Injuries lead to offensive woes for ‘Creek

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

CENTERVILLE — Playing one of the best offenses in the Greater Western Ohio Conference was already a challenge for the Beavercreek Beavers.

But having to play Centerville without their quarterback and top running back — sidelined in the first half with injuries — in a cold downpour was too much for the Beavers to overcome as they lost their football finale, 26-0, to the Elks, Oct. 27.

In a 10-0 game with neither team doing much, Beavercreek QB Cody Hocker was injured midway through the second quarter and didn’t return. Kaden Wenger, the No. 3 rusher in the GWOC, carried five times in the first half before being pulled.

The replacements did an admirable job, but the makeshift lineup couldn’t solve the aggressive Elks defense.

“We’re stealing parts from both sides,” Coach Nic Black said. “It’s a struggle for us when you lose that many parts and you got an outside linebacker in there playing wing. That makes it tough.”

Beavercreek, which was fighting for a Division-I playoff spot, managed just 62 rushing yards, well below its average of nearly 300 per game. The lack of offense also caused issues for the defense, which spent a lot of time on the field.

The Elks, who host a playoff game next week, ran 62 plays compared to 45 for the Beavers.

“Can’t get the ball going forward on offense, that ends up hurting defense,” Black said.

Centerville (9-1, 4-0 GWOC) had 409 total yards, 255 in the air and 154 on the ground. Ross Harmon, son of former Elk and NFL defensive lineman Andy Harmon, ran 15 times for 103 yards to lead all running backs. Wide receiver Jake Spiewak caught six balls for 148 yards and three scores.

His first TD came on an 18-yard pass from QB Alec Grandin with 6:13 left in the first to put the Elks up 7-0. His third — a 25-yard pass from Grandin — came with 3:09 left in the game. He also had a 68-yarder late in the third to blow open what was a 12-0 game. After fighting a defensive back for the ball, the 6-foot-4 senior tip-toed the sideline and sprinted down the field for the score.

“We played extremely well defensively in my opinion,” Black said. “We gave up one play to Spiewak. He was well covered. Good receivers make plays.”

Beavercreek’s Maurice Wilson had a pair of interceptions.

Centerville also had a 20-yard field goal from Brandon Walters, and a safety.

Wenger, a senior, led the Beavers with 24 yards, while senior Jake Maloney added 19 on 10 carries filling in for Hocker. Junior Sebastian Rendon also had 19 rushing yards.

Beavercreek finishes 6-4 overall and 1-3 in the GWOC. The senior class has three non-losing seasons and were on the brink of the playoffs a couple times.

“They’re unbelievably exceptional people,” Black said. “We’ve come a long way. That’s something that has a lot to do with that senior class. We’ve got to continue to build on that momentum.”

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.