WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South gave its homecoming crowd an electrifying show, winning on a last-minute drive to pull off a 28-22 victory over Arcanum and remain unbeaten in conference play on Friday, Sept. 25.
“The resiliency of our players, especially our older guys, was amazing to see. That was a dog fight with a tough team who just happened to start with a brutal schedule,” said TVS head coach Tyler Cates.
South, who was playing without starting running back and linebacker Sammy Shockey, was unable to strike first in the game, missing a field goal inside Arcanum’s 20-yard line. This set up 42-yard touchdown run from Arcanum, putting the away team up 7-0 in the early going.
South was able to take full advantage of a second quarter miscue from the Trojans however, as Arcanum coughed the ball up on their own 21-yard line.
Filling in for Shockey on the offensive side was lineman Aaron Deaton, who pulled fullback duties and punched the ball from a short distance to tie up the game. The Panthers then ended the half with a long, sustained drive that ended with another touchdown from Deaton and put them up 14-7 at the break.
Arcanum tied the ball game up in the third though, before the Panthers regained the lead via a Ryan Bassler 44-yard touchdown run.
The Trojans did everything they could to spoil South’s big day, punching in a score with three minutes remaining. They successfully went for two and held a 22-21 advantage.
South was stuffed on their ensuing drive, and handed the ball back over with only one timeout left. Their defense held and the offense had the ball for one last chance – with only 48 seconds remaining from their own 25 yard line.
On the winning drive, Jacob Bassler went a near-flawless 5-for-6 through the air, connecting with both Mike Meyers and J.J. Utz all the way down the field. Bassler connected with Utz one last time from 14-yards out to give the Panthers the win.
“Jacob’s poise is second to no quarterback I’ve seen under that kind of pressure. It was a crazy finish,” said Cates. “It was a pure team win and everyone chipped in. Not one standout guy, just kids refusing to lose or give up. I’m so proud of our kids. This group has so much heart and loves playing together and in close games those things matter. To come out on top in a thriller like that is huge for our program and confidence going into some big games coming up.”
South improves to 4-1 (4-0 CCC) and will travel to Mississinawa Valley on Friday, Oct. 2.
Arcanum falls to 0-5, but started CCC play out on a brutal schedule, playing Covington, Tri-County North, Miami East, and South.