UNION CITY – After lightning postponed the Mississinawa Valley football game with Bethel on Friday to Saturday night, it was looking a little ominous in the evening as the rain began to fall once again.
But the skies cleared and the evening turned out to be pleasant for a game of football.
The start by Mississinawa was anything but pleasant … in fact it was downright painful.
Before Mississinawa actually ran a positive play from the line of scrimmage the Blackhawks trailed 21-0 with 7:23 yet to go in the first quarter.
Bethel took the opening drive and marched down the field and scored on a 28-yard keeper from quarterback Jared Evans. The extra point kick was good from Erica Turner, and the Bees led 7-0 at 10:39
On the kickoff Mississinawa fumbled, and the Bees recovered on the 30-yard line. They would score quickly. This time it was Cameron Brown scampering around the right side for an 8-yard score, and the Bees were up 14-0 at 9:17.
MV then fumbled the hand-off on the very first offensive play of the night … and once again the Bees were sitting with good field position on the 33-yard line of the Hawks.
This time it was Noah Burrowes going in for the score from 18 yards out, and another Turner extra point gave Bethel a 21-0 advantage.
“When you give up 21 points in the first quarter that’s hard to overcome, and we did that before we had even run two offensive plays,” first year head coach Pat Baker said.
Finally the Hawks got into an offensive rhythm with a couple of good runs by Tyler Jenkinson and a 25-yard reception by Jenkinson from quarterback Andrew Johns, and Mississinawa was in Bethel territory, down to the 25 yard line.
But the drive ended on the 15-yard line as Bethel took over on downs.
Sophomore Zach Dirmeyer then intercepted a Bethel pass, and the Hawks went back to work on offense at the 46-yard line of the Bees.
Mississinawa moved the ball down to the 8-yard line, and Bethel held one more time on downs.
Bethel then put together a very long time consuming drive with junior running back Josh Wills carrying the load. He would finish the drive on a 3-yard run, and the Bees enjoyed a 28-0 lead at the break.
After the Hawks went three and out to start the third quarter, Bethel marched the ball up the field, much like the last drive of the half, all the way down to the 10-yard line. This time Mississinawa held and got the ball back on downs.
Senior Nathan Rammel had a nice 35-yard run, and again Mississinawa moved the ball … but couldn’t sustain the drive.
Mississinawa held on defense, forcing the first punt of the night by Bethel at 1:31 in the third quarter. But the snapped sailed over the head of punter Tyler Terry and out the back of the end zone. It would be the only score on the night for Mississinawa, a two-point safety.
Bethel struck one more time just as the third quarter ended on a 24-yard run by Ian Anderson to go up 35-2.
Bethel added another touchdown in the final stanza to claim a 42-2 Cross County Conference win.
The win raises the Bees’ record to 1-1 on the year and 1-0 in the conference. They will travel Friday to play Dayton Christian at West Carrolton Middle School.
Mississinawa falls to 0-2 on the year and 0-1 in the conference.
“I’m proud of our kids. I see a lot of effort out there, and they kept fighting and as coaches we will keep fighting as well,” Baker said.
“Our seniors were doing a great job of leading us through adversity tonight and kept our effort high,” Baker added.
“Coach Griffin did a nice job at halftime making adjustments against their triple option. That stuff is hard to go against when you don’t see it often … and that’s why the Navy’s and Georgia Tech’s of the world run it,” Baker said.
“We moved the ball on offense today and got in the red zone on a number of occasions tonight and although we didn’t finish those are positive signs for the team,” Baker said.
“At the end of the day we are judged by our effort and character, not by the scoreboard. We are trying to build a program and so far I can’t fault the effort of the kids. You can’t build a program in one or two games it takes time,” Baker concluded.
It doesn’t get any easier for Mississinawa, who will be going through the gauntlet of their schedule in the CCC, traveling Friday to Covington followed by Tri-County North and Miami East.