Malechai Stephenson runs behind the block of Brody Lynch for Preble Shawnee in the Arrows playoff win over Greenon. (Chris Tilton photo)

Arrows Extend Win Streak with playoff win Over Knights

CAMDEN – On a cold wet night it was the Arrows that were able to gain the upper hand in come from behind fashion over the Greenon Knights in the first round of the state playoffs. This now makes the team 11-0 on the season. The field was muddy due to the rain that had been falling over the past few days. Both teams had to adjust to the conditions.  The Shawnee defense shone with 6-turnovers while the offense adjusted and scored enough to win 21-13.

On Shawnee’s first possession the slippery conditions were evident.  Feature running back Hunter Crockett quickly found that he could not make the bounce outside that he usually does as he lost his footing on his first few carries. But the Arrows adjusted on their next possession – if you can’t run the ball, then pass it.

“The field was sloppy and it was a mess,” said Shawnee coach, Dave Maddox. “I think it took everyone time to get a feel for playing in it. But once we got locked in, I think we got into the game. We just weren’t able to get to the edge all the time like we had been.  And Hunter Crockett couldn’t cut the way that he likes to.”

Brayden Doran found Cooper Roell open and he caught the ball for about a 40-yard gain to put the ball on the Greenon 40.  Dylan Zornes then caught a TD pass in the end zone to put Shawnee on the scoreboard first for a 7-0 lead.

Now the Shawnee secondary stepped into the picture.  When Greenon likewise found their run game faltering, they too took to the air.  Malechai Stephenson and Isaac Blankenship picked off a pair of Greenon passes on back to back possessions by Kaden Wooten.

“I thought our DB’s played well, I don’t know how many turnovers we had – but there were a lot of them. I am happy and proud of the way they played.”

But when Shawnee tried to repeat their success in the air, Greenon’s Clay Hough picked off a pass and returned it 68-yards to the 1-yard line. The Knights were able to score and tie the game. Shawnee next had a scare when Greenon did an onside kick and recovered it.

But that scoring threat ended when Tobias Mueller intercepted the ball in the end zone on third and goal from the five.  Greenon got the ball back just before halftime and tried one more time to pull ahead.  But again it was Mueller who ended the threat with an interception.  The two teams entered the locker room at halftime tied 7-7.

Greenon received the ball to start the half and went on a clock eating drive.  They used about half of the time in the quarter and ended the drive when Dillon Steward scored from 1-yard out. The extra point hit the goal post, but Greenon was still up 13-7 when the teams entered the final stanza. It was one of the few times all season that the Arrows were trying to catch up to another team.

“Playing from behind late in the game was another obstacle that we had to overcome,” said Maddox. “When you face adversity you have to keep your head up and focus on your effort. There is a lot of stuff going on that you can’t control – but you can always control your effort. We told them to play hard and keep doing your job.”

Now it was Shawnee’s turn to get their running game going.  Early in the fourth quarter Hunter Crockett scored on a 13-yard run.  Shawnee made their extra point to go up 14-13.

Now the Shawnee crowd made themselves heard.  The Shawnee defense responded and held Greenon to a three and out.  Getting the ball at midfield, Shawnee moved the ball towards the goal line allowing Doran to score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

There was still plenty of time on the clock at that time and the Shawnee defense had their work cut out for them in waning minutes of the game. Then Shawnee turned over the ball on downs with one minute left on the clock.  Greenon desperately tried to score on their last drive of the season.  They got the ball to midfield, but Malechai Stephenson intercepted a Wooten pass and that sealed the Shawnee win as they went to the victory formation.

Coach Maddox on the game, “We are headed in the direction that we want to be for sure. We talked all season about this being a special group of guys and we just showed that on the field tonight. The first half was sloppy and it was ugly – and the penalties did not help. We got into the locker room and said this is not what we are – we are fighters and we keep coming back. And I thought we did play better in the second half. I am proud of the way we played tonight.”

Next playoff game for Preble Shawnee is against Williamsburg at Preble Shawnee on Saturday night.

Brayden Doran carries for the Arrows in the team's OHSAA playoff win over Greenon. (Chris Tilton photo)
The Preble Shawnee Arrows gain ground in the team's Saturday night playoff victory over Greenon. (Chris Tilton photo(
The Arrows defense makes a stop in Preble Shawnee's playoff win over Greenon. (Chris Tilton photo)
The Preble Shawnee cheerleaders all dressed up for first round OHSAA 2021 football playoff game. (Chris Tilton photo)
Preble Shawnee coach, Dave Maddox talks with his Arrows following the team's playoff win over Greenon. (Chris Tilton photo(

Chris Tilton / Correspondent

Chris Tilton has covered sports in Southwest Ohio for the past 23 years and has lived in Southwest Ohio most of his life. He is mostly retired and continues to enjoy travel in the USA and hs been to Asia and Europe. Chris continues to work as a freelance writer. His Hobbies include fishing and computer gaming. Chris lives on a 32 acre farm in the Camden area. He has 10 grandchildren the he enjoys spending time with when he is not covering sports or traipsing around the country.

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