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Multiple Teams · Devan Yarber lives up to his title, leads Oberlin to first victory in PAC crossover

SHEFFIELD — Devan Yarber showed why he was named to the Division VI All-Ohio second team last season during Friday night’s game against Brookside at Dick Sevits Stadium. The Oberlin quarterback compiled 476 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns to lead the Phoenix to a 54-34 win in Patriot Athletic Conference crossover play.

“I was trying to give my coach his first win,” Yarber said. “We just been putting in work all week long and we knew we had to beat these guys.”

Yarber led Oberlin’s ground game with 29 carries for 231 yards and two touchdowns, while also completing seven of 11 passes for 245 yards and three TDs.

“They gave me a lot of options,” Yarber said. “I can run it, pass it, they were giving me a lot of options, so my receivers can do what they do.”

It was also a big night for Oberlin coach Mike Akers, who spent nine years (1999-2007) as a coach for Brookside, including the last three years as the head coach.

“It’s great and I got a great group of kids,” Akers said. “I have a great group of coaches that I’ve been with since ’95, a great (athletic director) and we’re having a great time.”

Brookside (1-3) had the momentum early in the game, taking a 7-0 lead on the first series when David Chambers caught a 62-yard pass from Jonathan Hice.

Moments later, Yarber led Oberlin (1-3) to a touchdown on its first drive of the game with a 62-yard run, cutting the lead to 7-6.

The Cardinals went up 10-6 on an Owen Rozanc 33-yard field goal, before Oberlin took its first lead midway through the second quarter when Justin Smith caught a 63-yard touchdown from Yarber.

Brookside answered with another touchdown pass from Hice to Chambers to take a 17-14 lead, but the Phoenix took the lead for good shortly before halftime when Yarber and Smith connected for the second time — a 63-yard touchdown — to make it 22-17.

“(Yarber) managed the game tonight,” Akers said. “He puts us in motion and tempo. I can’t call a play in tempo, so he understands that anything we run will be decent.”

The Phoenix offense continued to score in the second half.

Yarber connected with Hunter Cawson for a 55-yard pass, but a Brookside defender forced a fumble on the play. Oberlin’s Aaron Arnold recovered the ball at the Brookside 10-yard line and ran it into the end zone to make it 30-17.

In the next series, Hice was intercepted by Smith, who returned the ball 82 yards for a score.

“The ball didn’t really bounce our way tonight,” Brookside coach Paul Ferguson said. “You’re not going to win many games by giving up 54 points.”

Brookside’s Hice completed nine of 24 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Contact Tim Grattan at 329-7135 or