By Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — Last year, a loss to Lehman was the only blemish on the Miami East football team’s regular season.
Which made Friday night’s win all the sweeter.
The Vikings dominated the first half, building a 24-0 lead and answering every time the Cavaliers tried to fight back during a back-and-forth third quarter, putting away a 52-21 victory Friday night in their home opener — Miami East’s first victory over Lehman since 1990.
Quarterback Ian Gengler put the Vikings (2-0) on the board roughly four minutes in on a 15-yard touchdown run, then Kaleb Nickels scored on an 8-yard run in the middle of the first quarter. Gengler then hit Nickels with a 20-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the first, giving East a 21-0 lead after one. Wes Sutherly then kicked a 21-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining in the half to put the Vikings up 24-0 at the break.
Lehman (0-2) answered in the third quarter — but each time they did, Miami East’s Justin Brown had a counter.
Elliott Gilardi hit Bradly Haynes with a 9-yard touchdown pass at the 9:58 mark to put Lehman on the board, but Brown broke a 51-yard touchdown run at 9:11 in response. Gilardi again hit Haynes for a score, this time a 44-yarder with 8:10 on the clock, but Brown answered with a 30-yard touchdown jaunt at 6:04 to make it 38-14. Gilardi scored on a 10-yard run to make it a 17-point game one last time at 3:32, but Brown broke a back-breaking 54-yard touchdown run at 3:20 to make it 45-21 heading into the fourth, and Vincent Villella added the only score of the final quarter, a 16-yard touchdown run, to seal it.
The Miami East offense outgained Lehman 506-362 in the slugfest. Brown led the way with 231 rushing yards on 15 carries and Villella had 159 yards on 19 carries, and Gengler was 4 for 7 passing for 68 yards, with Nick Levalley leading the receivers with 40 yards on two catches.
Gilardi was Lehman’s offense in the game, going 23 for 31 passing for 287 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and adding 72 of the Cavs’ 75 rushing yards on 16 carries.
The Vikings travel to 2-0 National Trail in Week 3 to open Cross County Conference play.
Spr. Shawnee 7
TIPP CITY — The Tippecanoe Red Devils tallied their first-ever victory on their new turf field Friday night.
And it came against an old rival.
Tippecanoe (1-1) held Springfield Shawnee to barely more than 100 yards of total offense and got contributions from just about everyone on offense, using a balanced attack to put away a 38-7 victory over the old Central Buckeye Conference rival Braves Friday night at Tipp City Park.
Josh Burritt kicked off the scoring, catching a 15-yard touchdown pass from Troy Taylor to give the Devils a 7-0 lead early in the first, then Ben Sauls broke a 56-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 after one. After the Braves cut the lead to 14-7, Burritt scored on a 9-yard run to give Tipp some insurance and Sauls kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it 24-7 at the break.
The Devils added a pair of third-quarter scores to put the game away, a 10-yard run by Ben Ambos and a 7-yarder by Jackson Yeager.
Four Devils had more than 50 yards rushing, led by Burritt’s 67 yards. Sauls had 56 on his only carry and Yeager and Cade Beam each had 50 yards. Taylor was 4 for 5 passing for 69 yards, 32 of those to Burritt and 33 to Josh Riffell.
Tippecanoe travels to 2-0 Northmont in Week 3.
WEST MILTON — Milton-Union (1-1) avenged a narrow defeat at the hands of Oakwood last year, capping off a two-game homestand to begin this season with a 14-6 victory over the Lumberjacks Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Aaran Stone caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nathan Brumbaugh to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead at halftime, then Jake Swafford scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 in the third quarter. Oakwood answered in the third to cut the lead to eight, but the Milton-Union defense held on from there.
Milton-Union heads on the road for the first time this season in Week 3, traveling to 2-0 Northwestern.
Dayton Christian 7
DAYTON — While Bethel had a lot of important victories during last season’s 9-2 run, arguably the biggest was a 45-15 Week 2 victory over Dayton Christian — a team that eventually went 9-2 itself.
Friday night, the Bees showed not much has changed in a year, jumping out to a 14-point lead by halftime and scoring 20 unanswered in the second half to put away a 41-7 victory at Dayton Christian to improve to 2-0.
Bethel’s Kendal James got things going early, catching the first of his two touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Ullmer with 7:18 left in the first quarter, a 55-yarder to put the Bees up 7-0. And with 1:07 left in the quarter, Jared Evans plunged in on a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 after one.
Dayton Christian (0-2) answered early in the second quarter to cut the Bethel lead to one touchdown, but with 4:04 until halftime Ullmer hit James with a 39-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-7 at the break.
Evans scored on another 1-yard run early in the third quarter for some extra insurance, and then James broke a 25-yard touchdown run to make it 35-7 going into the fourth. Darrius Smith added a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring.
Bethel had a pair of 100-yard rushers on the night, with Smith piling up 114 yards on 10 carries and Evans adding 104 yards on 24 carries. Ullmer was 3 for 6 passing for 95 yards — all of them to James — and added 86 yards rushing on nine carries, while James added 65 rushing yards.
In Week 3, Bethel hosts 2-0 Tri-Village to open Cross County Conference play.
COVINGTON — A young Covington team gave defending Division VII state champion Minster a fight Friday night, but in the end the Buccaneers fell to 0-2 with a 39-26 loss.
Brayden Wiggins gave the Buccs a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run, but Minster (2-0) scored 27 unanswered points thanks to two Alex Schmitmeyer touchdown runs and two Jacob Niemeyer touchdown passes. Cade Schmelzer scored on a 1-yard run before halftime to keep Covington alive, though, making the score 27-12.
Schmitmeyer added two more touchdown runs to put Minster up 39-12 in the fourth quarter, but Schmelzer threw a pair of touchdown passes — one a 30-yarder to Parker Dysinger and the other a 48-yarder to Kleyton Maschino — to get the Buccs with 13 with 1:07 to go, but the Wildcats were able to close out the game from there.
Covington had 224 of its 294 total yards come through the air, but Minster picked off three Bucc passes. And the Wildcat offense simply could not be stopped, piling up 448 yards of offense.
Covington will open Cross County Conference play on the road in Week 3, playing at Fort Loramie.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.