November 6, 2011

Epitropoulos and UA advance

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The OHSAA playoffs kicked off this weekend and arguably the best game of the entire weekend was played on Saturday night at Upper Arlington as Ohio State commit Frank Epitropoulos and UA held off Troy, 21-20, in overtime to advance to the second round.

Upper Arlington scored on the first play of overtime to take a 21-14 lead but Troy's Marcus Foster, a Cincinnati commit would score from three yards out to cut the lead to 21-20. Having already missed an extra point and a field goal in the game, Troy decided to go for two. The Trojans ran a sweep to the left side and the back was met at the one-yard line by Epitropoulos and teammate Garrett Powers at the one yard line to preserve the win.

"They called me on a blitz right up the middle," recalled Epitropoulos. "We saw the outside sweep so I got a pursuit angle and (Powers) held him up and I finished him off."

After losing a 14-6 second half lead, UA dodged a bullet at the end of the game when the Trojans missed a 36 yard field goal at the end of regulation.

"That gave us a lot of momentum," he said. "Scoring on the first play (of overtime) really helped; it was just a big win."

Epitropoulos has made impact plays for his team in all three phases of the game this season. Last week, it was a crucial touchdown reception in a win to qualify for the playoffs. On a night where passing was at a premium, Epitropoulos did not make a reception but instead made his impact on the defensive side of the football.

"I'll just do whatever it takes to win," he said. "Sometimes you don't get all of the plays that you want on offense so you have to make up for it on defense."

Upper Arlington's win sets up a re-match with perennial power Hilliard Davidson. Davidson knocked off UA a few weeks ago, 25-7 and Epitropoulos and company are excited for another shot at the Wildcats.

"We're real excited," he said. "We've been waiting for this opportunity since the day we lost. Hopefully we'll have a better outcome this time."

Epitropoulos has been to nearly every Ohio State home game this season, including last week's thrilling win over Wisconsin. As a wide receiver, watching Braxton Miller make that late touchdown pass was an exciting experience.

"That was amazing," he said. "It showed some real athletic ability, just scrambling and then pulling up right at the line of scrimmage. It got me excited watching it and that was one of the best games that I've seen there in a long time."


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