UNION CITY – Friday night football closed out the regular season on a cold, rainy night and dampened Mississinawa Valley’s senior night festivities.
To add to that, visiting Bethel struck a 59-6 blow to Mississinawa Valley on the gridiron … but despite all that, the spirit and fight of the Hawks was evident up to the last play of the game.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Mississinawa football coach Mike Griffin said. “They played hard, and they never give up. We had a little bit of a midseason meltdown … but to their credit they came together and we about got Arcanum last week.
“Tonight, well, it was wet, rainy, cold, and we like to spread it out a little bit while Bethel runs a triple option, and they ran midline stuff very, very well tonight. They are a good football team, and that’s why they are 9-1 and going to the playoffs,” Griffin said.
It was all Bethel in the first quarter, going up 24-0, and the Bees added three more scores in the second quarter to hold a 44-0 halftime lead.
In the second half and with a running clock the Bees added a score in the third period to go up 52-0.
Mississinawa Valley then put together a sustained drive with a couple of nice throws from quarterback Cody Dirksen, one a 35-yard completion to Dilyn Rammel that put the Hawks in scoring territory to end the third quarter.
The Hawks capped the drive when Nate Gladdish struck pay dirt from 3 yards out to avoid a shutout on the night, making the score 52-6.
Bethel, however, wasn’t through yet adding one final score late in the final stanza to win it 59-6.
Mississinawa Valley showed improvement this year, winning its first game in years, something the six seniors graduating never experienced until this year, and nearly pulled another one out last week against Arcanum.
Those six seniors playing in their last game were Colton Hines, Daniel Wogoman, Casey Rust, Kenny McFarland, Dilyn Rammel and Nate Gladdish.
“I’m going to miss those guys,” Griffin said, “a great group who did what we asked of them.
“Colton Hines was our center for three years and done a great job for us at that spot.
“Daniel Wogoman came in and had to play offensive line for the first time this year, learn it and play some defensive line for us as well.
“Casey Rust had to move from offensive line because of some injuries to wide receiver, and he played linebacker for us and did a nice job.
“Kenny McFarland was here as a freshman then moved away, came back for his senior year and played our three technique for us all year and did a real nice job.”
“Dilyn Rammel had another big catch for us again tonight and did super job all year at wide receiver and defensive back.
“Nate Gladdish, that kid you want as many of those as you can get on your team. He has more heart and more drive probably more than any kid I’ve coached in the last 14 years so that is saying something.
“I’m definitely going to miss all those guys, wish the all the best of luck in what they do. I’m glad all six of them stuck it out. Some may not have played as much as they wanted to with position changes, and that put some of them behind the eight ball … but they stuck it out, stayed together and provided leadership with no animosity between them so I’m really proud of this group of seniors,” Griffin concluded.