NEW MADISON –There was a lot of excitement in New Madison as Tri-Village prepared to play the first ever high school football game in school history.
Although it was a junior varsity game, the atmosphere was like that of a varsity contest.
Whether it was first game jitters, playing under the lights or the large crowd, the Patriots started slow and played a little unsure.
Bethel took advantage and put together two scores in the opening quarter to take a 14-point lead.
The Bees scored often in the second quarter as the Patriots struggled to make tackles.
Tri-Village quarterback Jonny Wilson gave the home crowd a taste of excitement when he took one around the right end and raced 60 yards for what appeared to be a touchdown only to have it called back for a holding penalty.
Junior Tyler Terry scored four of the six Bethel touchdowns in the first half to go up on TV 46-0.
In the second half it looked like a different football team took the field for Tri-Village.
This team was faster, more sure of themselves, the line was engaging and sustaining blocks, the backs were running hard and through tacklers, and the Patriots were on the move.
Tri-Village promptly marched down the field on a couple of nice runs from Jared Buckley and quarterback Johnny Wilson finished it scoring the first ever touchdown for Tri-Village on a 2-yd keeper up the middle to put the home team on the board.
In the fourth quarter the Patriots put together another drive, and this time it was Jared Buckley with the call sweeping around the left side for 12 yards for the touchdown and the Patriots trailed 46-13.
Tri-Village tried to shake things up with a does of medicine prescribed by Bethel late in the first half with an onside kick that was recovered by Noah Burns, and the Patriots were on the move again.
Wilson hooked up with a pass to freshman Austin Bruner for a long gain and the Patriots were in business again in the red zone.
A few moments later Wilson got to the edge and took it in from 10 yards out for a third consecutive touchdown for the Patriots. A Buckley dive up the middle for the two-point conversion made the score 46-21.
Tri-Village threatened to score one more time getting deep into Bethel territory, but the first ever game at New Madison would end with Bethel taking a 46-21 win.
“I didn’t feel like the first half we played as well we needed, and maybe it was first game jitters, the lights or the fact we went playing against some varsity kids and just weren’t ready for the speed of the game; we talked about that at halftime,” Tri-Village coach Jason Schondelmyer said.
“What I’m most proud of is in the second half we recovered a couple of loose balls, we scored touchdowns, I saw more effort, we blocked until the whistle, and guys were laying it on the line. We didn’t see that in the first half, and that was our theme at the break. Even if you’re out-gunned, out-sized, out-speeded, you still give it everything you got, and we did that in the second half. We played every down in the second half with more urgency, and it showed,” Schondelmyer added.
“For us to get three scores in the second half and hold them scoreless, it was a great way to end this game and something to build on for the future. We’ll just need to figure out how to avoid the first half woes of tonight’s game,” Schondelmyer concluded.
The Patriots will travel Saturday to Mississinawa Valley for a 10 a.m. game.