By Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — Miami East came into the season with the longest running postseason streak in the county, having qualified the past six seasons in a row.
But the Vikings needed a Week 10 win to ensure lucky No. 7.
And just like the previous three games, Miami East left little doubt from the start, building a 35-0 lead by halftime and putting away a 53-0 victory over Twin Valley South in Friday night’s regular-season finale at home, officially locking up a playoff spot in the Division V, Region 18 standings.
With the win, the Vikings improved to 8-2 overall and finished 6-2 in Cross County Conference play, closing out the season on a four-game winning streak. Three of those four wins were shutouts, including Friday’s blowout, and the least points East put up during that stretch was Week 9’s 42-0 win over Tri-County North, with the average margin of victory in those four games being 58.5-3.3.
Justin Brown got things started Friday night with a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown, then a 2-yard touchdown run by Vincent Villella made the score 14-0 after one quarter. And in the second, Ian Gengler threw a pair of touchdown passes — a 43-yarder to Brown and a 15-yarder to Kaleb Nickels — and Nickels broke a 30-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-0 at halftime.
Brown then broke a 58-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, and a 6-yard touchdown run by Villella made the score 47-0 after three. Jonah Wolf capped off the scoring with a 2-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Brown had 120 rushing yards on only four carries and added two receptions for 76 yards to lead the way for the Vikings on the night. Villella added 98 rushing yards on 17 carries and Wolf had 40 yards on five carries. Gengler was 4 for 7 for 98 yards passing in the game.
Miami East’s playoff opponent won’t be made official n Sunday.
National Trail 0
COVINGTON — After losing three straight to start the season for a second year in a row, prospects looked bleak for the Covington Buccaneers.
But Covington finished off a seven-game winning streak to close out the regular season with a second straight shutout Friday night, defeating visiting National Trail 40-0 to clinch a playoff spot after missing out on the postseason last year.
Josh Latimer returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown to give the Buccs the lead after one, then a 2-yard run by Duncan Cooper and a 1-yard run by Alex Shaffer gave Covington a 21-0 lead at halftime. Cade Schmelzer then hit Andrew Cates with a 67-yard touchdown pass and Latimer posted his second pick-6 of the game, returning an interception 11 yards for a score to make it 33-0. Sam Pritchard capped things off with a 3-yard run in the fourth.
Covington finished the season 7-3, 7-1 in the Cross County Conference. The Buccs’ only conference loss came to eventual champion Fort Loramie in Week 3 — the Redskins shut out Tri-County North 42-0 Friday to clinch the title outright.
As of Saturday morning, Covington was the No. 7 seed in Division VI, Region 24 and would travel to undefeated Lima Central Catholic, but there is still a chance that LCC could leap up to the No. 1 seed and force Covington to play at Coldwater in Week 11. The playoff pairings won’t be made official until Sunday.
Troy Christian 28,
CRESTLINE — Troy Christian knew what had been at stake after a Week 9 loss to undefeated Lima Central Catholic.
Friday night, those fears came true as the Eagles were unofficially mathematically eliminated from playoff contention despite a 28-7 victory at Crestline in the regular-season finale.
Troy Christian finished the season 8-2, but only one of those wins came against a team with a winning record — in Week 1 against 7-3 Dayton Christian. As of Saturday morning, the Eagles had 13.1954 points in the Division VI, Region 24 playoff standings, sitting in ninth place behind 7-3 Deer Park, which had 13.8061 points. The playoff standings won’t be made official until Sunday.
CARLISLE — Since a shutout loss to undefeated Madison at the season’s midway point, the Milton-Union Bulldogs have turned things around.
And Friday night, the Bulldogs put the finishing touches on a strong stretch to close out the regular season, winning for the fourth time in their last five games and posting their second straight shutout in a 40-0 victory at Carlisle in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play.
With the win, Milton-Union finished 6-4 and was the SWBL Buckeye runner-up, finishing 5-1 in division play, second only to 6-0 Madison.
Miss. Valley 0
BRANDT — The season ended as it began at Bethel Friday night — with the lights going out.
In the end, though, the Bees finished the year with a winning record, posting its second straight shutout to close out the season in a 30-0 victory over visiting Mississinawa Valley.
With 9:44 left in the game, the power went out at Bethel’s stadium — but the Bees already had built a commanding lead and were able to close out the win once the lights came back on. In the season opener all the way back in Week 1, the same thing happened with the Bees clinging to a three-point lead against Northridge, and they eventually won that game, too.
Bethel finished the season 6-4 and 4-4 in the Cross County Conference.
ANSONIA — The season came to an end without a win again for the depleted Bradford Railroaders Friday night, as Ansonia defeated them 41-6 in Ansonia.
Bradford finished winless for the second straight year at 0-10 and 0-8 in Cross County Conference play. The last time Bradford won was a 40-27 win over Tri-Village on Oct. 14, 2016.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.