By Josh Brown
BRANDT — Sometimes, simplicity works best.
The Miami East offensive line plowed gaping holes in the defense all night long, clearing the path for big run after big run up the middle in the cold and rain Friday at Cross County Conference rival Bethel, and the defense shut down every way the Bees tried to counter on the other side of the ball in a 48-7 Week 6 victory.
The Viking defense — which allowed 40 points just two weeks ago to winless Arcanum in a 62-40 victory — was on top of its game against Bethel, holding the Bees to a mere 21 rushing yards on 19 attempts in the first half.
“I thought we played well on both sides of the ball,” Miami East coach Max Current said. “Our offensive line opened up some massive holes. Our guys got on their blocks and stayed on them, that was nice to see. Kurt (Brower) ran hard, and Logan (May) had some nice runs.
“I thought we tackled well on defense, too. They got a few pass plays to get some first downs, but they never drove. We were real concerned about their fullback (Josh Wills), because he’s a nice player. We didn’t give him a chance to break any tackles.”
Miami East (5-1, 5-0 CCC), meanwhile, had nothing but success on offense from the start. After Kurt Brower converted a third-and-7 with a 22-yard run on the Vikings’ first series, East only faced two more third downs in the half. Brower and Logan May took turns piling up 9- and 10-yard runs on that first drive from there, with May finally punching the ball in from a yard out to make it 7-0 East, with the Vikings going 56 yards on seven plays.
Bethel had its most successful drive of the half on the ensuing possession, converting three first downs and taking the ball from the 20 to East’s 44. But the Vikings forced a punt, took over on their own 16 and quickly began marching. It took them 10 plays to go the 84 yards, with Arron Adams cutting back a pitch and working his way 21 yards untouched to the end zone to make it 14-0 East on the second play of the second quarter.
After recording tackles-for-loss on all three plays of a Bethel three-and-out, the Viking defense forced a punt — and the offense went 54 yards in four plays, with Brower pulling tacklers along with him on a 14-yard score. The Bees then took the ball to midfield but had to punt, and Braxton Donaldson hit May in stride 40 yards downfield for a 69-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-0 Vikings with five minutes left in the half.
“He threw that into the wind, too,” Current said. “That was a nice ball. At first I thought Braxton overthrew it, but Logan just ran right under it and it was right on his hands.
“You never know when you’re going to need the pass in the rain. It was nice to see us execute that well in those conditions.”
That was all the passing the Vikings would need, too, as they finished the game with 428 rushing yards and 77 passing for 505 total. Brower added a 16-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the third quarter, and the rest of the game was played under a running clock. Levi Adducchio broke a 26-yard touchdown run on his only carry of the game, and Vincent Villella punched in a 5-yard score to make it 48-0 Miami East.
Wills broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the fourth against the Vikings’ reserves on defense, but that was all the offense the Bees could muster in the game.
Bethel quarterback Jacob Evans threw for 67 yards in the first half — all in the first half — hitting Ian Anderson twice for 50 yards. The Bees ran for 21 yards on 19 carries in the first half and finished the game with 106 yards on the ground, most of which came on Wills’ late scoring run.
“Hopefully we can keep this going into next week,” Current said.
Miami East hosts Covington in a critical CCC showdown in Week 7, while the Bees (2-4, 1-3 CCC) will travel to Twin Valley South looking to snap a three-game skid.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.