ARCANUM – Arcanum celebrated its Homecoming on Friday with its third consecutive win, a 44-12 Cross County Conference victory against Ansonia.
Arcanum built a 38-0 lead before Ansonia managed to score a pair of touchdowns on the Trojan backups, leaving Arcanum coach TJ Powers proud of his team’s effort in all aspects of the game.
“It was a great team win tonight,” the Arcanum football coach said. “It was great getting everybody substantial playing time tonight. I just think we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Backs ran hard. All three phases of the game … we had a little bit of a break down on kickoff coverage but other than that I think all three phases of the game we played real well.”
With the offensive line opening big holes, Arcanum’s backs combined for 311 rushing yards on the night with four Trojans running for touchdowns.
“They have a good set of running backs,” Ansonia coach Eugene Hoening said. “They run extremely hard; I think that’s what I was impressed the most with their offense was how hard their backs ran. I mean to tell you they pounded the ball.”
After forcing an Ansonia turnover on downs at the Arcanum 26-yard line, the Trojans turned to their backs with Daniel Coats and Brandon Kinney carrying the ball down the field. Kinney capped off the 74-yard drive with his first of three touchdowns, making it 7-0 with 4:11 remaining in the opening quarter.
On its next drive Arcanum got its passing game going. Quarterback Pierce Lindemuth completed four consecutive passes totaling 47 yards to three receivers prior to a 29-yard touchdown run by Coats to make it 14-0 with eight seconds remaining in the quarter.
“It was good to be able to mix the run and pass,” Powers said. “That’s something we’re getting better at – throwing the ball and having balance. You know as well as I do it’s tough to defend when you can run and pass. We opened some things up in the running game with the pass.”
In the second quarter it was Kinney’s turn again as he ran 42 yards for his second score of the night, making it 21-0 with 7:26 left in the half.
“Kinney and Coats ran real hard,” Powers said. “Our offensive line was making big holes and defensive line was controlling the line of scrimmage.”
The final points of the first half came as time expired and Arcanum’s Evan Atchley drilled a 38-yard field goal to make it 24-0 entering the halftime break.
After forcing a three-and-out to begin the third quarter, Ansonia’s offense was on the move but killed its momentum with a fumble that Arcanum’s Maverick Hildebrand recovered.
“We’re our own worst enemy,” Hoening said. “We’re getting some first downs then we get a silly procedure penalty or we have a bad play, and that stalls the drive. Sometimes we look as slick as slick can be, and then other times we just find ways to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Arcanum took advantage of the turnover with Kinney taking three consecutive runs for 45 yards – the final one going for 23 yards and a touchdown to make it 31-0 midway through the third quarter.
With a big lead Arcanum brought in its backups and continued to control the game. The Trojans went 54 yards on six plays with Dusty Butler scoring on a 16-yard run to increase the lead to 38-0.
However, just over a minute later Ansonia quarterback Matthew Shook connected with Hunter Muir for a 52-yard touchdown pass to get the Tigers on the board at 38-6.
“At least we got the skunk off the board,” Hoening said. “And it shows the guys that we can do it when things go right. We just have to do enough things right in succession to get to the end zone.”
Arcanum then fumbled the very next offensive snap, and Ansonia’s Aydan Sanders came away with a scoop and score to cut the deficit to 38-12.
The game’s final score game with just over two minutes remaining. With both teams’ backups in the game, Arcanum’s Cory Ross ran for a 1-yard touchdown to make it a 44-12 game.
Unofficially Kinney led Arcanum’s rushing attack with 151 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Coats had 52 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Ross had five carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. Butler ran twice for 14 yards and a touchdown.
Lindemuth was 9-of-16 passing for 94 yards. Wade Meeks caught three passes for 41 yards, Kinney caught three for 25 yards, Atchley caught two for 27, and Coats caught one for 1 yard.
Overall the Trojans totaled 405 offensive yards.
On defense Hildebrand, Brandon Riffell and Ethin Hoffman each recovered a fumble for Arcanum. Hoffman also intercepted a pass.
For Ansonia Nathan Denniston and Aydan Sanders both recovered fumbles with Aydan Sanders scoring on his recovery.
Aydan Sanders also led Ansonia with 37 rushing yards on nine carries. Cody Sanders had 29 yards on 10 carries, and Max Wardrip had 24 yards on five carries.
Shook was 4-of-8 passing for 95 yards and a touchdown. Muir was the leading receiver with one catch for 52 yards and a touchdown while Aydan Sanders, Jarvis Thwaits and Max Wardrip also caught passes.
Ansonia had 193 total yards with 98 of them coming on the ground.
Ansonia fell to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the CCC with Friday’s loss. The Tigers will play host to rival Mississinawa Valley on Friday.
Arcanum improved to 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the CCC with Friday’s victory. The Trojans will put their three-game winning streak on the line Friday when they play host to Troy Christian, who is 6-1 with a one-point loss to Covington on its resume.
“It’s going to be a good matchup,” Powers said. “It’s going to be a great football game next week. It’s going to be a great atmosphere here.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.