By Josh Brown
LEWISBURG — It took Miami East one big quarter to take control of its own destiny.
After both the Vikings and Tri-County North started out fast in the first quarter, Miami East (6-2, 6-1 Cross County Conference) scored 28 unanswered second-quarter points to take charge, coasting to an impressive 56-27 victory over the Panthers Friday night to pull into a first-place tie in the conference.
That’s because Covington, which defeated the Vikings the previous week to become the only unbeaten team left in CCC play, was upset by Twin Valley South Friday night.
“I was worried this week,” Miami East coach Max Current said. “We had a tough one last week, but the boys did a nice job. They regrouped and got focused on North.”
The Panthers (5-3, 5-2 CCC) scored on the game’s opening possession, but Arron Adams answered with a 77-yard touchdown run to tie the score. After another Tri-County North score, Adams scored on a 12-yard run to tie the score at 14-14 after the first quarter.
The Vikings took control from there. Kurt Brower scored on a 1-yard run, Braxton Donaldson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Logan May, May scored on a 9-yard run and Justin Brown broke a 44-yard touchdown run on his only carry of the game, making the score 42-14 East at the half.
“There were only 44 seconds off the clock in the first quarter, and it was 7-7,” Current said. “They scored again, we answered again, and after that they just couldn’t stop us.”
The Panthers began the second half with 13 unanswered points, though, cutting the lead to 42-27. But Donaldson scored on a 2-yard run to put the game away, and Brower added a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth.
“We drove it down to the 10 to start the second half, but we fumbled and they scooped it up and took it 87 yards for a touchdown,” Current said. “Then they made us punt and pulled within 15, but we finished it off. Brower ran hard tonight, and Adams had a very nice game offensively.”
Brower had 212 yards on 26 carries, Adams had 167 yards on 15 attempts and May had 93 yards on 11 carries to lead the way. Donaldson was also 4 for 7 passing for 82 yards, with May grabbing three receptions for 59 yards.
Miami East travels to Troy Christian for a big non-league showdown in Week 9 before taking on Twin Valley South in Week 10, with the winner of that final game clinching a share of the CCC title.
WEST MILTON — Milton-Union may need help if it wants to win a Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division title this season.
But the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1) can still do everything in their own power to do that and earn a playoff berth — and that began Friday night with an impressive 28-7 victory over Carlisle to snap a two-game losing streak.
“It was very important, and the kids knew it,” Milton-Union coach Mark Lane said. “It’s amazing what can happen when a team wants something and then goes out and takes it.”
For Carlisle (4-4, 3-2), it marked the second straight loss — they dropped last week’s game to Madison, which stands atop the division at 4-0.
The Bulldogs also moved up into contention to host a playoff game, sitting in fourth in Division V, Region 18.
“We’ve been playing good team defense all year,” Lane said. “Everyone believes in flying to the football, and good things can happen when you’re around the football. Joey Swafford scored a couple of touchdowns, Kaleb Rue ran the ball well and Krue Thwaits played well defensively.
“We’ve just got to take these last two games one at a time now. We have Dixie and Waynesville left. Dixie is a team that keeps getting better, and that’s what’s in front of us now.”
National Trail 15
BRANDT — Bethel (4-4, 4-3) showed that last week’s upset of Twin Valley South was no fluke, piling up more than 600 yards of offense Friday night in a 72-15 blowout of National Trail in Cross County Conference play.
“We did. We put some major points up tonight,” Bethel coach Scott Clodfelter said. “We had a good win last week, and the kids played really well tonight. We’re starting to turn a corner, I think.”
Last week, the Bees upset Twin Valley South — which had previously been unbeaten in CCC play. Friday night, the Panthers upset the only unbeaten CCC team left, Covington.
Both teams entered the night with matching records, but National Trail (3-5, 3-4) — despite having some advantages on paper — was outclassed from the start.
“They weren’t a bad team. They were 3-4, they were bigger and more physical than us — but they just couldn’t stop us,” Clodfelter said. “Josh Wills and Jacob Evans played really well tonight, the offensive line played great — everyone just clicked. This may be a scoring record for the school. I don’t know if a Bethel team has scored 70 before.
“I’m really proud of the team. Building a program takes patience, but we’re starting to see some of the things we thought we’d see by now. We’re excited about where we’re at.”
Bethel travels to Ansonia in Week 9.
Troy Christian 18
TROY — After a tough loss at Tri-County North last week, Troy Christian returned home Friday night to take on an Arcanum team that was slowly beginning to roll — and the Eagles couldn’t stop the Trojans in a 20-18 loss.
Troy Christian had a chance to tie the game after Hayden Hartman hit Jacob Calvert with a touchdown pass to make it 20-18, but the Arcanum defense stopped the two-point conversion attempt to keep the Trojans in the lead. Arcanum recovered the onside kick and Troy Christian took over with 44 seconds left, but an interception as time expired sealed the game.
The win was Arcanum’s (3-5) third straight after dropping the first five games of the season. For the Eagles (4-3), it was their third loss in their last four games and second straight defeat. Last week’s loss dropped Troy Christian to ninth in the Division VII, Region 26 playoff standings, and Friday’s loss dropped them to 10th, two spots away from the eighth and final spot.
Troy Christian hosts 6-2 Miami East in Week 9, their final chance to get back in the postseason hunt with 0-8 Mississinawa Valley awaiting in the season’s final week.
Twin Valley South 34,
COVINGTON — Twin Valley South’s Jacob Bassler hit J.J. Utz with an 8-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining, capping off a back-and-forth battle and handing the Covington Buccaneers (6-2, 5-1) their first Cross County Conference loss of the season, 34-30 Friday night.
Covington had been the only team left without a loss in CCC play, but now the Buccs fall into a first-place tie with the Panthers (6-2, 5-1) and Miami East, which the Buccs defeated last week.
Covington took a 15-7 lead early, with Jared Williams scoring touchdowns of 4 and 14 yards in the first half. But Utz caught one of his four touchdown passes on the night, this one 39 yards from Mike Myers, to make it a one-point Covington lead at the half.
Utz then caught a 22-yard score from Bassler to give the Panthers the lead in the third, but the Buccs retook it on a 1yard run by Ethan Herron. Bassler then hit Utz with a 54-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-23 South after three, but Lance Miller scored on a 1-yard run to give the Buccs a 30-27 lead late, setting up Utz’s heroics late. The Panthers then recovered a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff to put the game away.
Covington will look to bounce back in Week 9 against National Trail, still controlling its own destiny in the CCC. The Buccs need only win their final two games to clinch a share of the CCC title.
Piqua 28, Trotwood 7
TROTWOOD — The Piqua football team is on the verge of its first trip to the postseason since 2007, picking up its first win over Trotwood-Madison and handing the Rams their second straight loss in Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division action by a 28-7 score.
Darien Tipps-Clemons, who rushed for almost 200 yards, put an exclamation point on the win with a 68-yard touchdown run late. He also added touchdown runs of 25, 1 and 28 yards — and a two-point conversion — to account for all of the Indians’ touchdowns.
Piqua (5-3, 2-1 GWOC North) hosts Sidney Friday before finishing the regular season at Troy.
Fort Loramie 35,
FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie rode the running of quarterback Drew Wehrman to a surprisingly easy 35-19 victory over Lehman in a key Northwest Central Conference game Friday night.
The Redskins started 0-4 and are now 4-4 on the season heading into a big game Friday at Upper Scioto Valley. Loramie, Upper Scioto Valley and Riverside are all tied for first in the NWCC at 4-1.
Wehrman got the Redskins off to a 14-0 lead with a 36-yard run to the one that set up Wes Puthoff’s short TD run, then after the defense stopped Lehman on the Loramie 8-yard line, Wehrman broke off a 92-yard run for a score.
Lehman scored the next two touchdowns, but still trailed 14-13 at the half. But the Redskins scored twice in the third quarter, one of them on a 33-yard run by Wehrman, to pull away.
BRADFORD — Bradford improved to 3-4 on the season Friday night, holding off Jefferson 24-20.
A safety put Bradford on the board, then a 17-yard score by Mason Justice made it 8-6 Railroaders. Jefferson retook the lead, but Bryson Canan tied the score on a 2-yard run. Andy Branson then threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Walker Branson to make it 22-14 at the half, then Jefferson scored again to make it a two-point game. A bad snap on a punt gave Bradford another safety, making it 24-20 late — and that’s where it stayed.
Bradford faces Manchester in Week 9.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.