LEWISBURG — Preble Shawnee moved to 7-0 on the season, defeating Tri-County North 42-22 to spoil the Panthers’ homecoming on Friday, Oct. 1.
The Arrows were led past North by junior Brayden Doran, who accounted for every one of Shawnee’s six touchdowns on the evening (four rushing, two passing).
“We’re very fortunate that the team we’ve got is a good group of players,” Shawnee coach Dave Maddox said. “We’ve talked before about it being a kind of a special season for us, and I’m just glad that we’re performing to the level that we are every week. Though we do still make too many mistakes, we’ve still got to get better, but it’s it’s a good situation for us. Much respect to North; that’s a tough team, and all the other opponents that we’ve played. We still have to come out and play hard and perform the way that we need to play.”
Preble Shawnee got off to a hot start, taking just four plays on the opening drive to find the end zone after a 38-yard touchdown run by Doran.
On their first drive of the game, the Panthers worked down to their own 40-yard line before facing a fourth-and-six. North coach Adam Hall elected to punt, but after an offsides penalty on Shawnee made it fourth-and-one, North went for it, but senior Luke Eby was stuffed on the run, turning the ball over on downs.
Shawnee continued to play with tempo, scoring in just three plays off another long touchdown run by Doran (25 yards).
Looking to stay in the contest down 14-0, North finally got a big play on the next drive on a 57-yard completion from sophomore Logan Flory to sophomore Colten Vanwinkle, setting the Panthers up at the Arrows’ 15-yard line.
Three plays later, Flory found senior Brett Woodyard for a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-8 after a successful two-point conversion (Flory to sophomore Hunter Gray).
“Thing about Brett Woodyard is he’s super consistent. You always know what you’re going to get with Brett,” Hall said. “He’s going to give you a great effort. He’s going to do what he’s supposed to do. He’s going to be a good leader. He’s going to be positive. I can’t say enough good things about Brett. Logan Flory played another great game tonight. He’s a young guy. He’s only a sophomore but he plays hard. He’s the leader of the team.”
The Arrows were undeterred by the Panthers’ quick score, however, as Doran took off for a 76-yard touchdown run just three plays into Shawnee’s drive to make it 21-8.
North got some positive momentum on their ensuing drive, getting down to the 50-yard line, but a pair of penalties and two negative plays led to a fourth-and-28 for the Panthers, forcing a punt early in the second quarter.
Shawnee quickly worked into North territory, but a penalty back the Arrows into a second-and-17 from their own 45-yard line. Doran, not content on just running the ball, then connected with junior Dylan Campbell for a 52-yard pass that Campbell bobbled but then recovered, getting down to North’s three-yard line.
Doran called his number for the fourth time, taking it into the end zone from three yards out to make it 28-8.
“He’s such a special kid – you said he was in on six touchdowns and then turns around plays nose guard, and he’s just as good defensively playing nose guard as he is at quarterback,” Maddox said. “He’s a he’s a special player.”
On North’s next drive, Flory quickly began moving the Panthers down the field, completing two 22-yard passes to help get North down to Shawnee’s two-yard line. He then connected with #3 for a two-yard touchdown pass before running in the two-point conversion himself to make it 28-16.
In the third quarter, North’s first drive ended in a punt after a hold and a sack moved the Panthers back to fourth-and-25. Shawnee capitalized on the scoring opportunity, moving 60 yards in just four plays before Doran found Campbell in the end zone to make it 35-16.
Any hope of a comeback on homecoming night was ended on North’s next drive as the Panthers were forced to punt after a hold and intentional grounding call on back-to-back plays, resulting in fourth-and-42.
“Coming into this week, we knew that Preble Shawnee is a very good football team,” Hall said. “They showed it tonight and you’ve got to give them credit for that. Coming in, we wanted to give great effort tonight and I’m really proud of our guys because we did that. We executed much better than we’ve executed recently. We kept fighting. We had a lot of injuries. We had guys go in that don’t get to play a lot sometimes, and they stepped up and played well for us. We moved the ball effectively. I’m just proud of the way the guys played tonight.”
Doran then found junior Cooper Roell (who was perfect on six extra points) on a 10-yard touchdown pass on the next drive to make it 42-16. North added the game’s final score early in fourth on a two-yard rushing touchdown by Flory with an unsuccessful two-point conversion to make it 42-22.
The win keeps the Arrows undefeated on the season, and the 7-0 start is the best in school history.
“We’ve talked about it so much with the players of just – stay healthy, and the opportunity that’s in front of us to come out and compete,” Maddox said. “We’re fortunate that we’re even having a football season this year as compared to all the craziness going on around us. Really happy for the team and just proud of the boys. It’s good for the school. We’ve got a bigger student section than we’ve had in years, and so I think good for the team, good for the school, good for the community and just appreciate everybody’s support. It’s a lot of fun.”
North will host Ansonia this Friday at 7 p.m.
“To finish strong we’ve just got to practice well,” Hall said. “We’ve got to execute well. We’ve got to tackle well. It’s just all those little things you’ve got to do to win a football game, and we do them a lot of the time, we’ve just got to do them all the time.”
Meanwhile, the Arrows have a home date with Arcanum, who is 6-1 (5-1 WOAC) and suffered its first lost last week to Tri-Village. The Trojans and Patriots both trail Preble Shawnee in the WOAC standings, and with the Arrows defeating Tri-Village earlier this season, a win over Arcanum would go a long way in wrapping up the conference for Preble Shawnee.
“This is kind of what we’ve led up to,” Maddox said. “Tri-Village is a great football team. Arcanum is a great football team. Regardless of Tri-Village and Arcanum, the outcome of that, we’ve still got to prepare. We’ve still got to come take care of business, and got to get better each and every week.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles