By John Bombatch
BEAVERCREEK — A solid running game and a little bit of trickery earned the host Beavercreek Beavers a solid win, Thursday night at Frank Zink Field.
Noah Corrigan rushed for more than 130 yards, but left the scoring to his Beavercreek quarterbacks. Jacob Maloney scored twice and fellow QB Cody Hocker scored three times in a 37-20 win over Xenia.
Corrigan had runs of 15, 28, 11 (twice), nine and 29 yards, and that was before the game’s final quarter had started.
The season opening game was being televised live by a Dayton-area Fox station, and so TV timeouts drew out the game until well past 10 p.m. In convincing and merciless fashion, Beavercreek began its final drive on its 1-yard line and marched all the way across Zink Field for Hocker’s final tally of the night.
Beavercreek had its first drive stall out on the Xenia Buccaneers’ 1-yard line, when the Xenia line stopped lineman-turned-ball carrier Esteban Llanas for no gain.
Xenia’s elation over the goal-line stand was short-lived, however. Two plays later, Beavers linebacker Nicholas Thurston sacked quarterback Christian Severt in the end zone for a safety.
The Bucs booted a free kick to Beavercreek, and the Beavers were in the Xenia end zone eight plays later for their first touchdown of the 2016 season. Maloney plunged in from a yard out for a TD. Marcella Cash booted the extra point and the Beavers were out front 9-0 with three minutes still to play in the first quarter.
The Beavers’ failed to capitalize on Jack Kowalski’s interception, but Xenia was able to take advantage of Anthony Holder’s 47-yard interception return.
Two plays later, and STILL in the first quarter, Severt connected with Meechi Harris for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Josh Hill’s extra point try was blocked, but the Buccaneers were back in the contest, trailing 9-6.
Xenia actually grabbed a first-half lead when Severt and Harris hooked up on another TD pass — this one a 35-yarder — and a successful TeAndre Adams run on the 2-point try gave the Bucs a brief 14-9 second-quarter lead.
But after Julian Linkhart’s impressive 50-yard kick return, Beavercreek marched the other 40 yards in nine plays to go ahead for good, 16-14.
A nifty onside kick from Cash gave Beavercreek the ball on Xenia’s 49. Eight plays later, Maloney dove into the end zone from a yard out. Cash connected on yet another extra point and the Beavers were out in front 23-14.
Corrigan’s 29-yard run on a pitchout to the left side was they key play in the Beavers’ nine-play, 50-yard scoring drive in the third quarter. Hocker scored the last two Beavercreek TDs, and Cash hit all five of her extra-point tries for the game’s final margin.
Xenia (0-1) had drawn within 10 points of the lead at 30-20 when Meechi Harris returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score. The two-point conversion failed, however. Then Beavercreek clinched the game on its final scoring drive.
Beavercreek (1-0) remains at home in Week Two. They’ll host neighborhood rival Carroll on Sept. 2. Xenia will play its home opener, also on Sept. 2. They will entertain Kings Mills Kings at Doug Adams Stadium.
Beavercreek 37, Xenia 20
Score by Quarters
Xenia 6 8 6 0 — 20
Beavercreek 9 14 7 7 — 37
B – Safety
B – Jacob Maloney 1 run (Marcella Cash kick)
X – Mechi Harris 20 pass from Christian Severt (kick blocked)
X – Harris 35 pass from Severt (TeAndre Adams run)
B – Cody Hocker 1 run (Cash kick)
B – Maloney 1 run (Cash kick)
B – Hocker 1 run (Cash kick)
X – Harris 84 kickoff return (run failed)
B – Hocker run (Cash kick)