By Josh Brown
and David Fong
BRANDT — Bethel football coach Scott Clodfelter knew the questions coming into the season.
He and the Bees have spent the first three weeks answering them.
Kendal James had four touchdowns and the Bees scored on every first-half possession Friday night against Tri-Village, leading Bethel to its third straight victory to start the year in a 63-19 rout of the Patriots to open Cross County Conference play.
After a 9-1 regular season and a trip to the playoffs last year, followed by the graduation of a talented senior class, many of them four-year starters, the question was how the Bees (3-0, 1-0 CCC) would follow it up. So Bethel began the season with a narrow win over Northridge before a pair of dominant victories.
“We’re getting better,” Coldfelter said. “It took a bit of time because we lost a lot in the offseason, some great seniors, but we’re getting better each week. In Week 1, we struggled a bit, in Week 2 we got a little better … and this week we really did well on both sides of the ball.
“Kendal had a really big game, and the offensive line did a great job. We play hard and just keep plugging away each week.”
Jacob Ullmer started things off with a 14-yard touchdown run barely more than two minutes into the game to make it 6-0, then after the defense forced a three-and-out, James broke a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Bees ensuing possession and ran in the two-point conversion to give Bethel a 14-0 lead. Another three-and-out led to a methodical 10-play, 85-yard drive, finished off early by a 39-yard run by Ullmer. Tri-Village finally got moving on the next possession and scored on fourth-and-goal to make the score 21-6 Bethel after one.
The Bees didn’t slow down, though. James scored on a 9-yard run to put the Bees up 27-6, Tri-Village turned the ball over on down and Evan Rogers capped off an eight-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown and added a two-point run to make it 35-6 with 5:25 to go until halftime. James then picked off a Tri-Village pass, and after a 49-yard pass from Ullmer to Peyton Inman put the Bees on the Patriot 2, Jared Evans scored on a 2-yard run. And on the final drive of the first half, Bethel went 74 yards on 11 plays, with James scoring on a 7-yard run with 5.8 seconds on the clock.
In the second half, James added a 48-yard touchdown run and Evans scored from four yards out, and the Bee defense did the rest.
Bethel travels to Ansonia in Week 4.
Miami East 38,
National Trail 3
NEW PARIS — Reigning Cross County Conference champion Miami East built a 17-0 lead by halftime, then Justin Brown scored three second-half touchdowns to put away National Trail in the Vikings’ league opener Friday night, a 38-3 victory over the Blazers on the road.
Wes Sutherly got the Vikings (3-0, 1-0 CCC) on the board with a 40-yard field goal, then Kaleb Nickels scored on a 5-yard run with 2:49 left in the first quarter to make the score 10-0. Vincent Villella added a 2-yard run late in the half to make the score 17-0 at the break.
Ian Gengler hit Brown with a 49-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-0 before National Trail kicked a field goal to get on the board. But with 2:34 left in the third, Brown broke a 75-yard touchdown run, and he added a 55-yarder early in the fourth to cap off the scoring.
Brown finished with 204 yards on 11 carries to go along with the touchdown reception, and Villella had 93 yards on 16 carries. Gengler had 23 rushing yards and was 2 for 6 passing for 63 yards.
Miami East returns home in Week 4 to host Fort Loramie in a key CCC matchup.
Troy Christian 28,
DAYTON — Troy Christian remained undefeated with a win over Northridge Friday.
Running back Jason Blake led the Eagles with 21 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Nathan Waltz had 13 carries for 110 yards. Quarterback Caleb Twiss added a pair of rushing touchdowns.
“It was a good win,” Troy Christian coach Ryan Jones said. “We fought through some adversity and found a way to win against a very talented and physical team.”
With the win, Troy Christian improved to 3-0, while Northridge fell to 1-2. Troy Christian hosts Lucas (2-1) this week.
CLAYTON —Northmont’s Michael Franklin rushed for 280 yards and four scores Friday night, leading the Thunderbolts past Tippecanoe 35-14 on the road.
Cade Beam scored on a 2-yard run to give the Red Devils (1-2) a 7-0 lead to start the game, but Franklin broke off an 82-yard touchdown run for his first score to tie things up. Franklin added three more TDs, with a 56-yard interception return for a score by Danny Lewis sandwiched in between. Beam capped off the scoring on the night with a 4-yard run in the fourth.
Beam finished with 97 yards on 24 carries to lead the Devils, who travel to West Carrollton in Week 4.
SPRINGFIELD — Milton-Union (1-2) kept pace with Northwestern for three quarters Friday night, but the Warriors broke two big fourth-quarter plays to claim a 35-21 victory over the Bulldogs.
Robbie Grove gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run, but Northwestern scored back-to-back TDs to take the lead. Aaron Stone took home a 65-yard touchdown pass from Will Morris to even things up, but the Warriors answered to take a 21-14 lead at the half.
Morris took in a 1-yard run in the third quarter to tie the score, but a 97-yard pass from Chris Hart to Ben VanNoord — Hart’s third TD pass of the night — gave Northwestern the lead for good, and Eli Berner added a 43-yard scoring run to put the game away.
Milton-Union opens Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play in Week 4 on the road at Northridge.
Fort Loramie 33,
FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie scored 20 unanswered points to begin Friday night’s game, jumping out in front of Covington and handing the Buccaneers their third straight loss to begin the season, 33-14.
After Collin Moore threw three straight touchdown passes to Carter Mescher to put the Redskins up 20-0, Covington (0-3, 0-1 Cross County Conference) finally got on the board after Josh Latimer returned a blocked punt 38 yards for a score. But Loramie added one more score to take a 26-7 lead at halftime, and Moore and Mescher hooked up for a fourth TD to make it 33-7 after three before Andrew Cates caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Cade Schmelzer in the fourth quarter for the final score.
Covington returns home in Week 4, hosting Tri-County North.
PIQUA — Makeegan Kuhn and Micah Karn both had two touchdowns, leading Piqua to a 42-0 shutout victory over Meadowdale Friday night.
Karn had 107 yards on seven carries and Kuhn had 78 yards on seven carries to lead the Indians (2-1). Owen Toopes added a 4-yard touchdown run and Matt Blankenzhip caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Karn.
Piqua hosts Fairborn Friday night.
ST. PARIS — Lehman snapped a two-game skid to start the season Friday night, taking charge in the fourth quarter and putting away a 24-14 win at Graham.
With the score tied 14-14 entering the fourth, Michael Denning connected on a 31-yard field goal to put the Cavaliers (1-2) on top, and Elliott Gilardi sealed the win by returning an interception 60 yards for a score. Tyler Sollman had Lehman’s other two scores, a 1-yard run and a 7-yard pass from Gilardi.
Lehman (1-2) hosts Ridgemont in Week 4.
Miss. Valley 41,
UNION CITY — Bradford dropped its 15th straight game Friday night and was shut out for the second straight week, falling 41-0 at Mississinawa Valley.
The Railroaders (0-3, 0-1 Cross County Conference) hosts Arcanum in Week 4.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter. Contact David Fong at dfong@aimmedmidwest; follow him on Twitter @thefong