CAMDEN – It was a key early season football game between Preble Shawnee and Tri-Village that has had in impact on the league championship since the WOAC started 3 years ago as both teams having won a WOAC title, in the first two years of the conference.
“We knew it was going to be a battle going into Shawnee, having never beat them in program history I believe our seniors set the tone this week coming into this game,” Tri-Village coach Matthew Hopkins said.
There was no drama in this one as the visiting Patriots broke the Arrows 48-14, the first win for the Patriots over Preble Shawnee in three tries since WOAC formed.
Senior running back Reed Wehr lived in the endzone passing through 5 times in the game with four coming on the ground and one in the air.
The Patriots garnered 355 yards rushing on the ground with Wehr gaining 302 on 15 carries.
Braden Keating was 12/17 passing for 203 yards throwing 2 TDs, with his favorite target being Tanner Printz with 9 catches for 100 yards and 1 TD. Keating also tossed one to Wehr for a score.
Noah Finkbine plowed forward into the end zone for the first score of the night at 5:06 in the 1st quarter to give the PATS an early 6-0 lead.
The Arrows answered when Isaac Blankenship on a long 3rd downplay got behind the defense with quarterback Brody Morton scrambling away to launch it over the top to a waiting, Isaac Blankenship
For a 50-yard gain to the Patriots 10-yard line.
Blankenship finished the drive on a 5-yard run and the extra point gave Preble Shawnee a 7-6 lead with 2:39 left in 1st quarter.
It took just one play for the Patriots to respond as Reed Wehr broke a 60-yarder to recapture a Tri-Village lead, 12-7 after the failed two-point conversion.
Tri-Village added to their lead when Reed Wehr went to punt and now one rushed him as he moved to the right and decided to pull the ball racing to the sideline going 62 yards to extend the lead 18-7 with 6:45 remaining in the quarter.
Tri-Village turned in a big defensive series putting a lot of pressure on quarterback Morton as senior Jayden Hollinger regained the ball for the Patriots sacking the QB on 4th down with 5:23 remaining.
Shawnee defense stiffened putting the Patriots in a 4th and 1 … but they were unable to contain Wehr busting through for 52-yards and after a two-point conversion catch be Zeke Hopkins at as the PATS led 26-7 at the break.
Despite leading at the half, the Patriots made mistakes and was something coach Matthew Hopkins noted.
“We weren’t sharp, and we knew we would have had to come out ready to play well in the second half,” Hopkins said.
Preble Shawnee chipped their way down the field to start 2nd half and Riley Stevenson capped the drive on a 15-yard run followed by a Colton Schroeder extra point kick to get the Arrows in striking distance trailing 26-14.
But another quick strike by Wehr on a 42-yard touchdown run pushed the lead to twenty, 34-14 with 7:02 remaining in 3rd quarter.
Braden Keating launched a 48-yard strike to Tanner Printz at 4:11 left in the 3rd quarter extending the Patriots lead to 41-14 and time was getting away from the Arrows.
Keating added one more aerial pass to Wehr for 52-yards to complete the scoring 48-14.
“This team has great senior leadership, and you could tell in practice all week long they wanted this one.Shawnee capitalized on our mistakes last year where we had six turnovers in that game, and they took one from us and we were disappointed about it all year long,” Hopkins stated.
I thought we played pretty well in all 3 phases tonight,,” Hopkins added.
“Coming out with a victory the seniors on this team erased the last two years of pain and I’m really happy for our senior class. They all played very well and led by example. We’re glad to be 1-0 in the league but must remain focused each week to stay in contention for a title. There lots of work yet to do,” Hopkins concluded.