CAMDEN — A dominant performance by Preble Shawnee’s defense led to a 27-18 win over Arcanum on Friday, Oct. 8, moving the Arrows to 8-0 on the season.
Eight wins for the Arrows surpasses the school’s previous single-season record of seven wins, and this comes with two more chances for victory before the playoffs.
“It’s something special,” Shawnee coach Dave Maddox said of the team’s record. “I’m not trying to take anything from these guys, but I hope that they’re starting something that’s going to continue, that we continue to have success, but I want those boys they enjoy it. They’ve earned everything that they’ve accomplished so far.”
Shawnee’s matchup with Arcanum, among the top three teams in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference with a 6-2 overall record, was unusual due to how the Trojans’ operate on offense; they don’t have a dedicated running back.
Arcanum junior quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer had a hand in every one of the Trojans’ offensive plays, throwing it 53 times and rushing the ball 20 times. No other player was credited with a pass or run, and Schondelmyer finished with 412 all-purpose yards (a total of 2,922 on the season).
“It’s hard because that’s something that we don’t see every week, so you’re trying to prepare for it with limited – you know, the numbers that we’ve got. No offense to our younger guys, but it’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Maddox said. “Bryce is a great player. That Arcanum team is a great, great team. Felt like that game about gave me a heart attack. It was tough. I feel like we’ve defended the run most of time up to the season, and that’s a unique offense. Not a lot of teams are able to do what they do because they’ve got the players to do it and they do it very well. We just were able to fight and had some things go our way and come out on top.”
Shawnee kicked things off on just the second play of the game as senior Hunter Crockett took the ball 69 yards to the house to give the Arrows a 6-0 lead.
The Trojans responded on the next drive, moving 75 yards in 15 plays (including two fourth down conversions and a 16-yard touchdown pass on fourth down) to tie it at six after a failed two-point conversion.
The Arrows were then caught off guard by a surprise onside kick, which Arcanum recovered at their own 42-yard line. The Trojans then drove 58 yards in five plays to take a 12-6 lead.
Preble Shawnee got behind the chains on the ensuing drive after a sack of junior Brayden Doran on first down, but Doran bounced back to connect with junior Malechai Stephenson for a 26-yard pass on third-and-12 to move the chains.
Four plays later, Doran found the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown run to give the Arrows a 13-12 lead, one which they would not relinquish.
Arcanum began driving into Shawnee territory on the next drive and faced a fourth-and-goal from the Arrows’ nine-yard line, but the game was delayed at that point for nearly 45 minutes due to lightning in the area.
Returning from the delay, the Arrows forced an incompletion, one of five fourth-down stops on the day for Preble Shawnee’s defense.
“It’s big,” Maddox said. “They drive down, you get a stop on fourth down and that kind of gives you a little bit of momentum, takes them away from their team. Our defense I felt stepped up pretty big in the second half quite a few times. We faced some adversity. We had some big plays and then they had some big plays and turnovers, dropped balls, but the guys kept fighting, kept working, and we were able to come out. Just very happy for the boys, happy for the school and the community. It’s a good thing.”
Backed up to their own nine-yard line after the stop, the Arrows would drive 91 yards to take a 20-12 lead, capped off by an eight-yard rushing touchdown by Crockett.
The Arrows forced turnovers on downs on Arcanum’s next two drives, but the Trojans would get on the scoreboard again after a muffed punt by Shawnee gave Arcanum the ball at the Arrows’ 44-yard line, setting up an eventual five-yard rushing touchdown by Schondelmyer.
The teams traded punts on the next pair of drives, and with 11:11 left in the game, Shawnee had the ball at their own 37-yard line. Doran and Crockett moved the ball down to the Trojans’ 36-yard line before Doran connected with junior Dylan Campbell for a touchdown to put the Arrows up 27-18, the eventual final.
The Arrows forced turnovers on downs on Arcanum’s next two drives and were able to kneel the game out.
“It was [a team effort] and that’s what you have to have when good teams play against each other,” Maddox said. “One player can’t win against good teams, and that was – I felt like for both teams tonight. Everybody had to pitch in, everybody played hard. All the way – special teams, offense, defense – everybody did their part, and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what makes football so special.
Preble Shawnee will host Ansonia on Friday, Oct. 15, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles