NEW MADISON – Mississinawa Valley used a strong ground game and timely passing to take control over Tri-Village to record a 19-8 Cross County Conference football victory.
MV coach Steven Trobridge was all smiles at the conclusion of their hard fought 19-8 win over Tri-Village Friday night.
“The last two weeks we played against teams that were power run oriented against Riverside and Ansonia and we lined up 5 wide and threw the ball all over the place against them.”
“We went back to the basics tonight and really focused on establishing our ground game, playing physical and letting our line go to work,” Trobridge commented.
Mississinawa Valley didn’t waste any time establishing the run game marching down the field on their first drive with Alex Scholl picking up huge chunks of yards. The senior would finally cap the drive on a 3-yard plunge and the extra point by Cody Dirksen at 7:13 put the Hawks up 7-0.
Tri-Village put together a nice long drive to answer the Blackhawks. Lane Sarver did most of the work with his legs including a 38-yard run to keep the drive alive … and just seconds into the 2nd quarter he capped the drive on 6-yard run. Cody Eyer rushed up the middle dragging the pile into the endzone to give the Patriots an 8-7 lead on the two-point conversion.
Mississinawa had a nice drive only to see Sarver sniff out a screen on 4th and 4 to stop the drive … but the Patriots gave it back after moving into Blackhawk territory only to fumble the ball away and recovered by Cody Dirksen.
Tri-Village looked like they were going to hold Mississinawa on their next drive after putting the Hawks into a deep hole facing a long 3rd and 28 only to see senior Blake Scholl get behind the secondary, where senior quarter back Cody Dirksen aired one out to him as Blake hauled in the pass and raced 85 yards for the score changing the momentum in the Blackhawks favor as they went up 13-8 with 5:40 to go in the second quarter.
MV was looking to tack on more points just before the half … but Sarver was able to intercept a pass at the 27 yard line to end the first half scoring.
Both teams traded possessions in the 3rd quarter but eventually it was MV’s running game that got things rolling again behind the grinding of Alex Scholl who had a couple of nice runs to keep the chains moving and then a misdirection to Max Dirmeyer who broke free from 39-yards to put Mississinawa up 19-8 with 9 seconds left in the third quarter.
Tri-Village looked like they were going to respond as Lane Sarver connected on a 35-yard pass to Finkbine that put them on the 1-yard line early in the final stanza.
The Patriots however couldn’t take advantage and was turned away in part to a bad penalty and good defense by Mississinawa taking away their last scoring opportunity as the Hawks would go on to record a 19-8 win.
“That was a heck of defensive stand there in the 4th quarter, our defense played great tonight and I believe it goes back to the last two games we played against two physical teams toughening us up and it showed tonight,” Trobridge commented.
“The biggest take-away for me was how our line played on both sides of the ball, and tonight for the first time all year we were at full strength,” Trobidge stated.
That play resulted in Alex Scholl rushing for 220 yards on 25 carries and 1 touchdown.
“In The last two games you could see Alex getting better and gaining confidence. He didn’t play football last year and I think the rust is starting to come off and he had a solid game tonight.
“He’s been hard working in practice and never quits … when he’s got the ball, he keeps his legs moving, chopping, fighting for every yard,” praised Trobridge.
Max Dirmeyer rushed for 53 yards and had a touchdown run.
Cody Dirksen had 33 yards on 7 carries and was 4-7 for 104 yard passing.
Blake Scholl had 2 catches for 100 yards and 1 touchdown.
“Our goal tonight was to get back to 50/50 rushing and passing on offense and in the last couple of games it’s literally been 70/30 passing to running and tonight our run game was strong, so we stuck with it,” Trobridge concluded.
Mississinawa with the win goes to 2-2 on the year and 1-1 in the conference. The Hawks will travel to West Alexandria to take on Twin Valley South next Friday.
The Patriots attack was led by sophomore quarterback Layne Sarver who rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries and 1 TD. He also threw for 90 yards on 6-for-11 passing.
The Patriots fall to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the conference and will travel to Bethel next Friday.
Tri-Village coach Robert Burk was obviously disappointed but knows it’s just a matter of time with the young squad he has.
We’ve got a really young team that keeps making mistakes, new mistakes every week. “We get better at one’s we had the previous week, then find new ones to correct the following week. We have to execute when we need to, you can’t get to the goal line and have a bad penalty.
We have 3 varsity skill players hurt and that took away our passing game where we can’t throw the ball the way we normally do, we had kids step up and make plays, we just didn’t make enough.
We’ve got to have a better plan next week, practice a little better and the coaches have to put them in a better position. We are coming, we’re very young with just 3 seniors, playing a lot of sophomores and freshman and I’m tired of saying we’re a step closer because I want to be on the winning side,” Burke concluded.