NEW MADISON — Dave Maddox said the game had the feel of a Week 10 match up with a league title on the line and a playoff atmosphere.
And he wishes it could have been a Week 10 match up instead of the second week of the season.
Instead, it was a huge Week 2 match up with league title implications in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference and Maddox will take the result and be happy as his Preble Shawnee football team claimed a 26-21 win over host Tri-Village on Friday, Aug. 26.
The Arrows and Patriots finished first and second last season in the first year of the WOAC and many expect these two teams to be near the top of the standings again this season.
“Took us a little while to get kind of settled in,” Maddox said. “Tri-Village is a really good football team. It was just back and forth the whole entire game. Either team could have easily won that game. But I was happy and proud of our kids and how they really stepped up when the game was on the line.”
The Arrows took an early 6-0 lead on a 30-yard TD pass from Malechai Stephenson to Dylan Zornes in the first quarter. The 2-point try failed.
T-V responded with a 30-yard TD pass of its own to take a 7-6 lead.
In the second quarter, Brayden Doran, who missed Week 1 with an injury, scored on a 5-yard run to put the Arrows back in front 12-7. A successful 2-point try extended the lead to 14-7.
The Patriots tied the game by halftime and took a 21-14 lead in third quarter.
Doran added a 4-yard score to make it a 21-20 game, but another failed 2-point try kept the Arrows behind on the scoreboard.
In the fourth, Doran, who rushed for 102 yards and passed for another 129 on the night, scored his third touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run to put Shawnee back in front, 26-21.
The Arrows were forced to go for two after each score due to an injury to their kicker.
From there Shawnee’s defense sealed the win as Dylan Campbell came away with an interception in the final minute.
“He went up and just made an amazing play,” Maddox said.
The Arrows forced six Patriot turnovers and came away with a couple key fourth down stops.
“That’s a very, very, very big game. And we talked after the game that too bad that game can’t be played later in the year just because of how much it does mean,” Maddox said. “Don’t get me wrong. There are other teams in this league that are very good, that are going to contend for the top of league. But we know for sure that us and Tri-Village are. Honestly, I’m glad it’s over.”
Shawnee (2-0, 1-0 WOAC) will return home this Friday (Sept. 2) and host National Trail (1-1, 1-0) in another key WOAC game. Trail beat Tri-County North 33-14 last week.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr