WEST ALEXANDRIA – On the face of it this was to be an even match up with a 2-5 Twin Valley South team hosting a 3-4 Tri-Village team.
“We have been playing very well for three weeks – including last week against Fort Loramie,” said Tri-Village coach Robert Burk. “We are not quite in their class yet, but we played them tougher and made them earn it. Our losses before that were all close games but we made mistakes that hurt ourselves. Tonight we did not have many penalties and didn’t make mistakes that cost us.”
It was even until about midway through the first quarter when the Patriots caught fire and in the blink of an eye opened up a 37-6 lead. The Panthers were stunned and never really recovered as they would be on the wrong end of a 58-20 final score.
South used their pro set offense and mainly stuck with the run. Their passing game was minimal and when they did pass, the Patriot defense was able to pressure the quarterback and get some picks. On the other hand the Patriots were able to mix the run and pass – the combination kept the Panthers stymied defensively.
They spread out their offense and did mix things up by using a jumbo package for extra points and some short yardage situations featuring 3 backs – one of which is a lineman. They brought in Wyatt Plush as a back and he scored a touchdown and several extra points. The potent Patriots offense did not punt until late in the game when both teams were clearing out their benches.
Sophomore quarterback Lane Sarver had a good night. He was a major factor in the Patriots red hot first quarter as he scored three times in six minutes – twice by runs from scrimmage and once via punt return. His passing was on as he passed for over 150-yards on the night. Later in the game Justin Finkbine took over at quarterback for a spell and the offense did not miss a beat. He had a break away run for 54-yards that set up a 1-yard touchdown by Plush.
“Lane Sarver is an unbelievable athlete. He was great on that punt return, he dead stopped in the middle of the field, found a hole, accelerated, and scored a touchdown. And on offense he puts the ball in the skill guys’ hands. He throws a nice ball, we have multiple receivers with catches. He is really coming on late in the year for us.”
The Patriot defense was also effective. Josh Scantland had an interception as did Christian Cantrell. Scantland and Cantrell had tackles for loss while Finkbine had a sack. South had many possessions that were three plays and punt.
Tri-Village scoring: Cody Eyer 10-yard run; Layne Sarver 8-yard run; Sarver 12-yard run; Scantland interception 32-yard run; Sarver 58-yard punt return; Scantland 66-yard pass; Devin Swick 85-yard pass; Plush 1-yard run.
“We are a young team and we are getting a little seasoning – plus we had some injuries that hurt us early in the year and those players are back,” Coach Burk said. “I’m proud of my kids and proud that we got to four wins for the first time in school history. We scored many different ways – offense, defense and special teams. I am happy with this win and the way we played.”
Next week the 4-4 Patriots travel to Arcanum to play the 7-1 Trojans.