Gibson leads Shawnee over Trail


NEW PARIS — With a steady dose of Eli Gibson, Preble Shawnee continued its dominance of National Trail over the past two decades.

Gibson rushed for 234 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Arrows to a 32-14 win on Friday, Aug. 25. The win was the 10th straight in the series for Shawnee dating back to 2002.

“Eli was great,” Shawnee coach Matt Hopkins said. “He’s one of the fastest, most agile kids, not just on our team, but in the league. We’ve got to give him the ball. He’s going to be our guy. He’s pretty good.

The Arrows started slow, but Hopkins credits National Trail for that.

“I thought Trail played extremely hard. They’re vastly improved and I think it took our kids by surprise. I thought they played harder than we did. The ball bounced our ways a couple of times. We got it going there in the third and that kind of set the tone,” he said.

Shawnee drove to the Blazers’ 1-yard line on its first possession, but was turned away on fourth down. On their next series, the Arrows were inside the Trail 10-yard line and were turned away again.

That set the tone for the first quarter and half.

“I thought when we came out we looked like we were ready to play. I think we did a pretty good job of executing. It just seemed like the longer the game went we lost concentration,” National Trail coach Mark Hoffman said. “We lost concentration and couldn’t pick up those linebackers. Our line absolutely, I don’t know what happened, they just went away.”

Trail struck first when Evynn Short connected with Zack Woodall for a 37-yard touchdown pass with 3:45 to play in the first quarter. Short hooked up with Jacob Heck for the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Shawnee responded on the first play of its next possession as Jake Green tossed a 63-yard TD pass to Austin Moore cut Trail’s lead to 8-6.

Heck pushed the Blazers lead to 14-6 just under two minutes into the second quarter on an 8-yard TD run.

Then momentum began to switch.

Shawnee scored twice more before the half to take a 20-14 lead. Green and Moore hooked up for a second time on a 24-yard TD pass and Gibson tallied the first of his three touchdowns on the night on a 25-yard run with 3:06 left in the half.

“(We) kept talking about just weather the storm,” Hopkins said. “Once we put points on the board we started feeling better about ourselves.”

Gibson’s score was setup by a Blazer turnover.

The Arrows came out in the third quarter and essentially put the game out of reach by scoring on their first two possessions. Gibson scored on runs of 4 and 14 yards.

From there, Shawnee’s defense took over. The Arrows limited Trail to just 171 yard of offense.

“I thought our defense played outstanding tonight. Offensively, we put them in bad position over and over again and they rose to the challenge,” Hopkins said.

For the game Shawnee racked up nearly 500 yards of offense, 282 rushing and 215 passing.

Hoffman said his team will learn from this game.

“These kids are a bunch of good kids and maybe a just little too hard on them. We got some things we need to concentrate on. Some of it is coming our and being ready to play ball. That’s the trait of young guys,” he said. “The good thing about it is we have a good young team. We have good young guys coming up.”

Angel Garabito had 13 carries for 55 yards. Jacob Heck added 12 carries for 41 yards and Peyton Lane had seven carries for a 22 yards.

Shawnee will return home to host Twin Valley South on Friday, Sept. 1, while National Trail will travel to Arcanum the same day.

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Preble Shawnee’s Eli Gibson rushed for 234 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Arrows to a 32-14 win over National Trail on Friday, Aug. 25.
http://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2017/08/web1_ps_ntfb2.jpgPreble Shawnee’s Eli Gibson rushed for 234 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Arrows to a 32-14 win over National Trail on Friday, Aug. 25.

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By Eddie Mowen Jr.

emowen@registerherald.com

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH