Friday Night Fireworks

Big-play quarterbacks headline playoff clash 

chieftain charge


Dynamic play from the quarterback position has been a theme for both Bellefontaine and Dresden Tri-Valley this season.

The teams each feature talented dual-threat signal callers. The Chiefs’ Dezmin Lyburtus and the Scotties’ Andrew Newsom lead their respective teams into Friday’s Divison III regional semifinal clash at Westerville Central High School.

“The first thing that jumps out at you when you watch Bellefontaine is how explosive their quarterback is,” said Tri- Valley head coach Justin Buttermore. “He is the best quarterback we have faced all year. We have to find a way to contain him in some way, shape or form.”

Lyburtus is coming off an eight-touchdown performance (four passing and four rushing) in a 55-28 rout of Granville in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Chieftain senior has rushed for over 3,000 yards during his career and is less than 200 yards away from reaching 4,000 career passing yards. 

“You are never going to stop a player like that because of his ability to make plays,” said  Buttermore.

“He can keep a play alive for seven or eight seconds and find a way to make something happen. You can only hope to limit those big plays.”

Newsom (5-10, 154) has done it all for Tri-Valley. The senior has thrown for 1,616 yards and 24 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He has rushed for 754 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“Their quarterback is very athletic and makes a lot of plays,” said Bellefontaine head coach Toby Smith.

“We have to be  disciplined and be in the right spots, and when we have an opportunity to make tackles, we have to make them.”

In the Scotties’ 27-18 first-round win over Marion Franklin, Newsom ran for four touchdowns. He had a 75-yard TD run in the third quarter that was the go-ahead score.

“They are a really solid football team,” said Smith. “They do a lot of things well. We have to take care of the football on offense and execute so we can keep our defense off the field.” 

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