SB Warriors win Keg Bowl –
The Southern Buckeye Warriors captured the program’s first ever varsity win by topping the North Adams Green Devils 39-6 on Sept. 16, winning the first annual Keg Bowl and spoiling homecoming night for the Devils at Freedom Field in West Union.
“All around, the whole effort was outstanding. You could see their confidence grow on every play,” SB Warriors’ head coach Chris Tomlin said following “We had a hard week of practice, and after the win the boys knew their hard work had paid off.”
The Warrior offense was unsuccessful on their first drive of the night with North Adams grabbling an interception, but a sturdy defense by the Southern Buckeye squad would force a turnover on downs for the Green Devils. Following the valiant stand by the Warrior defensive team, the Warrior offense was quickly on the move. Southern Buckeye’s senior running back Kyle Burbage took a carry for a big gain to start off the drive, and the Warriors quickly made their way into North Adams’ territory with a completed pass from freshman quarterback Keegan Collins to wide receiver Mason Gardner.
Collins then hit wide receiver Alex Bolington with a bullet pass to move the Warriors 13 yards closer to pay dirt at the North Adams’ 27-yard line. But that’s where the Warrior offense would stall on their second drive of the night, as Collins was sacked for a big loss to put the Warriors back at the North Adams’ 40-yard line with third down coming up and 20 yards to go. The Green Devil defense would hold the Warrior offense to a turnover on downs, taking over possession at their own 35-yard line.
The Green Devils marched to the Warriors’ 25-yard line behind some gutsy running by Collin Hesler, but it was another exceptional defensive stand by the Warriors that hold the Devils to fourth down with three yards to go. A tackle by Burbage would cut down the Devils shy of the first down marker, and the Warrior offense returned to the field to start their next drive of the game at their own 25-yard line.
The Warrior offense started off strong as they did in the previous drive with Collins completing a pass to Bolington for a 39-yard gain to move them near the Green Devils’ 35-yard line.
A seven-yard carry by Burbage moved the Warriors to the North Adams’ 28-yard line. From there, an offsides penalty on the Devil defense moved the Warriors five yards closer to pay dirt at the 23-yard line with just under a minute remaining in the first quarter.
A 10-yard penalty moved the Warriors back to the North Adams 33-yard line with first down and 20 yards to go. After Collins carried for a short gain and a dropped pass brought up third and 15 to go, the Warriors were able to finish off the drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Collins to Gardner. A successful kick for the extra point by Matthew Brown put the Warriors on top 7-0 with less than 10 seconds to go in the first period.
The Green Devil offensive responded by capping off a 50-yard drive with a touchdown carry by Collin Hesler to cut the Warrior lead to 70-6 with 9:38 to go in the second quarter. The Devils were unsuccessful on their two-point conversion attempt that followed the touchdown.
That would be the only time the Devils managed to reach the end zone in Friday’s contest, and the Warriors continued to improve as the game rolled along until they were completely dominating the gridiron on both sides of the ball with linebacker Kade Houston, defensive end Preston Meranda, and linebacker Tony Brown among the several players to put together outstanding performances on defense; while on the offensive end it was Collins throwing for more than 250 yards and Gardner racking up more than 100 yards receiving with two touchdown receptions.
Gardner would lead Warrior receivers in the game on a night where he got the opportunity to take the field as a starting receiver, taking over the position of a starting receiver who was unable to attend the game due to another obligation.
Also performing well on the offensive end for the Warriors were rushers Dylan Lainhart and Trevor Stamper.
After the Southern Buckeye defense forced a fumble that gave them possession at the North Adams’ 34-yard line, carries by Stamper and Lainhart led to the Warriors to their second touchdown of the night. It was Stamper capping off the short Warrior drive, powering in a touchdown to help his team rise to a 13-6 lead. An unsuccessful kick for the extra point would follow.
Coming off a 13-6 lead at halftime, the Warriors dominated the second half, outscoring the Devils 26-0 in the final two quarters.
A 56-yard touchdown reception by Gardner upped the Warrior lead to 19-6 with 7:44 to go in the third quarter.
After a 36-yard reception by Gardner to move the Warriors to the North Adams’ seven-yard line, it was Lainhart muscling his way for a seven-yard touchdown to leave the Devils trailing 25-6 with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter.
Lightning in the area would cause a delay in the action with under a minute to go in the third period, but when play resumed it was the Warriors sealing the deal by tacking on two more touchdowns.
“The offensive line was the difference (from the loss Middletown Christian the week before). The lineman were maintaining their blocks better and our quarterback had twice the amount of time to pass. I’m very proud of the effort by our offensive linemen,” said Tomlin.
Among the Warrior linemen stepping up big for the Keg Bowl were Troy Stamper, Jansen McCord, and Shawn Keeny. Bolington also aided in the Warrior win with some fine receptions as a tight end.
“They really brought it together,” Tomlin said of his team’s win.
The Warriors’ defensive players of the game were Houston and Brown, while earning recognition as their offensive players of the game were Collins and Gardner.
The Warriors were scheduled to take on the West Union Dragons, who pinned them with a 30 point loss in the season opener at home, on Sept. 23 at Freedom Field. The Warriors will be on the road at Freedom Field for their rematch against the Dragons, and Tomlin is expecting his Warriors to display a great deal of improvement since their loss in week one.
“I look for our boys to play a lot better this time,” said Tomlin, who is hoping his Warriors are able to even up their season record to 2-2.
The Western Brown Broncos dropped to an overall record of 1-3 with a 52-27 loss to Jackson in week four on the gridiron, Sept. 16.
It was a game that saw the Broncos tied with Jackson at 21 after the first two quarters of play and Western Brown trailed by only four points (31-27) after the third quarter, but it was a big ending by the home-standing Ironmen that would lead to the Broncos’ third loss of the season. Jackson outscored the Broncos 21-0 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Offensively, the Broncos managed to rack up 364 passing yards, 341 of those coming from junior quarterback Seth Becker who threw for three touchdowns. Becker also had two interceptions.
Western Brown junior Wyatt Fischer pulled down two touchdown receptions, taking six passes for 202 receiving yards in the week four loss.
Western Brown junior Carson Eyre hauled in six receptions for 64 receiving yards, while teammate Jacob Daniel pulled down three catches for 49 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Junior defensive back Eric Altman has been among the Broncos’ top performers on the defensive end so far this season.
The Broncos were in search of their second win of the season as they returned home to face Campbell County at Kibler Stadium/LaRosa’s Field on Friday, Sept. 23.
The Fayetteville-Perry Rockets suffered a heart breaking 18-14 loss at Williamsburg in week four on the gridiron.
Neither team did much offensively throughout the contest. Fayetteville ran five straight rushing plays to start the game, which resulted in back-to-back punts.
Williamsburg’s offense wasn’t much better, as injuries have taken their toll on the Wildcats. They scored a combined 83 points in their first two games this season, but have mustered just 21 in the two since.
They would strike first against the Rockets, as Cameron Hart would connect on a 29-yard field goal with 5:35 left in the first quarter.
The lead would last for exactly one quarter. Fayetteville’s Chase Jester broke several Williamsburg tackles on an 80-yard sprint to the end zone. The Rockets extra point was blocked, giving them a 6-3 lead at the 5:47 mark of the second quarter.
Fayetteville would have another chance to score thanks to a second long run from Jester, but the Williamsburg defense forced a turnover on downs, giving the Wildcats the ball at the three. They fumbled the snap, and it appeared Fayetteville had recovered the ball in the end zone. After a brief discussion, the referees awarded the Rockets a safety, giving them an 8-3 lead.
That score held through halftime and until the Rockets returned the opening kick of the third quarter all the way to the Williamsburg 25. Three plays later, Jester was in for his second touchdown of the day. The two-point conversion failed, and Fayetteville led 14-3 with 10:29 left in the third quarter.
Williamsburg answered, marching down the field and scoring on a six-yard touchdown pass from Nate Bogan to Andrew Smith, cutting the Rocket lead to 14-9. The Wildcats failed on the initial two-point conversion attempt, but a pass interference penalty gave them a second chance, and Bogan converted to make it 14-11 Fayetteville with 9:11 left in the third quarter.
The teams traded turnovers and punts for most of the third and fourth quarter, until Williamsburg took over on downs at their own 35 with 2:09 remaining and no time outs.
A double-pass and a roughing the passer call on Fayetteville put the Wildcats at the Fayetteville 25 with 1:44 remaining. Three plays later, Bogan scored on a six-yard run to put Williamsburg ahead 18-14 after Hart’s extra point.
Fayetteville took over at the Williamsburg 48 with 46.2 seconds remaining. Clock management and timely receptions moved them to the Williamsburg 14, where they had two shots at the end zone. The first pass by Luke Wiederhold was incomplete and the second was intercepted by Adam Donohoo as time expired.
Fayetteville head coach Kevin Finch said the Rockets played as well as they could, and said there were a few things his team did that he liked.
“Our kids played their hearts out,” Finch said. “It was back and forth. I feel for our kids, they really laid it out on this field. We had a couple breaks not go our way, but that’s football. Other than that, I thought we did some things very well. We moved the ball, controlled the clock. Those are the things we like to do.”
Williamsburg held the ball for just over 13 minutes of the 48-minute contest. In that time they gained a total of 274 yards, 186 of which came through the air. Head coach Scott Lefker said the team is dealing with injuries at key spots on the offensive line, which could be hindering the team’s offense.
Williamsburg had scored 83 combined points in the first two weeks of the season. The Wildcats have totaled 21 in the two weeks since. Finch said the team made a few changes to their schemes defensively, but the team’s week of practice had the greatest impact on their success on defense.
“We just tried to switch up a couple different coverages and fronts,” Finch said. “The players had a great week of practice. It was the best week of practice I’ve seen since coming to Fayetteville. Every day, they had good reps and the people going against them were challenging them and pushing each other and I think that helped. Even the people that weren’t on the first team were pushing and giving better reps. It was a team effort, from the first senior all the way down to the last freshman.”
Meanwhile, the Rockets themselves were in the midst of a solid run offensively, having put up at least 30 points in back-to-back games. Lefker said the team prepared to defend the run while acknowledging the squad faced a size disadvantage.
Wiederhold finished the game having completed four of eight passes for 23 yards and an interception. Bogan completed 11 of 23 attempts for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also was intercepted once. Smith completed four passes in four attempts for 44 yards for the Wildcats.
On the ground, Jester tallied a monster 218 yards on 29 carries and a pair of scores. Austin Brockman carried the ball 20 times for 58 yards for Fayetteville. Bogan led the Wildcats with 18 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Smith also collected six receptions for 118 yards and a score. Nate Fisher and Skylar Minton had sacks for the Rockets defensively.
Finch said the team would have to rely on each other to move past the loss.
“I couldn’t be more proud of their effort,” Finch said. “They break every one of our huddles this year with family, and they’ll need to rely on each other as a family today because I know it hurts. To put in that much effort and heart you hate to see a team lose like that. We have great kids with strong character, and they never quit. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Lefker said the Rockets simply wanted the win more than the Wildcats for most of the game, but he was happy to see his team pull out the win.
“We had a little bit of heart, and our kids dug deep,” Lefker said. “At the end of the day, it was ‘Who wanted it more?’ and Fayetteville wanted that game more than us for three and three-quarters of the fourth quarter. In the end, we wanted it more and we pulled it out. It’s not surprising the game was like that, Fayetteville’s a good team.”
The victory puts the Wildcats at 3-1 on the season, despite the rash of injuries. Lefker said the team has gotten used to winning games, and that feeling is what helps them push through tough contests.
The Rockets were scheduled to host Hillcrest at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept 23. Williamsburg will battle Minford at 7 p.m. at Osborne Field in Williamsburg.