CLEVELAND — It was a matchup many in Northeast Ohio may have not even been paying attention to, but it turned out to be one of the best games in the area.
The Buckeye Bucks rallied in a thrilling second half to beat Valley Forge 22-18 in WKYC.com's High School Football Game of the Week. Ben Barnes scored three touchdowns in the victory, including one with just over a minute remaining to provide the final margin.
After an errant snap for a safety gave Buckeye an early advantage, Barnes made it a 9-0 game in the first quarter with a 5-yard scoring run. But the Patriots were led by Purdue commit Kentrell Marks, who intercepted two passes in the first half while also running for a TD to make it 9-6 at the break.
Less than a minute into the third quarter, Marks broke free on a 77-yard touchdown run to give Valley Forge its first lead. Back and forth the teams went, with four total lead changes throughout the night along with 25 combined points in the second half. Marks had well over 200 yards rushing on the night, including another long burst that set up an Eddie Starks score to make it 18-16 Patriots with just 2:29 remaining.
However, the Bucks weren't done, as a Kaymen Marshall kick return coupled with a Patriots personal foul game them the ball just 35 yards from the end zone. Moments later, Barnes was able to punch it in from 14 yards out, and with no timeouts remaining the Valley Forge offense stalled on its next series to give Buckeye the win.
It was the Great Lakes Conference East Division opener for both teams, with the Bucks moving to 4-1 and recovering from a tough loss to North Olmsted in Week 4. They'll face Parma Senior next week back in Medina County, while the Patriots (2-2) will stay at Byers Field to face district rival Normandy.
You can re-listen to Dave "Dino" DeNatale's call of the game in the player below, or keep scrolling for more high school football scores from around Northeast Ohio: