Ansonia took another step closer to a perfect regular season with a huge win over Preble Shawnee this Friday. Host Shawnee entered the game with just 1 conference loss and a 6 game winning streak - so the team entered the game with momentum. But that momentum was stopped by a hard running Tiger offense and a stubborn defense. The win guarantee's at least a share of the conference championship and a victory next week over winless Mississinewa Valley will give them the championship outright.
Ansonia used a formula that has worked for them for years. A ground based, ball control focused offense and a hungry defense. Ansonia only had one turnover - which was late in the 4th corner, and only one penalty. So they minimized their mistakes and took the most of their opportunities. And the name of that opportunity was Keegan Weiss who lugged the ball across the goal line an amazing 6 times in the 48-20 victory.
Ansonia coach Hall: "We told them when we came in that if don't have any turnovers or any penalties, then we are going to be in good shape. In the 1st half, the only time we didn't score was on a drive that was stopped by a pentalty. When we don't beat ourselves, we are pretty good."
Preble Shawnee was misfiring out of the gate. Ansonia got the ball 1st and scored. Shawnee's 1st series was representative of how the game would unfold for them. They had a holding penalty and then a false start. Then when they were forced to punt, it was shanked and Ansonia got the ball back and quickly scored with the short field. Shawnee was quickly down by 2 scores.
But it was big plays that allowed Shawnee to score. All of their scores were either off of a long run or pass, or set up by a big run or pass. Lane Lovely scored Shawnee's 1st touchdown on a 42 yard run. He would also score on a 14 yard run and teammate Issaac Blankenship would score on a 73 yard touchdown pass from Brody Morton in the 4th quarter.
The 1st half ended on a down note for Shawnee. They had driven down to the Ansonia 5 yard line and with 4 10ths of a second on the clock they attempted to ground the ball. The ruling was that the time to snap to the quarterback and for him to ground the ball took longer than the time on the clock and so by rule, the half had ended.
Shawnee did get the ball back to start the 3rd quarter, but the misques continued. They went into punting formation when their 1st drive stalled at midfield. They attempted a fake punt, but the punter had to reach down for the ball, and his knee touched the ground - ending play at that spot and gifting Ansonia another short field. On another punt attempt Garrett Stammen got a hand on the ball and got a partial block - again giving Ansonia favorable field position.
To their credit, Shawnee kept trying to get back in the game. But the Ansonia defense was up to the challenge. They were able to pressure the quarterback with lineman Jared Schmitmeyer recording a sack in the 3rd quarter and the secondary kept the Shawnee recievers covered most of the night.
Coach Hall: "Our guys played great tonight, Preble Shawnee is a great football team - they've been good since they've been in the conference. They made some big plays on us, but when we do what we are supposed to do we are a pretty good football team too. Our offensive line played very well tonight, probably the best game that we had all year. Our backs ran hard - but they always run hard. It was a great team win for us."
On the last Friday of the regular season Ansonia will host neighbor Mississinawa Valley and Preble Shawnee will travel to Dixie. Then both teams will make ready for the playoffs.
Coach Hall: "It's getting to be that time of year - it's fall, the weather is nice and it's football season. The guys are working hard and it is exciting. When you start in the summer, this feels like it is a long ways off. But now we are starting to get the benefits of all that hard work that our guys have done."
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