Under the bright lights of Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the Hilliard Bradley Jaguars and the Upper Arlington Golden Bears engaged in a thrilling battle for the coveted 2023 Ohio (OHSAA) Division I Region 3 Football Championship title. Both teams entered the championship game with impressive records, setting the stage for an epic showdown that would be etched in the annals of Ohio high school football history.
What it is: Ohio High School Football
Matchup: Upper Arlington Golden Bears vs. Hilliard Bradley
Time: Friday Nov 17, 2023, 7pm ET
Game Type: Playoffs
Bracket: 2023 Ohio (OHSAA) Division I Region 3 Football Championships
Round: Championship Round
Locations: Historic Crew Stadium – (Columbus) – Columbus, OH
Live Stream: Watch here
The Jaguars, led by their explosive offense that averaged 27.8 points per game throughout the season, were determined to showcase their dominance. Upper Arlington, renowned for their stout defense that held opponents to an average of 22.5 points per game, was prepared to make the Jaguars earn their victory.
From the opening kickoff, the tension was palpable as both teams traded blows, neither willing to cede an inch of ground. The Jaguars’ offense, spearheaded by the dynamic Bradyn Fleharty, who averaged 201.3 passing yards and 90.2 rushing yards per game, unleashed a barrage of plays, keeping the Golden Bears’ defense on their heels.
Upper Arlington’s defense, anchored by Noah Gehlert, who averaged 6.5 tackles per game, responded with unwavering determination, disrupting the Jaguars’ rhythm and forcing turnovers. The Golden Bears’ offense, led by Kyle Cox’s 57.0 passing yards per game, sought opportunities to capitalize on these turnovers and take control of the game.
The first half ended with a narrow score of 14-10, reflecting the intensity and parity of the matchup. The Jaguars held a slight edge, but the Golden Bears were poised to strike back in the second half.
As the second half unfolded, the Jaguars’ offense continued to fire on all cylinders, with Fleharty showcasing his versatility, eluding defenders, and extending plays with his legs. The Golden Bears’ defense, despite their valiant efforts, struggled to contain Fleharty’s electrifying presence.
The Jaguars’ relentless offensive assault eventually took its toll, as they extended their lead to 27-21. Upper Arlington, refusing to surrender, mounted a late surge, driving deep into Jaguars’ territory. However, the Jaguars’ defense, led by Joey Loparo’s 5.0 tackles per game, stood firm, making a crucial goal-line stop to secure the victory.
In the end, the Hilliard Bradley Jaguars emerged victorious, claiming the 2023 OHSAA Division I Region 3 Football Championship title with a hard-fought 27-24 victory. Their impressive performance throughout the season culminated in this momentous triumph, cementing their place among the top teams in Ohio high school football.
This championship game epitomized the spirit of Ohio high school football, showcasing the dedication, passion, and athleticism of these young athletes. The Hilliard Bradley Jaguars’ victory was a testament to their unwavering determination, their ability to execute under pressure, and their unwavering belief in one another. As they celebrated their well-deserved victory, the Jaguars etched their names in the annals of Ohio high school football history, leaving an indelible mark on the sport they love.