By Rob Kiser
LIMA — The Lehman football team faced a tough challenge Friday night in the second round of the Division VII playoffs.
The Cavalier were facing Fort Recovery, a team they had lost to 36-0 in the season opener.
And while the Cavaliers turned in a great effort, which included several long drives, they couldn’t find the end zone and lost 20-3 to close the season at 7-5.
Fort Recovery, whose only losses were to Minster and Marion Local, improved to 10-2.
The game started with the Indians scoring on their first two drives to go up 12-0.
Fort Recovery went 64 yards on the opening possession of the game, with quarterback Caleb Martin throwing eight yards to Ryan Braun for the score. Lehman blocked the PAT and with 8:43 to go in the first quarter in was 6-0.
On Lehman’s first drive, the Cavaliers turned it over on down on their own 40 after three running plays gained just one yard.
On the Indians first play, Stephen Monnin had his hands on an interception, but Wes Wenning took it away from him and took it into the end zone to complete a 40-yard TD pass from Martin. The PAT failed, leaving the score at 12-0.
After a Jared Rourke interception for Lehman, the Cavaliers had driven inside the 10 yard line with a 24-yard run by Jake Earhart and a 19-yard run by Dylan Arnold.
But, the Cavaliers turned the ball over on downs.
Lehman had a chance to score late in the first half, when Brandon Barhorst recovered a Fort Recovery fumble.
Jake Earhart ran 23 yards on a fake punt, but Lehman just missed completing a pass in the end zone from the 20-yard line on the final play of the half.
Lehman started the second half with a 7:11 minute drive before having to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Ian Smith to make it 12-3.
With 9:18 to go in the game, the Indians Will Homan had a 25-yard touchdown run and Martin threw to Wenning for the two-point PAT to make it 20-3 and put Lehman three scores down.
Lehman then put together another long drive all the way to the Indians three.
But, again the Cavaliers could not get into the end zone and after they turned it over on downs, Fort Recovery ran out the clock.
Homan finished with 175 yards rushing to lead the Indians.
For Lehman, Stephen Monnin had 21 carries for 91 yards and Jake Earhart added 21 carries for 90 yards.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.