DEFIANCE – Leipsic slowed down Patrick Henry running back Will Morrow.
But the Vikings couldn’t stop Patriots quarterback T.J. Rhamy’s running and passing around the snow.
Patrick Henry posted a 27-13 victory over Leipsic in the Division VII, Region 26 championship game Saturday night at Defiance High School.
Snow completely blanketed the field prior to the kickoff, which made every exchange an adventure.
Patrick Henry (10-3) advances to the state semifinals against the Marion Local/New Bremen winner at 7 p.m. Saturday at a site to be named.
Leipsic (11-2) was looking for its first trip to the state semifinals in football.
“We had prepared to stop it (PH’s passing game),” Leipsic coach Joe Kirkendall said. “We got confused by a couple of formations I think and we never did have answer for what was going on. We expected them to throw the ball.’’
After a scoreless first quarter, Patrick Henry scored twice in the second quarter to take a 12-7 lead at the half.
Patrick Henry took the lead to stay 20-13 on a 4-yard TD by Morrow with 5:23 to go.
Morrow was held to 60 yards on 16 carries with one TD.
Rhamy running the option, had 104 yards on 20 carries. He had TD runs of 1 and 40 yards.
In the air, Rhamy completed 8 of 10 for 148 yards and one TD.
Kolton Holloway had three receptions for 68 yards.
For Leipsic, Lorenzo Walther had 12 carries for 90 yards. He had TDs of 54 and 1 yards.
Juan Pena had 13 carries for 69 yards. Fabian Pena ran for 20 yards on seven carries.
Patrick Henry converted two fourth-down calls in the final minutes, both on passes to score for the final time.
On fourth-and-6, from the Leipsic 11, Rhamy hit Clayton Feehan in the heart of the end zone for an 11-yard TD.
“We wanted other guys to catch the ball (besides Holloway), but we didn’t want them to be 15-yards open,” Kirkendall said. “I think with the footing out there and maybe we were passive. … They were a balanced football team.’’
That clinched at 27-13 for Patrick Henry with 1:01 to go.
Feehan caught a pass for 13 on the same drive on a fourth-and-5 at the Leipsic 32 with 2:41 to go.
Leipsic’s defense made a stand on Patrick Henry’s first driving, stopping Leipsic short of a first down on fourth-and-1 at the Leipsic 11.
Making the key tackle for the Vikings was Walther on Patrick Henry running back Will Morrow.
But when the Patriots got the ball back, they went 52 yards in nine plays for a score.
Patriots quarterback T.J. Rhamy banged over from the 1 off right guard for a 1-yard TD.
That gave Patrick Henry a 6-0 lead with 11:57 left in the second quarter.
Leipsic came back with a score on its next drive.
Walther got loose on a blast play up the middle and he went across the snow for a 54-yard TD.
That capped a three-play, 62-yard drive to give the Vikings a 7-6 lead with 10:26 left in the second quarter.
Patrick Henry then went 64 yards in four plays for a score to pull ahead.
Rhamy faked the ball to Morrow and went up the gut on a keeper for a 40-yard TD.
That gave Patrick Henry a 12-7 lead with 8:16 left in the first half.
On Leipsic’s first drive of the second half, the Vikings went 64 yards in seven plays for a TD.
Walther flew over the pile from the 1 for a 1-yard TD to give Leipsic a 13-12 lead with 8:17 left in the third quarter.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.