“This is What We Play For, This is What We Coach For”
It was a clash between two unbeaten CCC teams – Arcanum and National Trail. Both teams entered the game 3-0. Trail was off to their best start since 1977 and Arcanum is coming back from last years 2-win season. Both teams wanted the win to keep their title hopes alive and to stay in contention for a playoff slot. But it was Arcanum on military appreciation night that made big plays at the end of the game to stay undefeated with a 20-17 comeback win in overtime. Since it was military appreciation night, the Ohio National Guard provided the home team Trojans with special camo jerseys for the game.
The two teams were evenly matched. Both had strong lines and a good running game. Trail passed more but the Trojan defense kept that bottled up for the most part. Putting a corner and a safety on Trails passing threat Woodall. In the end it came down to momentum and making key plays at the right time.
Host Arcanum owned the first quarter. They took the opening kickoff and drove the ball down the field. They converted on critical fourth-and-one play at the Trail 20-yard line. Next freshman quarterback Bryce Shondelmyer called his own number and ran 19-yards for the opening score.
But Arcanum was not done yet. They did an onside kick and recovered the ball at midfield. They quickly marched the ball down the field and finished the drive with 15-yard TD pass to #13. The Trojans were up 14-0 and the Trail offense had yet to see the field. Also the Arcanum offense had chewed up over eight minutes of the clock – keeping the Trail offense sidelined.
As much as the first quarter was all Arcanum, Trail captured the momentum in the next quarter. Arcanum was pinned down near their goal line and had to punt. It was shanked and gave Trail possession on the 21-yard line. Zach Woodhall caught a pass at the 2-yard line and Dallas Smith ran it in from there to put Trail on the board.
Arcanum attempted to answer but a good drive featuring running back Cory Ross was stopped deep in Trail territory when #6 intercepted a pass. The Blazers drove down the field and kicked a 33-yard field goal. This ended the scoring for the half 14-9.
“Corey is a cannon ball. He had some cramping issues with the heat, but he ran hard for us tonight,” said Arcanum Coach Jason Schondelmyer. “Our offensive line was great – they established a new line of scrimmage multiple times, and the defense was bend, but do not break in the 2nd half. Our quarterback played well too.”
But the Blazers took no time to score in the third quarter as they ran back the opening kickoff 65-yards for a touchdown. Now it was the Blazers turn to play with the lead as they were suddenly up 17-14. The two teams entered the last quarter with the same score. Trail had a drive stopped at the beginning of the last quarter when Robbins fell upon a fumble in Arcanum territory.
The Trojans took advantage of the turnover and drove to about the 5-yard line where Joe Beck tied the ball game with a field goal. On the next drive Trail – now using a wishbone formation got the ball down to about the 25-yard line. On fourth-and-six with about a minute left Trail went for it all and passed the ball to Woodall who was running a route to the goal line. Brennan Troutwine made the play of the night when he batted the ball away and sent the game to overtime.
Trail got the ball first in the overtime and their drive stalled so they elected to go for a field goal. Trojan special teams stepped up big time as the field goal try was blocked and the Blazers came away with no points. Now it was Arcanums turn. Using Ross, they got the ball to the 6-yard line. Now it was their turn to line up for a field goal. Beck who had made a big field goal to send the game into overtime again had the game on the line as he nailed the kick and sealed a 20-17 victory. Pandemonium then ensued as the team and fans cascaded onto the field. It was truly a great night for Trojan football.
“I am just so proud of the effort from top to bottom, stated Coach Shondelmyer after the game, “We didn’t let ourselves get down, we kept our heads up and came back. In previous years when we got down – we were out. Our team really showed some grit. Joe the toe came up there with a great kick that went right through the uprights. It was a great night all the way around. It was military appreciation night. It doesn’t get much better than this on Friday night.”
“But I am most happy for our seniors.”he added. “If you look back to last year, we only won the two games. And to see there faces after games, they would be so down at times. Because you have to work the year around at football to have success. The feeling that it is to come out and win this game is unbelievable.”
Next week Arcanum plays an always tough Miami East team. “They are Miami East, they have a good program. They put it to us last year. But this is a new team – our kids are ready for the challenge,” Schondelmyer concluded.