CAMDEN – The Ansonia Tigers had no trouble keeping its perfect season record intact controlling the scoreboard and the game with a 48-20 win over the Preble Shawnee Arrows in what should prove to decide the 2023-2024 WOAC Championship.
“Our guys played great tonight,” said Ansonia coach, Adam Hall. “Preble Shawnee is a good football team, they’ve been good since they have been in the conference.”
“It’s that time of year, it’s fall, the weather is getting nice, it feels like football season, the guys are working hard, it’s exciting,” Hall added. “To be where we are at in the season, when you start back in June, this feels like a long way off and now we’re getting to have the benefits of all the hard work our guys have done.”
Ansonia senior running back Keegen Weiss lit up the scoreboard carrying seven Tiger touchdowns coming on runs of 34-yards, 5-yards, 2-yards, 40-yards, 2-yards, 40-yards, and 28-yards.
Ansonia opened scoring at 8:06 in the first with a 34-yard Weiss TD to lead 6-0 with the 2-point conversion coming up short. The Tigers made it a 14-0 lead at 1:43 on the first quarter board with Weiss running up the middle and Weiss making good on the 2-point conversion run giving Ansonia a 14-0 advantage with one-quarter of play in the book.
Preble Shawnee dented the board at 7:41 in the second with Lane Lovely racing 42-yards for an Arrows score making it a 14-6 game.
With Ansonia facing a third and three at the 11-yard line with 2:12 on the clock, Shawnee called a timeout only to have Weiss answer with a 2-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion run sending the teams to the break with Ansonia leading 22-6.
Ansonia got on the third quarter board first with Weiss racing 40 yards for a score to lead 28-6.
Unable to keep a drive alive the Arrows were forced to punt resulting in a blocked punt giving the ball to the Tigers at Shawnee’s 20-yard line setting up a Weiss 2-yard touchdown run. Zane Henderson made good on the 2-point conversion run giving Ansonia a 36-6 lead at 3:46 in the third.
Preble Shawnee answered with a 16-yard Lovely TD run and a 2-point conversion for a 36-14 score.
Ansonia pushed its lead to 42-14 with a 40-yard Weiss touchdown run with 10:34 on the fourth quarter board. Shawnee scored on a long Isaac Blankenship pass reception to trail the Tigers 42-20.
“They made some big plays on us but when we do what we’re supposed to do we’re a pretty good football team too,” said Hall.
Weiss carried one final time good for a 28-yard touchdown scamper at 7:23 in the fourth for a final 48-20 score.
“You have to give credit to our guys,” Coach Hall stated. “Our offensive line played very well tonight, probably the best game we’ve had all year. Our backs ran hard but they always run hard. It was a great team win for us.”
Ansonia’s discipline was on display with just one penalty on the night and had a single turnover coming late in the game.
“We told them coming in if we don’t have any penalties and no turnovers we’re going to be in good shape to win this game,” said Hall. “If you think back to the first quarter the only time we didn’t score was on a drive that was stopped by a penalty on a false start. When we don’t beat ourselves, we’re pretty good.”
With the win, Ansonia improved to 9-0 overall on the season and 7-0 in conference play. Preble Shawnee falls to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the WOAC.
“We have to play Mississinawa still so we have to take care of business next week,” said Hall.
Ansonia travels to the neighboring Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks with an undefeated 10-0 perfect season in sight.
“Keep guys focused this week,” Coach Hall said of the regular season final game. “It’s Mississinawa, it’s our rival game, I think they will be pretty focused.”