ARCANUM – Arcanum celebrated Homecoming Friday night with its first win of the 2015 season, a 53-0 thrashing of National Trail.
The Arcanum football team began the season with visions of a Cross County Conference championship and a trip to the playoffs, but those dreams faded as the Trojans lost their first five games. Even though dreams were dashed, Arcanum didn’t fold and saw its resolve rewarded Friday night.
“Our kids have been working hard all year,” Arcanum coach TJ Powers said. “And we had a tough loss last week. They could have easily tucked their tails a little bit, but they didn’t; they did the exact opposite. We knew we were a heck of a lot better than 0-5, but you’ve got to prove it. We’ve been through a lot already, and we’ve still got a lot left so we’re just going to build on this and continue to improve and have fun.”
From the first drive the final drive almost everything went Arcanum’s way.
After Arcanum’s defense forced a three-and-out to start the night, National Trail botched the punt, and Arcanum’s Andrew Baker recovered the ball at the Blazers’ 5-yard line. One play later the Trojans scored on their first offensive play of the night as Brandon Kinney ran 5 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Arcanum lead.
After a series of punts by both teams, Arcanum found itself pinned back deep in its own territory. The Trojans were pushed back even further after a holding call wiped out a 90-yard touchdown run by Kinney.
Arcanum recovered from the miscue, though, and went 94 yards in nine plays with Daniel Coats scoring on a 43-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to make it 13-0.
National Trail pushed into Arcanum territory but then saw its drive stall at the Trojans’ 47-yard line. After taking over at midfield, Arcanum drove down to the goal line and had first and goal from the National Trail 1.
One of the Trojans’ few mistakes of the evening came on the next play as they fumbled and Trail recovered at the 2. But even when things went wrong it worked out for Arcanum as National Trail fumbled on the next play and Kinney recovered the ball in the end zone for a 19-0 Arcanum lead.
Arcanum added to its lead in the third quarter as Kinney broke off a 64-yard run during the second play of the period to increase the lead to 26-0.
“Our offensive line, I’ve got to give them all the props in the world,” Powers said. “They did a great job up front – O-line and D-line. We controlled the line of scrimmage, and that’s a key to the game.”
Then after forcing a punt, Kinney continued his assault on National Trail with a 38-yard punt return to the Blazers’ 20-yard line. Five plays later he ran in a touchdown, and Arcanum led 32-0 to initiate the running clock with 6:54 left in the third quarter.
Arcanum’s defense continued its domination with another three-and-out. And then the Trojan offense continued its domination as Arcanum went 55 yards in three plays with Kinney scoring on a 38-yard run for his fifth touchdown of the night with 2:17 remaining in the third quarter.
“Kinney is one of the best football players I’ve ever been around,” Powers said. “I mean this in a good way, he’s a football computer. You tell him to do one thing, and he just programs it in his brain, and he does it. He plays hard. He gets after it. He runs hard. He hits hard. He’s smart. He’s just a great kid and a great football player.”
With the game firmly in Arcanum’s control, both teams brought in their backups for the fourth quarter. And the Trojans’ reserves picked up right where the starters left off as they went 63 yards in nine plays with Dylan Burns scoring on a 24-yard run for a 46-0 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, Arcanum scored on its next offensive play with Burns running 70 yards for a score.
After that the clock ran out with National Trail’s reserve offense on the field and Arcanum winning 53-0.
“We were just swarming tonight, flying around,” Powers said. “Getting a shutout, man. No matter how many points you score offensively it’s always great to that goose egg.”
Unofficially on the night Arcanum had 441 rushing yards on 39 carries for an average of 11.3 per play.
Kinney led the way with 193 rushing yards on 17 carries. He scored five touchdowns, including four on offense and one on defense.
Burns had 116 yards and two touchdowns on five carries, Coats had 51 yards and a touchdown on two carries, and Daniel O’Donnell had 64 yards on 10 carries.
The Trojans didn’t attempt a pass all night in the wet, windy conditions.
Passing wasn’t very effect for National Trail as the Blazers were just 2-of-7 for 9 yards. Running didn’t work out for them either as they ran 38 times for 45 yards.
Dominique Huffman led the Trail offense with 44 rushing yards on 14 carries. Ben Sullivan had 18 yards on six carries.
Now 1-5 on the season, Arcanum will look to carry its momentum into Friday’s game at Ansonia. The Tigers also are 1-5 and are searching for their first win since a 44-42 season-opening victory against Africentric.
“I’m happy for our guys,” Powers said. “It feels great to get a win and a shutout to boot. We physically just … we really dominated the football game. Both sides of the ball, special teams – we made a ton of plays. Just really proud of the kids. You know, we can go get four more. Just try to get to 5-5, that’s the best we can do right now so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.