopperton led the Rockets’ rushing attack with 197 yards on 19 carries while Boston Mulinix led West Branch’s ground game with 170 yards on 20 carries.
Beau Alazaus completed 16 of 24 passes for 184 yards for the Warriors through the air while Cohen Klimak passed for 103 yards for the Rockets.
The West Branch Warriors now set their sights on their next challenge in Week 13, while the Streetsboro Rockets displayed their fighting spirit in a game that will be remembered by both teams and their fans.