CARLISLE — The Preble Shawnee Arrows dropped a big loss to Carlisle on the road on Friday, Sept. 30, in a Southwestern Buckeye League showdown.
“Things were bad from the start,” said Shawnee football coach Matt Hopkins. “Offensively, we just didn’t move the ball at all. I was thrilled at how well the defense played, despite what the scoreboard said. Our special teams was bad today, and we just had the defense on the field way too long.”
Regardless, Hopkins thought the team had incredible defensive play. “We held their star running back to under 110 yards. But they beat us in the air which is something they are not used to doing. For the most part, we shut down the run and they didn’t break a big one on us. When your defense is on the field that long, it’s tough, but we showed a lot of fight.”
The first quarter was a low scoring affair, with Carlisle scoring the lone touchdown pass, caught by an open tight end in the end zone. The extra-point kick missed the uprights and the Indians held a 6-0 lead.
The second quarter belonged to Carlisle, who managed to score two touchdowns and held possession of the ball a majority of the half. The Arrows were able to stop Carlisle’s vaulted running game, but were simply overwhelmed offensively. At halftime, the score was 20-0.
“I told the guys I was happy, but we didn’t have any good offense at all,” said Hopkins. “At that point, we were thinking the game wasn’t that bad. We just have to keep playing hard and eventually we will find our rhythm offensively.”
On the opening kickoff of the third quarter, Preble Shawnee attempted a squib kick, but the ball bounced off one Arrow player and ended up being picked up by a Carlisle player who returned it to the end zone for a touchdown.
The Arrows tried to regroup on their next possession, but fumbled the ball away later, allowing Carlisle to score again. At the end of the third, the score was 34-0 for the Indians.
Shawnee finally broke the shut out in the fourth quarter, as the Arrows scored on a short touchdown run from quarterback Kevin Ketring. Shawnee converted the two-point conversion to make the score to 34-8.
Late in the game, Carlisle scored one last touchdown to close out the 41-8 victory.
Ketring led the Arrows with 11 completions out of 22 attempts for 108 yards. He also ran five times for 17 yards and the lone Shawnee touchdown.
Luke Lovely had 10 carries for 18 yards. Austin Moore led the receiving corps with five catches for 74 yards. Austin Tutt had four catches for 27 yards, while Lovely had two catches for seven yards.
Caleb Moore was the defensive leader for the Arrows, amassing 12 total tackles on the night. Lovely accumulated 11 tackles and a broke up a pass. Alex Steele had 10 stops, while Colton Pugh made nine tackles and two tackles-for-loss.
Tanner Crabtree, Cole Heger, and Devin Tutt had eight, seven, and six tackles respectively. Lovely and Moore each had one interception.
Shawnee created three turnovers to their lone lost fumble.
“We were able to stop their running game, particularly their star runner Ridge Reed,” Hopkins said. “We held him to under 100 yards rushing and kept their team’s total yards rushing to 246 on the night. That is quite an accomplishment despite them owning the ball well over 60-percent of the time. We had more takeaways than giveaways, which is always a good way to win a game, but we just didn’t take advantage offensively.
“I saw more positive in the offense for the final four weeks of the season,” said Hopkins. “It’s tough being on the road for the last three weeks, but we need to keep punching away. We lost three games in a row, but we have a chance to win the last games. I think we were way more fired up for this game than before.”
Preble Shawnee is now 3-3 in the regular season, but holds a 0-3 record in the Buckeye Division of the Southwestern Buckeye League. The Arrows’ next game will be Senior Night on Friday, Oct. 7, against league foe Dixie.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH