CASSTOWN – The Arcanum Trojans went toe-to-toe with the physical Miami East Vikings Friday night, losing 34-20 with only themselves to blame.
On a cloudy night, the Trojans seemed lost in a fog when Miami East’s Aaron Adams took the first play from scrimmage 80 yards on a touchdown run.
Most teams would be deflated immediately, losing all confidence on one simple play, but not the Trojans. They responded with a beautiful 11-play drive that totaled 75 rushing yards. The drive, which took over five mines off the clock, ended with a Brandon Kinney touchdown that evened the game 7-7. On the drive, junior tailback Daniel Coats accounted for 48 yards on five carries.
“The first half we missed a couple opportunities for some big plays,” Arcanum football coach TJ Powers said. “That’s gonna happen in football; it’s a game of inches.”
Miami East was quick to respond. At 6:50 in the first, the Vikings went on a 10-play drive, totaling 45 rushing yards and 20 passing that ended with another Adams touchdown.
With 1:50 left in the first, Kinney had a good kickoff return that placed the Trojans at their own 41-yard line. After a false start, a rush for zero yards and two incomplete passes, Arcanum was forced to punt – and what a punt it was – a 42-yarder than pinned Miami East back to its own 16-yard line.
The Vikings were able to do nothing on the ground but drew a pass interference penalty, which was highly questionable, on third and long that gave them a fresh set of downs. From there the Vikings were unable to move the ball and punted.
The teams exchanged punts and fourth down stops until the end of the half. Going into the locker room down 14-7, the Trojans seemed to have the momentum swinging their way.
“We were unable to execute on a couple big plays that would have maybe tied it up by half,” Coach Powers said. “Who knows – maybe we woulda been up.”
At the start of the third quarter, Arcanum received the kickoff but was forced to punt after negative rushing yards and a penalty.
Miami East was quick to get out of its offensive slump that it had been in effect since the first quarter and scored on a 51-yard touchdown run.
Down 21-7, Arcanum received the kickoff at 9:20 and returned the ball to its own 48-yard line. A runs of 2 yards and 0 yards plus pass for 6 forced the Trojans to punt. Winning the field position battle, the Trojans’ punt pinned the Vikings to their own 2-yard line.
Miami East started to move the ball well on the ground, again, rushing for 72 total yards before an interception was thrown to defensive back Wade Meeks.
With 3:17 to go in the third, Arcanum used the turnover to march down the field on a five-play drive, started by a Coats 42-yard run. Kinney punched in the ball on third and goal to give the Trojans 13, but the extra point as missed.
Down 21-13, the Trojans were desperate for a stop, but Miami East went back to its power ground attack, rushing three different backs 11 times for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Losing 28-13 with 7:50 left in the game, Arcanum was desperate to give its defense a rest and score, but on the first play an interception was thrown.
The Arcanum defense, which had just come off the field from a 4:10 second drive, was still trying to catch their breath as the Vikings scored quickly on a 55-yard touchdown run by Levi Adducchio. The point after was missed, but the game was likely out of reach at 34-13 in favor of Miami East.
“They came out in the second half, and we really didn’t tackle very well. We played hard, and I always want to stress this: I love our kids. I love our team. They play hard – they play their tails off,” Coach Powers said. “Offensively, we could move the ball, but we just couldn’t execute.”
At 6:35 in the fourth, Arcanum was poised to get back in the game. Quarterback Pierce Lindemuth was hot, hitting passes for 11 yards, 13 yards, 10 yards and 18 yards, but a false start on fourth and 1 put the Trojans out of position for Kinney to pound the ball for a first down, and an incomplete pass gave Miami East the ball back.
The game ended with Lindemuth hitting Meeks for a 35-yard touchdown with seven seconds left – a small victory in a losing war – but the team showed heart and never gave up.
“They’re a great group of guys, and we’re gonna stick together,” Coach Powers said. “We just need to focus on everything we can do to keep getting better. It’s about looking in the mirror and deciding I’m going to continue to work hard, and I’m going to get better.”
Arcanum running back Daniel Coats totaled 106 yards on 13 rushes with three catches for 25 yards. Running back Brandon Kinney totaled 130 rushing yards on 15 rushes with two touchdowns. Quarterback Pierce Lindemuth completed 9 of 16 passes for 118 and a touchdown. Wide receiver Wade Meeks had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Miami East running back Aaron Adams carried the ball 21 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Back Levi Adducchio carried the ball 20 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns.
Arcanum falls to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the Cross County Conference and faces Twin Valley South on Friday. Miami East raised its record to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the CCC.