BEAVERCREEK — One play at the end of the third quarter in Friday night’s contest between Beavercreek (3-1) and Springboro (3-1) seemed to swing momentum in favor of the visiting Panthers, who went on to take a 28-0 victory.
Despite struggling to move the ball most of the first half, the Beavers came out of the locker room only down by a single Panther touchdown (an 18-yard Alex Feldman reception set up by a Beaver failed fake punt). Beavercreek responded to the deficit by putting together a methodical run-heavy drive that ate up most of the third quarter. The 10 minute, 44 second, 79-yard drive looked poised to swing momentum back in favor of the home team.
But on fourth down from the Springboro one-yard line, the Beavercreek offensive line couldn’t get a push and running back Tim Bradshaw was swarmed under by Panthers. That was as close as the home team would get for the rest of the ball game, both in terms of field position and scoring.
“Our motto around here is, ‘Give us one more chance to play defense,’” Springboro head coach Ryan Wilhite said later while talking about his team’s goal-line stand. “It’s never over ‘til it’s over. We’re going to play every snap that we can before they cross that goal line. And I thought that that attitude payed off, that toughness at the line of scrimmage.”
The visitors took over on downs and nearly got caught in their own endzone for a safety — Beavercreek head coach Nic Black was convinced his team had earned the two points, but game officials awarded Springboro running back Liam Foley forward progress to the team’s own one yard line. The Panthers then put their offense in gear and marched 99 yards right back down the field to take a deflating 14-0 lead with about nine minutes left in the game.
The Beavers fumbled on their next drive, and the Panthers recovered and made them pay two plays later on a one-yard run from quarterback Elijah Cunningham.
Following a three-and-out by the Beavers, the Panthers drove down and put an exclamation point on their victory: a 5-yard touchdown run by Foley.
Following the game Black acknowledged the goal-line stuff play, but pointed to his team’s poor execution on third down on both sides of the ball, as well as special teams errors as lack of execution in the loss.
“We just didn’t execute very well,” he said. “We’re a better football team than 28-nothing with Springboro. … When we don’t execute the scheme, when we have mental lapses or poor eye discipline or lack of technique, then you get that result.”
Beavercreek’s workhorse running back Tim Bradshaw finished the night with 102 yards rushing. Cunningham threw 16-for-28 on the night for 226 yards passing with one interception.
Beavercreek will travel to the state’s capital to play Columbus Bishop Hartley (3-1) next week. Springboro will host Northmont (1-3).
Score By Quarters:
Springboro 0 7 0 21 – 28
Beavercreek 0 0 0 0 – 0
S – Alex Feldman 18 pass from Elijah Cunningham, Charlie Kuhbander kick
S – Nick Kovacs 3 pass from Cunningham, Kuhbander kick
S – Cunningham 1 run, Kuhbander kick
S – Liam Foley 5 run, Kuhbander kick
Records: Beavercreek (3-1); Springboro (3-1)
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.