High school football: Leipsic advances to regional finals


By Tom Usher - sports@limanews.com



Leipsic’s Fabian Pena scores a touchdown during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.

Leipsic’s Fabian Pena scores a touchdown during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Leipsic students cheer on the Vikings during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.

Leipsic students cheer on the Vikings during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Leipsic’s Grant Steingass tackles Edgerton’s Gannon Ripke during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

NAPOLEON — Edgerton wanted to run.

But Leipsic stuffed that idea in a hurry.

Instead, it was Leipsic pounding the ball on the ground for a 39-6 dismantling of Edgerton in the Division VII, region 26, regional semifinals Saturday at Napoleon High School.

Leipsic led 14-0 after the first quarter and 26-0 at the half.

On defense, Leipsic held Edgerton 1,837-yard running back Hunter Prince to only 46 yards on 14 carries. He had only two runs over five yards and his top run was seven yards.

The Vikings held run-happy Edgerton to 79 yards rushing.

“We’ve been a really good defense all year,” Leipsic coach Joe Kirkendall said. “Our strength is our defensive ends and Juan Pena (on defense, too) is a really good football player. … Our defense was lights out from the word go.’’

Leipsic (11-1) advances to the 7 p.m. Saturday regional championship game against Patrick Henry (9-3) at Defiance High School’s Fred Brown Athletic Complex. Edgerton ends its season 9-3.

Offensively, the Vikings had two runners over 100 yards.

Lorenzo Walther had 141 yards on 19 carries. He had TD runs of 70, 2 and 9 yards.

Juan Pena chipped in with 15 carries for 109 yards. He had TD runs of 6 and 35 yards.

Fabian Pena ended with 37 yards on eight carries.

“Both lines played great,” Kirkendall said.

That’s all with Vikings’ leading rusher Cole Williamson out with a torn ACL in his knee in Week 9.

“Those were big shoes to fill,” Walther said of Williamson. “I had to step in for the team. And the offensive line did a great job.’’

Added Kirkendall, “Lorenzo has stepped up to the challenge. And when Williamson went down, Juan said he wanted to block more. But when we give it to him, he makes his plays.’’

Walther led the way in the first half with 100 yards rushing, two TDs and one interception.

But there was plenty of the Pena brothers, Juan and Fabian, as well.

“Juan blocks for Fabian and visa versa,” Walther said.

The first time Leipsic touched the ball the Vikings went 43 yards in nine plays for a score.

Juan Pena took a sweep round the right side for a 6-yard TD.

That gave the Vikings a quick 6-0 lead with 6:31 left in the opening quarter.

Edgerton moved the ball to its own 48, then went for it on fourth-and-3.

The Leipsic defense proved wall-like and made the stop on the Edgerton run.

The Vikings took over at the 50.

This time the Vikings went 50 yards in eight plays for the score.

Fabian Pena caught a slant pass for a 23-yard TD from quarterback Drew Liffick.

That play came on fourth-and-5 at the Edgerton 23.

It gave Leipsic a 14-0 lead with 19 seconds left before the end of the first quarter.

The next time the Vikings had the ball, Walther broke the line of scrimmage, bounced off two defenders 5-yards down field, and hit a jet stream for a 70-yard TD run.

That pushed the Vikings’ lead to 20-0 with 6:10 left before halftime.

“I went through the hole and had to get off their two linebackers,” Walther said. “Then I went through there and it was full steam ahead. It was all gas and no break.’’

Walther’s big first half wasn’t over.

Next came a Walther interception at the Edgerton 34 and he returned it to the Edgerton 21.

Four plays later, it was Walther taking a pitch to the left side and going 2 yards for a TD.

That gave Leipsic a 26-0 lead with 2:06 left before the half.

Walther’s 9-yard TD run gave the Vikings a 32-0 lead with 7:49 left in the third.

“This feels amazing,” Walther said.

Leipsic’s Fabian Pena scores a touchdown during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/11/web1_Leipsic-vs-Edgerton-RP-008-2.jpgLeipsic’s Fabian Pena scores a touchdown during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Leipsic students cheer on the Vikings during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/11/web1_Leipsic-vs-Edgerton-RP-006-2.jpgLeipsic students cheer on the Vikings during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal against Edgerton at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Leipsic’s Grant Steingass tackles Edgerton’s Gannon Ripke during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2019/11/web1_Leipsic-vs-Edgerton-RP-004-2.jpgLeipsic’s Grant Steingass tackles Edgerton’s Gannon Ripke during Saturday’s night’s Division VII regional semifinal at Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium in Napoleon. Richard Parrish | The Lima News

By Tom Usher

sports@limanews.com

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.

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