It was hard-nosed football at its finest in the Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week, presented by PNC Bank, as Columbia improved to 5-1 on the year with a 14-6 victory over previously unbeaten Oberlin.
The Patriot Athletic Conference matchup featured two offenses that struggled to find any momentum throughout the night, but Columbia’s strong defensive performance was enough to get the job done.
“The defense has been the most consistent part of our football team all year,” Columbia coach Jason Ward said. “We are still trying to figure out our identity on offense, but defensively, those guys come out and play violent and physical.”
Many Raiders play on both sides of the ball, including QB/FS Jay Banyasz, who intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown to give Columbia the early 7-0 lead.
Game of the Week MVP Jacob Kleinhenz is another two-way player who handled the load for Columbia’s offense with over 100 yards on 24 carries. Kleinhenz also added the only touchdown of the second half for either team.
“Our coaches said if we were going to do anything, we were going to run on these guys,” Kleinhenz said. “The line opened up big holes for me, so I am definitely going to put the running effort on their backs.”
Oberlin’s only points of the game came late in the first half when quarterback Jason Moore Jr. scored from two yards out to make it 7-6 at halftime.
With the victory, the Raiders now sit atop of the Stripes Division in the Patriot Athletic Conference with four weeks to play.
Additionally, Columbia will receive $4,000 for its football team through the Game of the Week program. Ward and Kleinhenz will also be honored during the Browns’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 14 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week is presented by PNC Bank, in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.