By Josh Brown
CARLISLE — Milton-Union’s valiant effort to get back into Friday night’s game led to the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division lead being decided in overtime.
But the Carlisle Indians (6-2, 5-0 SWBL Buckeye) were able to score first on the opening possession of the extra period, then they stopped the Bulldogs on fourth-and-1 on theirs to escape with a 34-28 overtime win Friday night at Carlisle, knocking Milton-Union (5-3, 3-1 SWBL Buckeye) to second place in the division.
“The kids fought hard,” Milton-Union coach Mark Lane said. “We tied it up late in the game and forced overtime, but our efforts just came up short there.
“They got the ball first and methodically marched it the 20 yards for the score — but we forced a bad kick, so they were only up six. But on fourth-and-1, they stopped us, and we just came up short.”
Krue Thwaits and Zac Shields both ran for more than 100 yards in the game, with Thwaits piling up 129 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries and Shields adding 101 yards on 19 carries. Blake Smith added 60 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, and quarterback Zach Vagedes scored on a 1-yard plunge, as well. Vagedes was also 8 for 19 passing for 76 yards, but the Indians picked off three passes in the game.
Milton-Union returns home for its final two games, against Dixie in Week 9 and then the finale against Waynesville.
“We’ve just got to keep trying to get better every day,” Lane said. “We have two tough opponents left, and we need to finish the season strong.”
GREENVILLE — In a battle of two tough defenses, Tippecanoe’s made the final big play.
Quenten Williams intercepted a pass with two minutes remaining and the Red Devils protecting a one-point lead, allowing Tippecanoe (6-2, 2-1 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division) to hold on for a 7-6 victory at Greenville — and keeping the Devils’ playoff hopes alive.
Neither team had much luck moving the ball, and the score remained 0-0 all the way to the middle of the fourth quarter when Tippecanoe’s Cole Barhorst finished off a lengthy drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Devils a 7-0 lead with 6:42 to play.
Greenville (3-5, 0-3 GWOC American North) answered right back with a 55-yard touchdown run by Devin Hendrix, but the Devils forced a miss on the extra point and maintained a slim one-point lead.
“Both offenses struggled,” Tippecanoe coach Joel Derge said. “We knew they had one of the best-ranked defenses in the GWOC coming in, and our defense played well, also. It just came down to whose red zone offense was better.
“Cole finished off about a 70-yard drive with less than seven minutes to go, but they countered right back — only they missed the extra point, and we kept the lead.”
The Devils took off as much time as they could before giving the ball back to the Green Wave, but with time ticking down, Williams fought through an offensive pass interference flag and came down with the interception anyway. Tippecanoe naturally declined the penalty and ran out the clock from there.
“There was about five minutes left and we got the ball, and we actually punted it to them,” Derge said. “We had confidence in our defense, and we got a big interception.”
Barhorst led the Devils with 65 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, Williams added 40 yards on 11 carries and Aaron Hughes was 6 for 8 passing for 84 yards.
Even with the win, Tippecanoe dropped in the Division III, Region 12 playoff standings. The Devils currently sit in ninth place — with next week’s opponent, Piqua, right behind in 10th, making next week’s game at Piqua a battle for a postseason berth.
“We know we’re playing for something important next week,” Derge said. “Piqua’s right behind us in 10th, so it’s a big playoff week. And then in Week 10, we’re playing Butler, who is ninth in their region in D-II, so we all have a lot to play for. It just comes down to the fact that we have to execute.”
TV South 16
WEST ALEXANDRIA — Last season, an upset at the hands of Twin Valley South cost Covington the outright Cross County Conference championship, forcing the Buccaneers to share it with Miami East.
Friday night, Covington cleared that same hurdle, leaping out to a 38-0 lead before substituting freely and coasting to an easy 38-16 victory at Twin Valley South to remain undefeated at 8-0 and 6-0 in CCC play.
Zach Parrett gave the Buccs an early lead with a 28-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Nathan Blei, but it was a big second quarter that put the game away. Lance Miller scored on an 11-yard run, Blei kicked a 24-yard field goal, Miller scored again from 20 yards out and Branden Robinson caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Blei, and in the blink of an eye Covington led 31-0 going into halftime.
Miller added one last touchdown run of 7 yards early in the third quarter, and the Buccs put it on cruise control from there.
Blei had 226 yards passing in the game, with Robinson bringing in four passes for 77 yards and Parrett with four catches for 74 yards. Miller led the Buccs rushing with 49 yards and three scores on nine carries.
Covington hosts National Trail in Week 9.
Troy Christian 28,
ARCANUM — With the Eagles’ only loss being a one-point loss in Week 5, Troy Christian coach Ryan Jones got the chance to see how his team reacted when faced with a similar situation now.
He was more than happy with the outcome.
After trailing the entire game, Troy Christian’s Hayden Hartman hit Jacob Brown for a touchdown with roughly nine minutes to play that got the Eagles back to within one at 21-20. And with two minutes to go, Hartman scored on a quarterback sneak and then hit Brown with a two-point conversion pass to put away a come-from-behind 28-21 victory at Arcanum Friday night to make Troy Christian 7-1 on the season.
“It was an impressive win,” Jones said. “They faced some adversity, and you want to see how they come back. And they came back with the kind of fire we saw in the second half of that Covington game. To get a win like that in a tight game when it was all on the line, that was great for the team as we head for the playoffs.”
Brown, Cameron Strine and Peyton Spurlock each caught a touchdown pass from Hartman, who was forced to make plays after Arcanum (3-5) committed to stopping the run.
“Arcanum played really hard and disciplined and loaded up the box to stop the run, dared us to throw,” Jones said. “We had some trouble running the football, so we had to rely on the passing game more, and we were able to get that going in the second half. But our defense really stepped up in the second half. The defensive line rushed their quarterback and pressured him into some bad throws, and they really made a difference.”
Troy Christian faces another big test in Week 9 when it travels to Miami East.
National Trail 0
NEW PARIS — The Bethel Bees guaranteed themselves at least a .500 season with Friday night’s 21-0 victory at National Trail in Cross County Conference play.
And with two weeks remaining, the Bees (5-3, 3-3 CCC) are hoping to post their first winning season since they went 7-3 in 2010. The Bees finished 5-5 in 2011, 2012 and last season.
Bethel also kept alive its playoff hopes with the win, climbing to 10th place in the Division VI, Region 22 standings, two places away from a postseason spot. Bethel hosts 2-6 Ansonia in Week 9 before finishing the season at 3-5 Arcanum.
VANDALIA — Piqua (6-2, 3-0 Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division) kept its division title and playoff hopes alive Friday night, outlasting defending division champion Butler for a 36-26 victory.
Allen Schrubb led the Indians with 108 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, with all three of his touchdowns coming in the second half to seal the win. Ben Schmiesing added 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and quarterback Austin Davis scored on a 1-yard run.
With a playoff spot on the line, Piqua hosts Tippecanoe in Week 9 — the team that knocked the Indians out in the first round of last year’s postseason.
BRADFORD — Bradford continued to roll Friday night, posting its most impressive win of the season — and its third straight — in a 40-27 victory over Tri-Village (3-5) in the Railroaders’ final home game.
Bradford travels to 4-4 Northwood in Week 9.
Fort Loramie 20,
SIDNEY — Lehman’s winning streak came to an end at five games Friday night as Northwest Central Conference rival Fort Loramie (4-4, 4-1 NWCC) handed the Cavaliers a 20-0 Week 8 loss.
Lehman (5-3, 4-1 NWCC) travels to Ridgemont in Week 9 and Waynesfield-Goshen in Week 10.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.