PREBLE COUNTY — County teams went 2-3 in the opening weekend of high school football as National Trail and Preble Shawnee saw themselves big winners while Eaton, Twin Valley South and Tri-County North will look to rebound this week.
Trail wins big over Mississinawa Valley
The Blazers dominated Mississinawa Valley on Friday, winning 37-0.
Senior Jacob Ray scored Trail’s first touchdown of the season on a 54-yard run, and finished with 207 yards on 13 carries for three total touchdowns.
Senior Dallas Smith added 113 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Sophomore Burgan Hoffman rushed for a touchdown as well after a 53-yard reception by senior Clay Stiner set the Blazers up at the one-yard line.
As a team, Trail rushed for 401 yards.
Defensively, the Blazers pitched a shutout, their first since a 15-0 win over Arcanum in 2017.
Junior John Mclane led the team with seven tackles, one for a loss, and half a sack.
Stiner added six tackles and half a sack as well.
Sophomore Brodie Strawser and junior Ethan Wilson each had one sack, and sophomores Jordan Heck and Phoenix Lewis each had another half a sack for a team total of four sacks.
Freshman Chase Ruebush and senior Sharvezz Carter each hauled in an interception with Carter returning his 44 yards.
Freshman Drew Dewitt added a 32-yard field goal for the Blazers.
National Trail will play at Bradford on Friday, Sept. 4.
South loses nailbiter to Miami East
Twin Valley South came close but could not pull off a late comeback to best Miami East who won 7-6 on Friday.
Miami East found the end zone first, scoring in the second quarter and taking the 7-0 lead into the half.
In the third quarter, the Panthers scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from freshman Cole Bishop to sophomore Wyatt Lakes, but the extra point was no good.
“All around, a great night for the kids,” first-year coach Chris Fogle said. “Unfortunately we had to come away with a loss. I mean, it was to the very end, where we went for the field goal in the last two minutes and we got it blocked…It was a great game. Great effort by the kids.”
While South struggled offensively, it was a banner night for the defense as they held Miami East to just 152 total yards and no passing yards, the only slight being the eventual game-winning 35-yard touchdown run by Miami East.
“Defensively, we had a really nice night. Our defense stepped up,” Fogle said. “We didn’t give up any passing yards. They didn’t complete a pass against us all night. They gave up like 150 yards. One big play, which ended up being the score.”
Miami East is traditionally a run-heavy team, so the focus was keeping things on the ground, but there was still concern that Miami East could try to go over the top on South.
“They like to throw it deep so I was worried about them trying to go over top on us, but we had a couple of nice breakups,” he said. “Brayden Koeller broke up two passes and he’s a freshman, he plays my corner, and he had two nice pass breakups and we got really good pass rush by our defensive line.”
In his first start for the Panthers as a freshman, Bishop completed six passes for 44 yards and ran for 111 yards on 15 carries.
Sophomore Wyatt Lakes led the defense with six tackles, and South totaled five tackles for loss.
Despite the hard-fought game from the youthful Panther squad, Fogle was not satisfied with the results.
“I’m not satisfied with the [loss]. I can tell you that. We had the win in our grasp,” he said. “The win was there. But the kids fought hard, the kids fought to the end. They know what it’s going to be like to get to the big game now and feel the pressure and hopefully it’s just one more step that we need to take to make this a great season and a great program.”
Next up, South will host Tri-County North for their annual rivalry game on Friday, Sept. 4.
South has not defeated North since 2009, and Fogle will be looking to flip that script this week.
“That’s rivalry week. We haven’t beat North and since – I think it’s almost 15 years since South has beat North. So yeah, they’re pretty excited,” he said. “They want to go get that win for sure. It’s Senior Night and it’s going to be Military Night, so it’s going to be a big game for all of them.”
North struggles against Fort Loramie
Tri-County North dropped their opener to Fort Loramie 42-0.
North will take part in their rivalry game against host Twin Valley South on Friday, Sept. 4.
Shawnee wins close game against Madison
Despite Madison having 24 more offensive plays and 18 first downs compared to the Arrows’ eight, Shawnee was the 19-12 victor on Friday night as they held off the Mohawk comeback.
After touchdowns in the first and second quarter, the Arrows were up 13-6 at halftime and added another touchdown in the third quarter to increase their lead to 19-6.
Madison scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter to help close the gap, but the Arrows held on for the win.
Senior Travis Howard threw for 107 yards and three touchdowns, of which senior James Gibson was the main benefactor, hauling in four receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
The other touchdown was pulled in by senior Bryce Singleton.
Senior Triston Engle led the Arrows with 12 tackles while sophomores Sayge Stephenson and Grady Hutchinson both had an interception off of Madison.
The Arrows will play next at Waynesville on Friday, Sept. 4.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles