ARCANUM – The Arcanum Trojans were playing for pride Friday night and looking to send their seniors out on a high note against the Bethel Bees.
It was a highly competitive and entertaining game that saw lots of big plays, especially in the fourth quarter. Bethel would gain the lead with 1:36 to go in the game on a 37-yard field goal by Tyler Terry that just cleared the crossbar by about a foot to go up 30-28.
Arcanum, even with limited time, drove all the way down to the 11-yard line and was facing a fourth and 8 with 15 seconds to play. The Trojans would call on their field goal kicker Evan Atchley, who has plenty of leg to drill a 28-yarder … but a Bethel defender was able to get just enough of the football with his hand partially blocking the potential game-winner, and it fell short with no fairy tale ending for the Trojans.
It was the sixth loss on the year for Arcanum to just four wins.
“Five out of our six losses this year were by seven points or less,” Arcanum football coach TJ Powers said.
“This one though was a tough one. Our kids played so hard, and I love them to death, and this senior group was such a good one and to not be able to send them out with a win is real hard,” Powers added.
“We got nothing to be ashamed of. We played our hearts out and had a chance in the end,” Powers said.
Arcanum got the scoring started in the game when sophomore Dane Craport stuffed Bethel on fourth and inches on the 47-yard line.
The very next play Arcanum’s Brandon Kinney busted one off-tackle and raced 53 yards to pay-dirt and the extra point kick by Atchley put the Trojans up 7-0 with just 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
Bethel came right back, marching down the field, and Noah Burrows plunged in from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7-7.
Arcanum got a nice return from Kinney to midfield, and the Trojans put together a nice drive with junior Daniel Coats doing much of the work on the ground. Coats finished it with a 1 yard run to regain the lead 14-7.
Bethel came back facing a third and long 24 yards for a first down when quarterback Jacob Evans found slot back Ian Anderson on the under route, and he would do the rest of the work, getting to the outside and stretching to the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown reception.
After an Arcanum encroachment penalty Bethel decided to go for the two-point conversion but was denied, and the Trojans held a 14-13 halftime advantage.
Neither team scored in the third period, and that would set up the fireworks in the final quarter that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
On the very first play of the final stanza Arcanum struck gold. Facing a long 8 yards on fourth down, quarterback Pierce Lindemuth found Kinney in the flat, and he would do the rest of the work, getting it into the end zone for the score. A bobbled snap led to a missed extra point but the Trojans led 20-13 with 11:54 to go.
Back came the Bees. This time Evans hooked up with an 8-yard aerial to Nate Rimkus, and the score was knotted 20-20 with 5:28 to play.
One of the few miscues in the game would turn the tide for Bethel as a bobbled pass fell into the hands of Bethel’s Tyler Terry for his second big play in the game that would lead to the go-ahead TD for the Bees, putting them up 27-20 with just over six minutes on the clock.
Arcanum, though, had the heart of a champion and battled back. Facing a fourth down and 8 Lindemuth hit Coats over the middle, and he broke a tackle to the outside then bounced off a defender and cut it back to the middle, weaving it in for a 47-yard touchdown.
Trailing 27-26 Arcanum wasn’t about to settle for the tie with just 2:52 to go and went for the two-point conversion.
It was all Kinney, who wasn’t going to be denied. Kinney was hit way behind the line of scrimmage but managed to get away then he was met by two defenders on the 1-yard line and still he managed to dive and stretch out to get the ball over the goal to put the Trojans up 28-27, and the home crowd was jubilant.
“I knew we were going for two when we scored,” Powers said. “I already told everyone we were going to give the ball to our senior Kinney. We could have told them (Bethel) that, too. He is such a tough kid, and he willed us to that conversion.”
But just as Arcanum made plays so did Bethel, breaking off a huge 60-yard run that set up the field goal for Tyler Terry to win the game as Bethel improved to 7-3 on the year.
It was a tough way to end it for seniors Pierce Lindemuth, Dusty Butler, Matt Todd, Brandon Riffell, Brandon Kinney, Cambell Gostomsky, Tray Guntle, Milo Simpson, Maverick Hildebrand and Lane McFaddin.
“I love the seniors to death. A great group of guys and I’ll never forget them, and like I told them the best and brightest things they will accomplish in their lives is yet to come, and this is just one part of it in learning how to handle adversity and persevering,” Powers concluded.