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“I don’t know about the nation,” East coach Rick Haynes said. “As long as it sweeps Liberty Township, I’m OK.”
Junior fullback Jack Dobrozsi scored a school-record five touchdowns against Kings, running 37 times for 217 yards. Quarterback Dylan Fry (15 carries, 75 yards) and running back Jeff Garcia (13 carries, 79 yards) also ran effectively.
“He’s played well two weeks in a row,” Haynes said of the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Dobrozsi. “He runs hard. He held onto the ball. He broke tackles. He likes the weight room. He’s a load.”
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The Thunderhawks’ triple-option offense piled up 71 rushes and one pass, which was incomplete.
“It was no mistake,” Haynes said of the pass attempt. “Their kid made a nice play. We almost had a touchdown.”
East led 14-0, 21-7 and 34-21, yet couldn’t shake the Knights (1-1). Kings scored with 9:17 remaining to close the gap to 34-27 … the Thunderhawks then chewed up the rest of the clock on the ground and took a knee at the KHS 10 to end the game.
“I knew it would be a tough game with their tradition and playing them over there,” Haynes said. “They’ve won 30 games over the last three years. That doesn’t happen by accident.”
Ethan Young and Dalton Evans had fumble recoveries for East. Haynes liked the defensive play of his three down linemen — Sam Ballman, Coby Boller and Devon Milburn.
The Thunderhawks will have their home opener Friday, kicking off Greater Miami Conference play against Princeton.
Through Friday’s games, seven GMC teams — Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown, Lakota West, Princeton, Colerain and Oak Hills — were winless. Oak Hills played Elder on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t say it’s disheartening, but I don’t like it,” Haynes said. “I think all of us take pride in how good our league is. I think we all cheer for each other in the nonleague portion of our schedule.”
The Thunderhawks, Mason and Sycamore are 2-0 heading into conference play.