By John Bombatch
XENIA — Even a running game clock couldn’t stop Beavercreek.
With Battlin’ Beaver fans chanting “This Is Our House,” backup quarterback Jake Maloney dove in from two yards out with 7.5 seconds left on the game clock and Beavercreek rolled to a convincing 45-7 win, to spoil the first regular season game to be played on Xenia’s Veterans Field artificial turf.
Maloney’s run was just the final big run of many for Beavercreek, which amassed 400 yards in rushing offense for the game.
Bruising fullback Tim Bradshaw accounted for most of those yards. The 6-foot, 210-pound senior had touchdown runs of 7, 4 and 5 yards while gaining 190 yards on 27 carries.
While the Beavers were rumblin’ all over the new turf, Xenia’s ground game mustered minus-6 yards.
“I thought our offensive line blocked great and I thought our perimeter blocking really stepped up comparatively to what we’ve seen. So I think we took a big step in that area.” said Beavercreek coach Nic Black. “And then we went through a full gameplan with our defensive guys and how they executed, and they really played well tonight.”
Forced to play catchup, Xenia quarterback Danny Naylor completed 16 of 24 pass attempts for 153 yards, but two of those tries were intercepted.
Perhaps the toughest part of the loss for Xenia was just how Beavercreek scored its touchdowns. The Beavers never had to throw the ball in the first half. The running game just wore Xenia down.
The Beavers’ first TD came after a 92-yard 12-play drive that was culminated by Bradshaw’s first romp of the evening.
Jullian Linkhart snared a Danny Naylor pass when the two intended Xenia wideouts took each other out of the play by running into each other. Linkhart put the ball on Xenia’s 39-yard line, and Noah Corrigan raced around the right side from there to score.
Xenia’s next possession fizzled at midfield and the Buccaneers had to punt. Seven running plays later, starting quarterback Hunter Maloney ran in for a score from 14 yards out. Michael Chuck booted his third extra point in as many tries and Beavercreek was well ahead, 21-0.
Even after Xenia scored on a nice Danny Naylor 20-yard pass to Ryan Hudson, Beavercreek was quick to answer.
On the Xenia kickoff, Linkhart raced 80 yards the other way to set up the Beavers’ next score — a Bradshaw run from 4 yard out.
Beavercreek never let up. After Linkhart snagged his second interception of the night to end the first half, the Beavers rumbled 73 yards on 17 plays on their first possession of the second half. They capitalized that long-winded drive with a 21-yard Chuck field goal.
“They found a textbook way for an offensive option team to beat us,” Xenia coach Bob DeLong said. “We only had the ball for three plays in the third quarter. One of our biggest concerns going into the game was whether our smaller offensive line could hang in there for the whole game. … We didn’t. Beavercreek did a great job.”
Bradshaw’s final score of the night enabled Beavercreek to grab a 30-point lead and force a non-stop running clock from the 8:48 mark in the fourth quarter on, and Jake Maloney then scored the final TD as time was running out.
Beavercreek goes up against Carroll on the Patriots’ home field on Friday. Xenia is on the road, too. They play at Kings Mills Kings that same day.
Score By Quarters:
Beavercreek 7 21 3 14 — 45
Xenia 0 7 0 0 — 7
B — Tim Bradshaw 7 run, Michael Chuck kick
B — Noah Corrigan 39 run, Chuck kick
B — Hunter Maloney 14 run, Chuck kick
X — Ryan Hudson 20 pass from Danny Naylor, Blake Bond kick
B — Bradshaw 4 run, Chuck kick
B — Chuck 21 field goal
B — Bradshaw 5 run, Chuck kick
B — Jake Maloney 2 run, Chuck kick
Records: Beavercreek (1-0); Xenia (0-1).