By Mike Ackelson

BELOIT, OH-  West Branch advanced to the second round of the playoffs but Woodridge didn’t go down easy making the Warriors earn a hard-fought 33-20 victory.

      West Branch came out of the gates scoring on their fourth play from scrimmage, Beau Alazaus hit Jeremiah Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown, and the PAT was no good 6-0 Warriors.
Their defense forced a three-and-out and marched down the field again, with Alazaus connecting with Cooper Anderson, 4-yard touchdown reception, 13-0 with just 6 minutes and 36 seconds off the clock.
 The Bulldogs were very opportunistic and pounced on a muffed punt, setting up Charlie Lambes for a 9-yard TD run. After Woodridge blocked a punt on the series Taysear Willaims-Clay punched it in from 2 yards out and with the two-point conversion Woodridge had the lead 14-13 and that was the score after the first quarter.
The Warriors regained the lead midway through the second quarter when Alazaus tossed his third touchdown of the game to Joey Jackson, the extra point was good and at the break, West Branch was leading 20-13.
Woodridge dominated the third quarter limiting West Branch to just one offensive possession and tied the game with 3:26 to go in the frame when Lambes hit Jack Novak on a 31-yard TD pass, PAT was no good and after three quarters the game was tied at 20.
 The game stayed tied until the Warriors’ offense went on a 70-yard drive capped by Jeremiah Thomas’s 13-yard touchdown run, but the point after was no good it was 26-20 West Branch with 3:26 remaining on the clock. The ensuing kick was a fumble and after both teams had several chances to recover, Garan Harlan fell on the ball and set up the Warriors with a golden opportunity and Harlan would ice the game’s with a 2-yard TD run. Final score 33-20 West Branch.
The team leaders for West Branch were, Quarterback, Beau Alazaus 24 Completions for 236 yard, 3td’s 1 Interception.
Joey Jackson had 10 receptions for 93 yards and a score. Defensive leaders Jack Flickinger 8 tackles and sack, Clayton Day 8 tackles.
West Branch will host Streetsboro in the second round next Friday night.
Just a reminder for $9.99 you can watch all 13 games involving YSN schools next week.