Bellbrook edges Monroe to clinch SWBL East Division title



BELLBROOK – Riley Ferrin isn’t new to kicking, but the Bellbrook High School junior is new to football.

A seasoned soccer player that joined the football team in Week 13 last year, Ferrin kicked a 26-yard game-winning field goal Friday as Bellbrook outlasted Monroe 10-7 in a defacto Southwestern Buckeye League East Division championship game on Senior Night at Miami Valley South Stadium.

Ferrin’s make with 3.7 seconds left, clinched the SWBL East title for Bellbrook (8-1, 6-0), which is its third divisional crown in a row (first time in program history) and fourth in five years. The Eagles are ranked No. 9 in the AP Division III state poll and entered the game fourth in Region 12 computer points.

Monroe, which shared the league title with Bellbrook last year, drops to 6-3 (4-2). The Hornets entered 10th in Region 12 computer points.

It was Bellbrook’s 10th straight win over Monroe.

Ferrin just missed a 42-yard third-quarter field goal wide-left.

“Nerve-wracking,” Ferrin said. “After the first one I was kicking for 15 minutes straight. I didn’t stop kicking and I had to re-tape my foot and get some padding on it because it’s bruised. This is my first year playing, so it’s all new for me.”

“It’s unlike him to miss a field goal,” Bellbrook head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “We see him in practice throughout the week and he’s very reliable. In the middle of the field at that distance, we had all the faith in the world that he was going to put it through.”



Ferrin’s kick closed a slugfest.

Bellbrook scored on the game’s opening possession, capping a 13-play, 63-yard drive with a 3-yard Elijah Brooks touchdown run. The Eagles managed one first down the rest of the half.

Monroe amassed just 96 first-half yards and had its four possessions end in a fumble, turn-over-on-downs, punt and kneel down.

The Hornets, however, responded with an impressive second-half scoring drive.

Following Ferrin’s miss, Monroe went 80 yards in 15 plays. The drive, that lasted 7:09 and encompassed the third and fourth quarter, was capped by Elijah Jackson’s 3-yard touchdown run.

The team’s traded punts, before Bellbrook got the ball back with 4:20 to play. The Eagles game-winning 14-play drive was fueled by a key 11-yard completion from Luke Benetis to Tanner Killen on third-and-8 and two Monroe penalties (pass interference and holding).

“It was a great game,” Monroe head coach Bob Mullins said. “They scored on that opening drive and then we came out in second half and put together a great drive. It was a pretty equally fought game. It came down to the last drive of the game and a field goal.”

Bellbrook’s victory sets up a Week 10 meeting of SWBL rivals and champions at Valley View (8-1). The Spartans, like the Eagles, are 6-0 in the league and clinched at least a share of the SWBL West title Friday with a 38-17 win over Eaton. Bellbrook and Valley View have met every season since both joined the SWBL in 1975.

“We will be ready for that match up,” Jenkins said. “No doubt.”

Monroe is ready for a rematch with Bellbrook.

“I hope we see them again in the playoffs,” Mullins said. “I hope we get them in the first round. I would love to play them again.

“There’s no moral victories. We want to win. We’ve come a long way with this program and it’s time for us to start winning games like this.”

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