CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee football team added another victory on Friday, Oct. 7, putting a 48-14 whipping on the Dixie Greyhounds in a match-up between two Southwestern Buckeye League opponents.
“It is sweet to see the offense perform this well once again,” said Shawnee coach Matt Hopkins. “We played it like we know we can this time. The defense played really well. Dixie is a run-based team so we learned to stop the run against them and forced them to be one dimensional.”
The Arrows got off to a fast start on the opening kickoff. The offense capped their first drive of the game on a touchdown scored by quarterback Kevin Ketring, who kept the ball on a read-option and out-ran everyone to the end zone.
Ketring earned a pick-6 later in the quarter, for his second touchdown of the evening. With an early 14-0 lead, Shawnee scored once more on an Eli Gibson rushing touchdown. Down 21-0, Dixie threw a deep pass as a Shawnee defender fell down trying to cover a Greyhound receiver, allowing a touchdown. Dixie failed the point-after try, and trailed Preble Shawnee 21-6 at the end of the quarter.
The Arrows scored twice in the second quarter, both on Gibson racing into the opponent’s end zone. Dixie scored their second and final touchdown of the contest to reach 35-14 on the scoreboard at halftime.
“We made it important to finish what we had started, as this was the final game on our turf this year,” said Hopkins. “I told the boys let’s make sure we win this one. Our boys were so focused, so all I had to do is remind them why it was important to win.”
Gibson scored the next two touchdowns in the final half of the game, one in each quarter, to put the win into the record books.
Ketring led the passing game, completing 11-of-17 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. The Shawnee offense was unstoppable in the running game, with three running backs surpassing the 100-yard mark in the game: Gibson (124 yards, four touchdowns), Ketring (119 yards), and Luke Lovely (101 yards).
Austin Moore and Austin Tutt each had three catches for 71 and 19 yards respectively, Gibson grabbed two passes for 23 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Lovely was the stellar performer with 17 total stops and three tackles-for-loss. Tanner Crabtree made eight tackles, while John Powers and Colton Pugh each made seven tackles. Crabtree also had one sack. Gunner Crank added six tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Austin Moore and Ketring each had one interception, while Devin Tutt had a fumble recovery. Moore broke up four passes.
“I thought overall, our offense was clicking,” said Hopkins. “Ketring made excellent decisions and just played well. Anytime a quarterback has 100 yards rushing and almost 200 yards passing, that’s a good thing. Austin Moore did a great job catching. The offensive line did a great job. Lovely had great job defensively. The defensive line absorbed lots of blockers this time.
“A shout out goes to the big guys up front who don’t get their names in the paper, so here’s to Tyler Hawkins (center), guards Crabtree, and Alex Steele, and my tackles Michael Bridgeford and Caleb Moore, for doing such an outstanding job tonight.”
“It was one of our more complete victories all year long,” Hopkins said. “Great to break the three-game losing streak, and we are looking to continue to roll. We have three more games, two of them are conference games. We are focused and disciplined, and I think we are going to be OK.”
The scheduling powers-that-be were not kind to Preble Shawnee, as their final three games of the season will be road trips. Their next game is set for Friday, Oct. 14, with the Waynesville Spartans, who remain winless on the season. The Preble Shawnee faithful still remember an 89-20 loss to the Spartans back in 2012, and are looking for payback, according to Hopkins.
Preble Shawnee is now tied for fifth place with Northridge in the Buckeye Division of the SWBL, at 1-3, and has a 4-3 overall record.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH