ARCANUM – Arcanum’s defense pitched a shutout in the Trojans’ defeat of Bradford Friday night.
And the offense was stellar as well with Daniel Coats leading the scoring with a total of four touchdowns on the night.
Finally, Arcanum also dominated in another less glamorous part of the game, special teams.
Bradford had a frustrating night in Arcanum as the Railroaders could not get any of the three phases of the game working for them and would fall 30-0.
The Arcanum defense did come close to allowing a score in the second quarter. Bradford put together its best drive of the night, starting on its 20 and driving to the red zone. Jake Barga then caught a pass to give Bradford first and goal on the 3-yard line.
It was looking bleak at that time, but the Arcanum defense stiffened and pushed Bradford backward from there. On fourth and 8 the Railroaders decided to try for a field goal and the aforementioned Arcanum special teams made a big play and blocked the try. This would be as close as Bradford would come to scoring during the game.
Sacks were recorded by Arcanum’s Isaiah Krauss, Zack Henninger, Austen Cutarelli and Wills Troutwine. Cutarelli and Dane Craport also had fumble recoveries.
Offensively, the Trojans passed sparingly. But with Coats running well, they did not need to take to the air that often.
Dylan Burns scored on a 6-yard TD run, but later in the game he had to leave due to injury. And special teams chipped in some points, too, as Evan Atchley easily hit a 27-yard field goal and Coats’ first score was a 40-yard punt return early in the first quarter.
Bradford had to work with a long field much of the night as Arcanum’s special teams pinned the Railroaders deep in their own territory much of the game. Deep kicks and excellent coverage prevented them from generating any yardage on their returns.
Field position was mostly favorable for the Trojans, and they started most of their drives closer to midfield. As mentioned – a punt was returned for a touchdown, field goal scored, Bradford’s field goal try blocked and also a punt partially blocked. So the special teams guys gave a good accounting of themselves on this night.
“It is a phase of the game that we spend a lot of time on,” Arcanum football coach Jason Shondelmyer said of his team’s special teams. “It’s not just tonight. We have done well this season with special teams – they have scored three, four times already. They are our one-play warriors, and we stress that they get that one shot and making the most of it. Tonight was just another great job by them.”
Shondelmyer was happy to get the first win of the season.
“You grind and you grind and you come up empty,” he said. “And two weeks ago we came close to a win – it came down to one play where we fell short. We can see that we still have some work to do – but a win is a win and we are happy with it.
He wasn’t as happy with the penalties his team incurred.
“We had too many penalties tonight,” Shondelmyer said. “In our first game we did not have too many flags, and tonight we had a bunch. It’s an area of concern. Sometimes you want to win so bad and you become desperate. Then you do things out of the ordinary. We will look at the tapes and address it this week.”
Another positive for the Trojans was the play of Coats.
“He did a great job for us tonight,” Shondelmyer said. “He is a hard runner with good speed, and he can make people miss. He is one of the guys we count on. He is a senior and a captain on the team. We look for him to be a leader.”
Arcanum will continue Cross County Conference play on Friday at Covington.
“We need to focus on what we need to do,” Shondelmyer said. “We will be ready for Covington, and we will game plan for it. But we need to worry more about ourselves. We can be our own worst enemy this year. So we will correct the things we need to do right as a team then we can worry about Covington.”
Bradford will play host to Tri-County North on Friday.
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