WEST ALEXANDRIA — Preble Shawnee’s defense forced four turnovers and Ben Hobbs rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns as the Arrows claimed a 30-15 win over host Twin Valley South on Friday, Aug. 31.
With the win, Shawnee (1-1) avoided its first 0-2 start since the 2012 season.
South, looking to go 2-0 for the first time since 2014, fell to 1-1.
“I thought it was a hard fought game on both sides of the ball. Both teams played very hard, played very well,” Shawnee head coach David Maddox said after getting his first win as a varsity coach.
Shawnee overcame 169 yards worth of penalties.
“We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ve just got to overcome that. We’ve got to clean some things up. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready for next week,” Maddox said. “South is a great football team, but I’m just so proud of our guys that we battled through the adversity, all the penalties and was able to come away with a victory.”
South scored on its first possession of the game.
Panther quarterback Cade Cottingim capped off a 10-play, five minute drive with a 25-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to put his team ahead 7-0.
Shawnee finally scored on its third possession.
After recording negative yardage (minus-14 and minus-19) on its first two drives due to penalties, Shawnee went to Hobbs.
The first time the junior running back touched the ball he raced 54 yards to the South 23-yard line. He scored on the next play. After the point after conversion, Shawnee had tied the game a 7-all with 10:12 left in the second quarter.
“That was great timing for him to pull that off,” Maddox said. “That seemed to get our emotions up. He’s one of the strongest, fastest kids I’ve ever coached and that shows when he gets out in open space he’s hard to tackle.”
On South’s next possession, Shawnee’s Austin Tutt came up with the first of his three interceptions of the game.
The Arrows offense responded with a 1-yard TD run by Tutt with 7:19 left in the half for a 14-7 lead. The score had some controversy as Tutt appeared to fumble the ball before crossing the goal line. South recovered the ball, but the officials ruled the play a touchdown.
Shawnee extended its lead to 16-7 with 5:40 left in the half when South snapped the ball over the punters head and out of the end zone for a safety.
The Arrows made it 23-7 early in the third after Tutt picked off his second pass of the game.
Shawnee quarterback Jake Green connected with Bryce Singleton for a 10-yard TD pass with 9:41 to play in the third.
Neither offense did much the rest of the quarter.
The Panthers took advantage of a Shawnee turnover with just over 5 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Cottingim tossed a 43-yard TD pass to Chandler Napier to make it a 23-15 game.
On the Arrows next possession they were forced to punt with just over 3 minutes left in the game. South, however, mishandled the punt and Shawnee recovered.
Just under two-minutes later, Hobbs scored his second touchdown of the game on a 16-yard run to make 30-15 with 1:14 remaining.
Tutt sealed the win with his third interception with 22 seconds left in the game.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that haven’t played varsity level football and that showed last week as well,” Maddox said. “I was hoping they got all the jitters out last week, but we were still off to a slow start. “We’ve just got to play sound, fundamental football and we’ll be fine,” Maddox said.
Maddox said it felt good to get his first win.
“There are a lot of emotions. I have a lot of respect for South and I was them to do the best they can and have a successful season, but I couldn’t be more proud of being a Shawnee boy and being able to come in here and getting a victory,” he said.
South coach Clint Bartlett said his team needs to cut back on its own mistakes.
“There’s a lot of rivalry in this game. Preble Shawnee did a great job. We stumbled a few times, turned the ball over a few times and they made us pay for that and that’s what a good football team will do to you. Hat’s off to them they did a great job,” he said. I was proud that our kids never gave up. They kept fighting. Right there are the end we had our chance. A play here or there goes a different way we might have a different ball game. Sometimes the dice just doesn’t fall your way.”
Shawnee is scheduled to host West Carrollton on Friday, Sept. 7, while Twin-Valley South will visit rival Tri-County North. Both game are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH