WAYNESVILLE — With an 89-20 loss in 2012 still on the minds of those in the Preble Shawnee football program, any win over Wayneville is satisfying.
The Arrows have now won two straight over the Spartans after a 21-0 win on Friday, Oct. 14.
“Anytime you can beat Waynesville on the road is a good thing,” said Shawnee coach Matt Hopkins, who was also there at the miserable 2012 game. “That was a very solid team we played against, despite their record. They are big, fast, and strong. They gave us all we wanted. Just happy to come out with the win. We will never forget that 69-point loss back from a few years ago, but this is a good revenge feeling.”
Preble Shawnee’s defense never allowed Waynesville to reach the red zone during the entire game. Both teams managed only three possessions each in the first half. Despite the lack of point production, it was the Arrows who scored during the second quarter. Luke Lovely made a 2-yard run for the end zone. The scoring drive took 15 plays and 94 total yards.
Waynesville moved the ball, but suffered several turnovers on downs in the half.
The second half proved to be a similar battle, with both teams using up long, time-consuming drives, only to end either on downs or on turnovers. Shawnee was able to earn a second touchdown, when quarterback Kevin Ketring ran six yards into the end zone after a long drive.
“That gave us some breathing room, and we started playing with more enthusiasm,” said Hopkins. “Waynesville only had a few drives after that, but none scored any points. I just want to tip my hat to our defense in this game.”
“They had a great game plan against us,” Hopkins said. “They ate up a lot of the clock. Each team had only three possessions in the fisrt half. There was one time late in the half that we turned the ball over on downs. But we were more efficient when it mattered.”
In the fourth quarter, freshman Austin Tutt scored the first varsity touchdown of his career with a 5-yard pass from Ketring.
Waynesville’s efforts were to no avail, with the victory in the record books in favor of the visiting Arrows.
Ketring led the passing attack, going 12-of-19 for 118 yards. Lovely led the ground game, having 112 yards on 22 carries. Ketring had 97 yards rushing, while Eli Gibson contributed with 34 yards on 10 carries. Austin Moore was the top receiver for the Arrows, hauling in six passes for 85 yards. Lovely, Gibson, and Tutt each had two catches.
Defensively, Lovely, Colon Pugh, and John Powers each had eight tackles on the night. Gunner Crank had seven tackles and the lone Shawnee sack. Devin Tutt added six stops, and Gibson made five tackles. Moore picked off a pass with a return of 55 yards. He, along with Caleb Moore and Alex Steele, had four tackles each.
“I was really happy — it’s a long bus ride, and Waynesville had their senior night,” said Hopkins. “So our win was just a great thing. The players felt like we came out a little flat, but they responded well from that. We coudn’t do that against Carlisle, but our guys made it happen here.”
“We will avoid a non-losing season since 2014 (5-5,) Hopkins said. “We could have the second-best record since 2001, but we have to take one game at a time. There’s still plenty to play for, and we need to take care of business. We have to control what we can control.”
Preble Shawnee is now 2-3 in the Buckeye Division of the Southwestern Buckeye League, but sports a 5-3 overall record with two more games left this season. Shawnee is scheduled to visit Northridge on Friday, Oct. 21, before closing out the season at Lemon-Monroe on Oct. 28. The Arrows still have an outside shot to make the Division V playoffs, but need to win out and get help from a few teams.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH