UNION CITY – It was an emotional packed night for Mississinawa Valley, which had plenty to celebrate after handing Arcanum a 26-6 defeat.
It was again a chilly night with the wind and rain, but for Blackhawk players and fans after the game it must have felt like 70 degrees and a beautiful night.
There was plenty to celebrate because it was Senior night, a great win for the seniors and a great win for the team. It was the first time the Blackhawks had beat Arcanum in 25 years going back to when Curtis Enis donned the Black and White uniform in 1993.
What a difference a week makes. Last week the ‘Hawks couldn’t hold onto the ball in similar conditions, instead it was Mississinawa capitalizing on Arcanum turnovers and making it count.
Mississinawa Valley went three and out on its first possession of the game and punted, but Arcanum mishandled the ball and Zach Connor recovered on the 45-yard line.
The ‘Hawks looking to capitalize faced a fourth down on the 11-yard line and went for it with Will Hall rushing it in for the score to go up 6-0.
Arcanum on its third possession finally got the offense moving all the way to the Blackhawks 5-yard line. Facing fourth down they went for it, but lost 2 yards to turn the ball over on downs.
The Trojans again moved the football inside the red zone, but Mississinawa again held strong when Elijah Livingston came up with a quarterback sack all the way back to the 26-yard line.
On the very next play Mississinawa Valley’s offensive line opened up a huge hole and like a bolt of lightning Hall flashed through the middle and galloped 76 yards to put the ‘Hawks on top 12-0.
“Our offensive line really executed well on the play,” Mississinawa head coach Steven Trobridge said. “Lineman never get credit publicly unless there is a penalty. Our left tackle is Trey Godfrey, left guard Alex Anguiano, center Colton Hardwick, right guard Zeb Hannan and right tackle Elijah Livingston. I can’t say enough about them. They do their job. Our back Will Hall and Trent Collins do nothing but praise them every time and that is all that matters to those guys.”
On the ensuing kick-off the ‘Hawks onside kick was successful and recovered by Hall.
After losing 15 yards and facing a long third down situation the ‘Hawks went back to what worked for them before. If anyone doesn’t believe lightning can strike twice in the same way, well it was proved it can as Hall again went up the middle this time for 60 yards and the score to go up 18-0.
Arcanum trying to get back in the game scored right before the end of the first half when quarterback Nick Fry threw a pass over the middle to Devin Keckler to claim a little momentum trailing 18-6 at the break.
Mississinawa Valley didn’t give Arcanum any chances in the second half as Hall made it a hat-trick bolting 42 yards for the touchdown. Hall rushed for 202 yards on 11 carries and had 4 touchdowns on the night that earned him “player of the game” from the coaching staff.
“Hall had such a great game tonight. I really can’t say enough about him. He is an amazing athlete and one of the best football players to come out of Mississinawa,” Trobridge stated.
The two-point conversion pass from Cody Dirksen to Max Dirmeyer was good giving the ‘Hawks a 26-6 lead that concluded the scoring in the contest to give the ‘Hawks a 26-6 Cross County Conference win.
But that didn’t end the highlights on the night as it was a record-setting night for junior Blake Scholl.
Going into the game the lanky 6-foot-3 receiver needed 3 catches to tie the single season record of 39. Scholl made a couple of nice catches on the night including a highlight over the shoulder grab to tie the record and then a routine sideline catch to break the record at 4:27 in the fourth quarter. Scholl ended the game with 5 catches for 52 yards and 41 receptions for the season thus far.
“All week Blake kept telling me, ‘Coach I’m getting the record, I’m getting the record’ so I told him if you bust your butt this week, I’ll give you a shot at it. He showed tonight what hard work can do, and I’m really happy for him,” praised Trobridge.
“Coming into this week we wanted to try something different and changed things up a bit by putting Cody Dirksen in the backfield with Trent Collins to give us a couple of different quarterback options, and I think it threw them off a little bit. We asked Cody to manage the game and not to do too much,” Trobridge said.
Cody completed 6-of-10 passes for 58 yards including the record setting and breaking tosses to Scholl.
“I’m so proud of my guys on defense as they really swarmed well to ball tonight. All 11 starters had 3 or more tackles, and they forced some key turnovers. We definitely came to play and redeemed ourselves from last week,” Trobridge commented.
When reflecting on his seniors and what they meant to him as a coach and to the team Trobridge got a little bit choked up.
“The seniors went through so much, so much … not knowing if we were even going to have a team in the summer, then to a coaching change, so I asked them what they wanted to do. They said coach even if we only have 13 kids and we want to play a varsity schedule and that just showed me the heart these guys had. Who would have guessed they would be 4-5 right now and they’ll be the first to tell you we gave a couple of games away as well, but this senior class has persevered and may be one of the best to come out of here in my opinion,” Trobridge exclaimed.
Mississinawa improves to 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the Cross County Conference and will travel to Bethel next week with a chance to even its overall and CCC record.
“I told the guys next week is our playoff game, this game means a lot to them and we really would like to end the year on high note,” Trobridge concluded.