By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
SIDNEY — In the end, the final score didn’t reflect just how much of a fight Miami East had on its hands.
The young Vikings (1-1) responded after host Lehman cut their lead to only four in the fourth quarter, answering with a touchdown of their own and kicking a late field goal to ice a 31-17 Week 2 victory over the Cavaliers Friday at Sidney High School.
Miami East, which fell behind big early in a Week 1 loss to Milton-Union, got off to the strong start this time, with quarterback Tyler Kirby hitting Nick LeValley for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to make the score 7-0 Vikings. Austin Francis then finished off a second-quarter drive with a 4-yard touchdown run, and East led 14-0 at halftime.
Lehman (0-2) answered to start the third quarter, with Gabriel Knapke catching a 6-yard touchdown pass from R.J. Bertini to cut the lead to 14-7 — but Francis answered by breaking a 90-yard touchdown run to keep the Vikings ahead by two scores, 21-7.
The Cavs continued to battle back, with Bertini tossing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brendan O’Leary to cut the lead to seven again at 21-14 entering the final quarter, then Ethan Potts kicked a 30-yard field goal to get Lehman within four at 21-17.
Miami East put the game away, though, with Kaleb Nickels punching in a 3-yard touchdown run to extend the lead once more, and Garrett Kowalak added a 37-yard field goal late to seal it.
Francis finished with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and LeValley added 113 yards on nine carries, as well as catching a touchdown pass. Kirby was 3 for 6 passing for 25 yards with the touchdown and one interception.
Miami East opens Cross County Conference play at home in Week 3 against defending league champion Fort Loramie. Lehman, meanwhile, finishes off a two-game homestand with another non-league matchup against Graham.
OAKWOOD — In Week 1, A.J. Lovin did a little of everything to lead Milton-Union to a win.
In Week 2, he did a little more.
Lovin ran for a touchdown, caught another and then returned an interception for yet another, in addition to kicking a field goal, leading the Bulldogs to a convincing 51-22 victory Friday at Oakwood.
After riding a 24-0 start to a Week 1 win, the Bulldogs did the same thing Friday night. Quarterback Nathan Brumbaugh hit Peyton Brown with a 26-yard touchdown pass to make the score 6-0, then Lovin kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it 9-0. Lovin then finished off the first quarter with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown, and a Brumbaugh two-point run made the score 17-0 Milton-Union after one. Lovin then caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brumbaugh to put the Bulldogs up 24-0 in the second quarter before Oakwood (0-2) finally got on the scoreboard.
Kayge Thwaits then scored on a 2-yard run to put the Bulldogs up 30-8, but Oakwood scored again to cut the lead to 30-16. Lovin then broke an 85-yard touchdown run before halftime, giving Milton-Union a 37-16 lead at the break.
In the third, Andrew Lambert added a 13-yard touchdown run and Blake Neumaier scored on an 8-yard run, and the Bulldogs put the game away from there.
Milton-Union improved to 2-0 with the win for the first time since 2016 — the Bulldogs finished that season 8-4 and reached the regional semifinals. The Bulldogs host Northwestern in their home opener Sept. 13.
National Trail 19,
BRANDT — A Bethel comeback attempt came up one yard short Friday night as National Trail held on for a 19-12 victory to open Cross County Conference play at Bethel High School.
Bethel took the lead early on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Mason Brown to Alec Maus, with the Bees leading 6-0 after one. National Trail (2-0, 1-0 CCC) took a 7-6 lead at the half after an 85-yard touchdown pass, and that’s where things remained heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter, Walker Johnson scooped up a fumble and took it 35 yards for the go-ahead score, putting Bethel up 12-7. But National Trail scored once to take a 13-12 lead and again to go up 19-12, but Bethel stopped the two-point try to remain within striking range. The Blazer defense turned in a goal-line stand at the 1-yard line to finish off the game, though, holding on for the win.
Bethel (0-2, 0-1 CCC) finishes off a two-game homestand in Week 3, hosting Tri-County North on Sept. 13.
Troy Christian 16
MCCOMB — Troy Christian took on the defending Division VII state champion on the road Friday night, falling at McComb (2-0) 44-16.
Nathan Waltz scored both of the Eagles’ touchdowns, catching a 51-yard touchdown pass and breaking a 75-yard touchdown run, but Troy Christian simply couldn’t keep up with McComb, which had 556 yards of total offense — 398 of it on the ground — to the Eagles’ 247.
Troy Christian (0-2) hosts 2-0 Northridge in Week 3.
ENON — Greenon quarterback Cade Rice threw five touchdown passes Friday night as Bradford couldn’t keep up with the high-powered Knight (2-0) offense in a 65-6 loss on the road.
Bradford (0-2) hosts Arcanum in Week 3.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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