By Josh Brown
BRANDT — Bethel got exactly what it needed Friday night.
A true test.
The Bees recovered from a slow start Friday night, taking a one-touchdown lead by halftime and holding off a tougher-than-its-record Dayton Christian squad for a 22-15 victory, improving to 3-0 in the process and sweeping a three-game homestand to open the season.
“Oh, no doubt,” Bethel football coach Scott Clodfelter said. “I’ve been telling the kids all week that we still have doubters. We had two big wins, not a lot of pressure. We’ve had battles with Dayton Christian whenever we’ve played them. We definitely needed that. We needed to win a close game. It’s definitely a good win for us.”
After Dayton Christian (0-3) scored first to take the lead, Bethel’s Noah Burrowes tied the score on a 5-yard run by the end of the first quarter. Nate Rimkus then broke an 85-yard run and was caught at the 1-yard line — but he punched it in from a yard out to cap off that drive and give the Bees a 14-7 halftime lead.
“We got down 7-0 in the first, weren’t playing well, didn’t have a lot of energy,” Clodfelter said. “We just kind of hung around, then we had a big run by Rimkus that got us down to the 1, and we got it going. Then we came out in the second half and were realy physical.”
And in the third quarter, Jared Evans scored on a 2-yard run and then ran in the two-point conversion to keep the Bees ahead by a full seven points and seal the game.
“Tonight was a tough game. It was a dogfight the whole way,” Clodfelter said. “We did a good job running the ball and played good defense. I was pretty happy.”
Though Dayton Christian is 0-3, the combined record of its opponents to this point is now 8-1 — a pair of 3-0 teams in Bethel and Troy Christian, as well as a narrow 22-13 loss to 2-1 Eastern.
Bethel faces its biggest test of the season in Week 4, traveling to Cross County Conference rival — and defending league co-champion — Covington, which also sits at 3-0.
Miss. Valley 20
UNION CITY — After a 28-0 first quarter, the outcome of Covington’s Week 3 contest was never in doubt.
The Buccaneers (3-0, 2-0 Cross County Conference) piled up nearly 500 yards of total offense Friday night at winless Mississinawa Valley, building a 48-6 lead by halftime and crushing the Blackhawks 62-20, extending Mississinawa Valley’s losing streak to 23 games and setting up a matchup of unbeaten teams when the Buccs return to Covington next week.
The Buccs hit the Blackhawks from all angles Friday night, totalling 315 rushing yards as well as 162 passing yards for a grand total of 477 yards of offense. Quarterback Nathan Blei was 6 for 8 passing for 162 yards, hitting four different receivers with touchdown passes, while five different Buccs scored rushing touchdowns on the night.
Blei started things off with a 45-yard touchdown strike to Tristin Sowers, then Adam Lefeld punched in a 1-yard run and Ethan Herron broke a 42-yard touchdown run. Blei capped off the first quarter with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Branden Robinson to make it 28-0, then Lance Miller scored on a 9-yard run to make it 34-0 before Mississinawa was able to put any points on the board. Blei added a 12-yard touchdown pass to Zane Barnes and Deron White scored on a 9-yard run to make it 48-6 at the break.
Blei then hit Zach Parrett with a 24-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, and Ian Wilson scored on a 4-yard run to finally put things to rest. The Blackhawks managed 277 yards of total offense — 205 of it passing — but most of it came in the second half against the reserves.
Robinson led a group of 10 Buccaneer ballcarriers with 95 rushing yards on only three carries, while Sowers had a pair of receptions for 54 yards to lead the receivers.
Covington hosts 3-0 Bethel in a big early-season CCC matchup in Week 4.
Miami East 41,
ANSONIA — Despite leading 21-0 at halftime, Miami East coach Max Current wasn’t thrilled with how his Vikings were playing.
Levi Adducchio’s third-quarter performance went a long way to improving his coach’s outlook.
Adduchio scored three of his five touchdowns on the night in the third quarter alone, breaking off a pair of long touchdown runs and returning an interception for another score to put Friday night’s game at Ansonia out of reach in a 41-7 Cross County Conference victory over the Tigers.
“Levi came out at the half and played strong,” Current said. “He ran the ball hard, he was breaking some tackles and then he picks off a pass — the quarterback was hurried and Levi was right there, took it in for a pick-6. He’s been playing well in every game for us, been working real hard at practice, and I’m happy to see him getting rewarded for it.”
Adducchio finished with 134 yards and four rushing touchdowns on only 10 carries, one of two Vikings to break the 100-yard mark on the night. He scored on a 9-yard run to open the scoring, then Justin Brown scored on a 52-yard run — with Adducchio punching in the two-point conversion on the play — and Adducchio added a 1-yard score in the second quarter to make it 21-0.
“We finished the first half a little sloppy,” Current said. “Our second quarter was sloppy on both sides of the ball. We had some penalties, our tackling wasn’t good. We just didn’t look crisp. But we came out and played pretty well in the third quarter.”
Adducchio broke touchdown runs of 44 and 30 yards to start the third and finished it off with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown. Ansonia got the lone score of the fourth on an 86-yard kickoff return.
Brown finished with 134 yards on nine carries, Arron Adams had 64 yards on nine carries and quarterback Ian Gengler was 3 for 6 passing for 26 yards.
Miami East faces Arcanum in Week 4.
Troy Christian 35,
DAYTON — Northridge did everything it could to try to slow down Troy Christian’s running game.
It didn’t work.
And though the Eagles hit some bumps in the road in their passing game, Jacob Calvert and the ground game did the job, overcoming the Polar Bears’ stacked defense to pull away for a 35-7 victory as Troy Christian improved to 3-0 on the season Friday night at Northridge.
“We struggled in the passing game a little, had a couple interceptions, but we ran the ball well,” Troy Christian coach Ryan Jones said. “I thought we had some guys banged up a little bit, but the kids played real hard and stepped up. The offensive line blocked really well.
“Northridge was almost putting 10 guys in the box on a lot of plays, so to run the ball efficiently still against that, that’s a testament to our offensive line and to Jacob. We rode them pretty hard. And I was pleased with the way the defense played, as well.”
Calvert finished with 277 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries to lead the way. Hayden Hartman was 4 for 11 passing for 81 yards with two touchdowns — one to Jacob Brown and one to Cameron Strine — and two interceptions.
Troy Christian hosts Fairfield Christian Friday.
FRANKLIN — With its leading rusher lost for the season the week before, Piqua’s offense could find no traction Friday night at Franklin as the Indians were outgained 190-9 in the first half en route to a 30-6 loss to the Wildcats.
It was also the second week in a row that Piqua (1-2) surrendered a safety, following a 3-yard touchdown by Ryan Montgomery and making the score 8-0 early. Montgomery then returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 15-0 after one quarter — and that’s where things stayed at halftime.
Piqua got its only points of the game on a 6-yard touchdown by Ben Schmiesing in the third quarter, but Montgomery added a 6-yard touchdown and Bradn White hit Matt Spurlock for a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it 30-6.
Piqua will look to even its record in Week 4 when it hosts West Carrollton.
Catholic Central 42,
BRADFORD — Bradford fell to 0-3 Friday night, returning home to face a tough Springfield Catholic Central team — which built a 28-0 lead by halftime and improved to 3-0 with a 42-0 victory over the Railroaders.
Bradford hosts Hillcrest Academy in Week 4.
Lehman 63, Graham 14
ST. PARIS — The Lehman Cavaliers bounced back in a big way from their loss at Minster last week, beating the Graham Falcons 63-14 Friday night at Graham.
The win will put the Cavs at 2-1 on the year heading into a “real” home game Friday against Upper Scioto Valley. The game will be played at Lehman.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.