EDON - Antwerp met up with a familiar athletic foe in the Route 49 Classic championship game on Thursday night and came out on the winning end. The Archers defeated Edon 58-38, winning a second straight Classic title, to close out the 2021 portion of the schedule unbeaten.

“It was a great win in a great environment against a quality opponent,” Antwerp coach Doug Billman said of the victory over Edon, which eliminated the Archers in the Division VII football regional semifinals back in early November.

The Archers led most of the way but it was far from easy, with the host Blue Bombers grabbing an 18-17 advantage with 1:37 left in the second quarter before Antwerp scored the final six points of the half to take a 23-18 lead into the locker room. The Archers picked up where they left off with a 10-3 run to start the second half en route to a 16-9 third-quarter advantage, featuring a pair of 3-pointers from Luke Krouse.

“Edon had a great game plan and executed it well, especially in the first half,” noted Billman. “Our kids responded well to some adversity and were able to make a few plays in the third quarter. Luke Krouse really sparked our run in the third quarter, both offensively and defensively.”

Krouse finished with a game-high 22 points, 15 coming in the second half. Jagger Landers added 14 points for Antwerp, which turned the ball over just four times compared to 16 by Edon. Landon Brewer chipped in seven points for the 9-0 Archers, which return home for a double weekend Jan. 7 and 8 against Fairview and North Central.

“I’m really proud of our guys and how we handled some tough situations and some different situations that we haven’t been in at this point yet this season,” added Billman, whose squad placed three players on the All-Tournament Team, Krouse, Landers and Brewer.

Jack Berry totaled 14 points to pace Edon while Drew Gallehue, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for one in a 26-21 victory over Antwerp in the football playoffs, added 12 points for the Bombers, which fell to 4-3 on the season.

“They’re a tremendously talented, well-coached ball club,” Edon coach Matt Ripke said of Antwerp. “We knew we had to limit their runs and eliminate live-ball turnovers, and I think we did that for the most part in the first half. But they had a run to end the half, which was kind of a backbreaker, then they came out with a (10-3 run) in the second half. You can’t recover from that against teams like Antwerp.”

The Archers hit 52 percent from the field on 22-42 shooting while Edon checked in at 47 percent on 14-30. Antwerp was 8-13 at the foul line while the Bombers were 6-8. Antwerp won the battle on the boards 18-17, with Landers hauling down seven to go along with three assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Gallehue and Gannon Ripke, a pair of first-team all-state performers on the gridiron, also earned All-Tournament recognition in the Route 49 Classic for Edon with Hicksville’s Josh Meyers and Edgerton’s Corey Everettes rounding out the team. Hicksville won the consolation game over Edgerton, 45-37.

Antwerp 11 12 16 19 - 58

Edon 7 11 9 11 - 38