Arcanum hoists Fox 45 Thursday Night Lights Trophy in win over Ansonia (Dale Barger Photo)

Arcanum defeated Ansonia in a Thursday Night Lights WOAC Showdown

ARCANUM –  Two teams with contrasting styles went toe to toe in the Fox 45 Thursday Night Lights televised game between Western Ohio Athletic Conference rivals in Darke County.  Ansonia led 14-8 before Arcanum had two big plays leading to touchdowns in the final minutes of the half to take a 22-14 lead into the break.

Arcanum halted the Tigers first drive to start the game and then went to work in their spread offense.

Bryce Schondelmyer connected with Brennen Troutwine on a slant pass over the middle and he split the defenders racing into the endzone for a 26-yard touchdown.

Schondelmyer then kept it on a quarterback keeper to the right side and bulled over the goal line for the two-point conversion and at 6:59 they led 8-0.

Ansonia didn’t bat an eye; on their second drive of the game, it took them just 1:30 on a 4-play drive to answer.  Peyton Beam had two big runs: a 28-yarder and a 27-yarder for the score with the Tigers cutting the lead down to 8-7 at the 5:29 mark.

The two teams traded a couple of possessions heading into the 2nd quarter without scoring again.

Ansonia’s running game was in full force in the 2nd quarter with Peyton Beam churning big yards, 154 total in the first half.  Beam gave them the go-ahead tally dragging guys into endzone from 4-yards to lead 14-8 with 3 minutes left in the half.

Arcanum’s offense is loaded with weapons starting with the arm of junior Quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer and a bevy of receivers who can catch and run which sometimes can make 3 minutes seem like an eternity.

Bryce connected with Tyler Huber on a drag route and Huber did the rest by making defenders miss, breaking a tackle at midfield then outrunning everyone else for a 69-yard touchdown knotting the score at 14.

Ansonia stalled on the next drive punting back to Arcanum and with just 6 seconds left in the half the big play big the Tigers again.  This time a throw over the shoulder by Schondelmyer was hauled it in by Zade Shank and he raced 60 yards up the sideline for the go ahead score.

Schondelmyer then used his 6’2” length stretching his arm out with the ball just clearing the goal for a two-point conversion as Arcanum gained huge momentum heading into the locker-room.

Both teams made half-time adjustments, but it was Arcanum’s defensive effort to stop the powerful Tiger running game that made the biggest difference.

Ansonia gained just 31 yards on the ground in the second half and the passing game was unable to make up the difference.

Both defenses were stout in the second half, but the Tigers gave up one more TD with  Schondelmyer running it in from 2-yard out.  He also converted on a pass to Ian Baker to complete the scoring in the game.

In the end Arcanum had enough weapons, mainly a high caliber core of receivers for Bryson to select, going for 326 yards on 23-39 passing and 3 TD’s.

Leading receivers for the Trojans were Brennen Troutwine 12 receptions – 95 yards, Zade Shank 4 receptions – 92 yards, Tyler Huber 3 receptions – 79 yard, Garrett Garno 3 receptions – 48 yards and Ian Baker playing on a hurt ankle had 1 catch for 12 yards.

The 30-16 win keeps Arcanum perfect on the season at 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the WOAC and they travel to Tri-County North next week.

Ansonia falls to 2-2 on the season and 2-1 in the conference and host Tri-Village next week.

By winning the game the Trojans received the Fox 45 Thursday Night Lights trophy at the conclusion of the televised game and the fans from Arcanum are proud of the football team off to their best start in years.

“People are noticing you.  They’re coming out to watch, now we just have to build on this and keep winning,” Arcanum coach Jason Schondelmyer said after the game.

“It took guts and toughness for our kids to win a physical game and tonight we did that, we haven’t done that in years,” Schondelmyer said.

Our offense made the plays when we needed them and our defense stepped up in the second half, so I’m really proud of them for doing that,” Schondelmyer concluded.

Arcanum senior offensive lineman Eli Shelton and junior lineman Jacob Rayburn protect their quarterback (Dale Barger Photo)
Junior QB Bryce Schondelmyer completed 23-39 passes for 326 yards and 3 TD's in game with Ansonia (Dale Barger Photo)
Ansonia Senior Running Back Peyton Beam had 184 yards rushing in the game (Dale Barger Photo)
Arcanum Defense shut down Peyton and Ansonia in the 2nd half to record the 30-14 win (Dale Barger Photo)
Zade Shank 60 yard touchdown catch and run with 6 seconds in the half gave Arcanum a huge boost (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at

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