CAMDEN — It was a record breaking night for Preble Shawnee’s football team on Friday, Oct. 20.
With a 21-0 win over Northridge, the Arrows tied the school record for most wins in a season with seven, in addition, Shawnee set a single-season rushing record and Austin Moore tied a career-record for interceptions.
“I think that’s huge,” Shawnee coach Matt Hopkins said of tying the school record for wins. “I think back to my first year when we were 0-10. We started laying the foundation. We were not very good, but we were laying the foundation of what this is. It’s just been a combination of people buying in, guys working their tails off. Going through those lean years and sticking with it. This is what happens when you buy in and believe in the process and you’re not about yourself, good things like this happen. It means the world to me and I know it means the world to the guys.”
Northridge almost didn’t let it happen. The Polar Bears (0-9) played inspired football for the first 24 minutes.
Shawnee finally took the lead with 3:02 remaining in the first half on a 20-yard TD run by senior Eli Gibson, who set a single-season rushing record during the game. Gibson finished the game with 239 yards on 30 carries. He now has 1,719 yards for the season.
“They came to play,” Hopkins said of the visitors. “They took away some of the stuff we like to do and they were just outplaying us. We regrouped and we rallied the troops in the locker room at halftime and they did a great job responding.”
In the second half, the Arrows scored on their first possession on a 17-yard run by Gibson. Luke Lovely closed out the scoring with a 14-yard TD run with 43 seconds left in the third quarter.
Hopkins credits the offensive line of Tyler Hawkins, Michael Bridgeford, Jordan Stubbs, Tyler Stephenson, Bryson Trantanella and Bryce Singleton (tight end) for opening the holes to set the record.
“We replaced some pretty good O-linemen from last year and we had three returners and the other guys have fit in and found their groove,” Hopkins said. “I guarantee nobody ever thought we would be breaking a school rushing record this year. All the credit goes to the O-line. It’s just been a special year for those guys.”
Shawnee, now 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division, will close out the season by hosting Monroe on Friday, Oct. 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“I’m just proud of my guys. In 53 years of Preble Shawnee football this is it,” Hopkins said. “This is just the second team to win seven games and just five teams have won six games. That’s crazy. Hopefully, we’re moving in the right direction and getting the culture changed here. I believe that we are. There’s good things to come.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH
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