Arrows down TVS, 30-7

CAMDEN — For the second straight week Preble Shawnee’s defense held its opponent to under 200 yards of offense — and for the second straight week, the Arrows used a strong second half performance to pull away from a Cross County Conference foe for a win.

Shawnee, which held held Twin Valley South to 158 yard on offense, outscored the visiting Panthers 20-0 in the second half en route to a 30-7 win on Friday, Sept. 1.

“We made some adjustments at half. The kids really responded to it. I thought they really come out in the second half with an intensity and a fire and just kind of played like we know they can,” Shawnee coach Matt Hopkins said. “The defense is playing super right now. They are definitely helping the offense though these growing pains. They’re just playing lights out, flying to the football.”

After a scoreless quarter and a half, Preble Shawnee finally broke the tie on a 6-yard TD run by Eli Gibson (35 carries for 334 yards) with 4:32 remaining in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Arrows appeared headed to the locker room with that lead or a chance to expand it, but fumbled the first play after a Twin Valley South punt. That turnover set the Panthers up at the Shawnee 39-yard line with 2:40 to play in the half. South made the most of the opportunity as quarterback Cade Cottingim found Chandler Napier for a 15-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in what turned out to be South’s only points of the game.

Shawnee, though, responded with 20-yard field goal by Cody Clevenger as time expired to give his team a 10-7 halftime lead.

“I thought, in the first half, our kids played really, really well,” South coach Clint Bartlett said. “We were moving the football a little bit. Our defense in the first half played extremely well.”

The second half was all the home team.

On its second offensive play in the second half, Shawnee scored on a 66-yard run by Gibson for a 17-7 lead.

The Arrows defense came away with an interception which lead to another score.

Jake Green tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Austin Moore with 45 seconds left in the third and Shawnee lead 24-7.

Luke Lovely capped off the scoring with a 1-yard TD run with 8:53 left in the fourth for a 30-7 lead.

In the first half, Shawnee turned the ball over on downs three times inside the Panthers’ 20-yard line and fumbled the ball away on two other occasions.

“We left a lot of points on the field in the first half. We had a couple of drives stall inside the five. We just didn’t finish. I think a lot of it is we’re unsure of ourselves still,” Hopkins said. “We’ve still got three brand new lineman. We got a brand new quarterback and we’re just not real sure of ourselves right now. Once we get going and they get a little more confidence we’re pretty good.”

Hopkins credits the offensive and defensive fronts for controlling the game.

“The O-line and D-line are my favorite players because without them it doesn’t matter how fast you are, how far you can throw it,” he said. “If you don’t have anyone to block for you it doesn’t matter. They’re starting to come together as a unit.”

With the win, the Arrows are now 2-0.

“It’s great. This is the second or third year in a row that we’ve been 2-0. Guys are believing in ourselves. We’re changing the culture around here and I’m very happy about that,” Hopkins said. “We’re expecting to win.”

For South, now 0-2, they will turn their focus to their long-time rival.

“In the second half we started making some mistakes and Preble Shawnee took advantage of those mistakes,” Bartlett said. “They are a good football team and they are very well coached and they’ll take advantage of mistakes when mistakes are made. But I’m proud of the effort our kids put forth. I really am. Now we got to get focused. We got our big rival coming up with (Tri-County) North and we’re going to go and get ready to beat North.”

Preble Shawnee (2-0) will travel to West Carrollton on Friday, while Twin Valley South (0-2) will host rival Tri-County North.

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Preble Shawnee’s defense made life tough on Twin Valley South during a non-league football game on Friday, Sept. 1. The Arrows limited South to 158 total yards en route to a 30-7 win. Shawnee’s defense made life tough on Twin Valley South during a non-league football game on Friday, Sept. 1. The Arrows limited South to 158 total yards en route to a 30-7 win.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

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