By BRET BEVENS
Southern Ohio Today
LONDON – For the second consecutive year the Adena faced off against Mechanicsburg in the Region 24 playoffs. And for the second consecutive year, the Indians eliminated the Warriors from the Division VI playoffs, this time with a 42-14 victory at London High School.
The win takes the Indians, ranked second statewide, to 9-0 and advances them to the Region 24 finals where they will meet Coldwater. The loss ends Adena’s season at 8-1.
“I’m very proud of this team and this group, especially the group of seniors,” Adena Coach John Penwell said. “They made contributions in the weight room and put in the time to improving themselves and bringing the younger guys along.”
The Warriors had clawed their way back into the game, trimming a 28-point deficit in half, and had momentum with nine minutes remaining. That is when a pair of special teams miscues cost the Warriors.
After the Warriors held Mechanicsburg to a three an out, a muffed punt was recovered by the Indians’ Westyn Moyer, setting up Mechanicsburg deep in Adena territory.
On the next play, Jake Hurst scored a 25-yard touchdown run to push the lead back to 21 and decide the outcome. On the ensuing kickoff, the special teams woes continued as Mechanicsburg’s Aaron Conley pounced on another fumble that set up the game’s final touchdown.
On the next play, Hurst scored again, this time from 10 yards out. Danny Mascardi’s PAT made the final margin of 42-14. In a span of 30 seconds, the two fumbles and subsequent scores sealed the game.
“We put together a really good quarter of football,” Penwell said. “Then you have the punt fumble, then you have the kickoff fumble and that pretty much sums up the game.”
Adena’s second touchdown drive saw the Warriors march 80 yards and was capped with a five-yard toss from Preston Sykes to Nate Throckmorton with 11:01 to go in the game. And with almost a whole quarter left Adena had scored 14 unanswered points and was looking for more.
In the third quarter. Adena’s was driving to score, but Mechanicsburg’s defense toughened up with a key goal line stand. Moments later the Adena defense came with a huge play. The Indians’ ball carrier fumbled deep in his own territory and Garrett Britton came up with the football.
Adena’s first score came after a Garrett Britton fumble recovery put his team in business. With 4:10 left in the third period, Sykes found Logan Bennett on an eight yard touchdown strike to get the Warriors on the board.
Leading 21-0, Mechanicsburg scored right before halftime, on its fourth straight possession, and took a commanding lead into the locker room. Hurst scampered in from 17 yards out with less than a minute left in the first half.
Earlier in the second quarter, Mechanicsburg scored on Chase Propst’s 35-yard touchdown run.
In the first quarter, Propst had a 21-yard touchdown run and Aaron Conley later scored on a nifty 35-yard dash that saw him elude Adena defenders.
For the Warriors, Throckmorton had 101 yards on 18 carries. He also had 41 yards on three receptions. Preston Sykes was 9-for-18 for 99 yards with two touchdowns.
ADENA 0 0 8 6 – 14
MECHANICSBURG 14 14 0 14 – 42
M – Chase Propst 21 run (Danny Mascadri kick)
M – Aaron Conley 35 run (Danny Mascadri kick)
M – Chase Propst 35 run (kick failed)
M – Jake Hurst 33 run (Conley run)
A – Logan Bennett 8 pass from Preston Sykes (Preston Sykes run)
A – Nate Throckmorton 5 pass from Preston Sykes (run failed)
M – Jake Hurst 25 run (Danny Mascadri kick)
M – Jake Hurst 10 run (Danny Mascadri kick)