BELLBROOK — The moment every kicker dreams of presented itself to Riley Ferrin with six seconds left on Senior Night.
He gave his seniors a SWBL East Division title when he drilled a 26-yard shot straight through the uprights as Bellbrook defeated Monroe 10-7 in front of the home crowd.
“It was nerve wracking,” Ferrin said. “It’s my first year really playing and it’s new for me to do all this stuff after joining the team in the playoffs last year.”
Ferrin just missed an attempt from 42 yards midway through the third quarter which would have put Bellbrook up 10. He said he spent most of the remainder of the game practice kicking into the net on the sideline.
“I can just get a consistent rhythm and it all gets easier,” Ferrin said.”
Bellbrook began the winning drive from its own 20 with 4:20 to play. Three first downs got the Golden Eagles to its own 42 but facing third and 12. A deep pass attempt to Tanner Killen saw him draw a pass interference penalty with 1:11 remaining.
Three plays later, Killen attempted a halfback pass to Eldon Korber and a defensive holding penalty was called on Monroe. Bellbrook then ran out most the majority of the clock and set up Ferrin’s winning kick in the middle of the field.
“He’s very reliable and is a very high percentage field goal kicker in the middle of the field at that distance,” head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “We had all the faith in the world.”
The win marked the third straight division title for Bellbrook, a first in school history.
Bellbrook started the game with a 13 play, 62-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead, finished off with a three-yard run up the middle by Elijah Brooks.
The Golden Eagles on its other three first half drives only ran 10 plays and picked up one first down while being held to 30 yards.
After Ferrin’s early miss in the second half, Monroe put its first sustained drive deep into Bellbrook territory. A 15 play, 80-yard drive saw Elijah Jackson finish from three yards out to tie the score early in the fourth quarter.
Monroe’s defense got a three and out and gave its offense the ball back at its own 32 with 8:53 to play. The Bellbrook defense was able to step up as it has all season with a sack by Tristan Hanks just as the Hornets moved across midfield to help force a punt and set up the final charge down the field.
“They have been incredible,” Jenkins said of his defense. “They really stepped up tonight. That is a high powered offense and I know it has not been held to seven points all season.”
Brooks, along with Ryan Miles and Jackson of Monroe, came into the game as the top three rushers in the league. None hit the 100-yard mark as Brooks had 19 carries for 67 yards, Miles also gained 67, and Jackson was held to 52 yards.
“Our defense is so well prepared,” Jenkins said. “So proud of them because that quarterback and running back, really their backfield in general, is about as good as you see in high school football.”
Bellbrook’s defense twice made stops near its own 40 on fourth down and also intercepted a pitch attempt to end Monroe’s opening drive.
The Golden Eagles have won eight straight games and head into the final week of the regular season with a showdown looming at Valley View, the SWBL’s only other remaining unbeaten team in league play.