NEW MADISON – Tri-Village hasn’t played football long but based on the rivalry that exist with Arcanum you would think they had been playing for 50 years. To add to the atmosphere, it was homecoming as well with a large crowd on hand to watch the crowning of Preston Broyles as King and Chloe Godown Queen.
The game was full of fireworks and big plays with TV leading 27-20 at the half. Arcanum blocked a field goal early in the 3rd quarter to go ahead 28-27 … but it was all Patriots after that, going on to register a big 53-28 win in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference.
The Patriots wasted no time getting on the board with Reed Wehr scoring on the very first play of the game going up the middle and out-running everyone for a 60-yard TD to go up 7-0.
Arcanum wasn’t shell-shocked by the big boom of the canon fired off by Travis Printz after the quick score, in fact, they provided their own bang when Bryce Schondelmyer heaved a long 45-yard toss to a wide-open Garrett Garno, who got behind the defense and did the rest sprinting into the endzone for a 65-yard scoring strike. The two-point conversion failed, and the score was 7-6 with less than a minute off the clock.
After a stalled drive by the Patriots, Schondelmyer and company went to work as he spread the ball around to Garno, Tyler Huber, Zade Shank and Brennen Troutwine on a deliberate drive resulting in a score when he connected with Troutwine on a 9-yard crossing pattern in the endzone to take the lead 12-7 at 4:34 in the 1st period.
The big play offense of Tri-Village quickly erased the Arcanum lead when sophomore Braden Keating showed he can pass the ball as well. He hooked up with Justin Finkbine for an 89-yard score. That play turned out to be a record for the longest pass for a score as Tri-Village now led 14-12 with 1:32 to go in the quarter.
TV added to their tally to start the 2nd frame with another pass from Keating to Josh Scantland.
Scantland double teamed went up high in the corner of the endzone and somehow got a toe down to complete the catch for a 13-yard score, the extra point kick failed but the PATS went up 20-12.
“We knew Arcanum was going to bring a bunch of pressure and Braden stood in there and took a couple of shots but delivered some nice balls going 8-11 for 226 yards and 3 TDs. It also helps when you have good receivers like Josh Scantland and Justin Finkbine who both scored as well,” Tri-Village coach Robert Burk said.
Arcanum is used to scoring on big plays, but the Patriots were able to slow the passing game down a little until a 10-yard pass to Garno from Schondelmyer who also converted the two-point run to tie the game at 20.
After scoring on two consecutive pass plays the Patriots re-introduced sophomore running back Reed Wehr as he broke away from the speedy defensive backs of Arcanum on a 67-yard run to go back on top to end the first half 27-20.
“We thought we had a great game plan, but our defensive backs had a couple problems exchanging in the first half,” Burk said.
“Give Arcanum credit when our secondary made mistakes Bryce made us pay in the first half,” Burk added.
Tri-Village was a team on a mission to start the second half looking to add to their lead when their 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Devin Craport and picked up by Tyler Huber who returned it 85-yards stunning the Patriots and delighting the Arcanum fans as they went up 28-27.
The sudden turn of events prompted the TV cameraman next to me say; “is this the way it’s going to be the rest of the game.” A reasonable spectator might have agreed with him.
But two things happened to answer that question. The defense of Tri-Village rose to the occasion shutting down Arcanum and running back Reed Wehr was just warming up.
Reed did all the scoring the rest of the way ending up with a huge night. He scored the next 4 touchdowns adding to the 2 he had in the first half.
He did that on a 14-yard pass from Keating to answer Arcanum’s Score. The TD pass from Keating set a single season record of 16 for a quarterback at Tri-Village.
Then Reed scored on runs of 81 yards, 70 yards and 24 yards … not including a long run called back on a penalty.
Wehr scored 6 touchdowns in the game, 5 on the ground tying Layne Sarver, Jared Buckley and Noah Burns for most rushing TDs in a game. Reeds 395 yards rushing on 24 carries was another record set for the Patriots in a game.
“We were able to run the ball and dictate the line of scrimmage which allowed us to run some play action for some big plays,” Burk praised.
“Reed is a special kid, and we want the game to go through our best players; he is one of our best, we put him behind our two best receivers at tight end and wing and ran behind them the whole game. It’s something we haven’t done all year and I think it really confused them. Being able to win at the point of attack allowed Reed to pick his spots and we just rode him all night,” Burk applauded.
Yes, it was an impressive performance by the youngster … but just as impressive was the second half play on defense.
“We cleaned things up in our secondary at halftime and in the second half they were spot on, and Arcanum never scored on offense and that really was the difference in the game,” Burk stated.
They did it by putting pressure on Schondelmyer who had been sacked just 3 times in the last 3 games. The Patriots got to him 5 times and sent him running from the pocket several times.
“Being able to pressure the quarterback was a big factor in the game. We got pressure with three guys up front and threw different rushers at them. Josh Randall played his brains out and had a couple of sacks,” Burk boasted.
But when they spilled Bryce out of the pocket guess who was there to greet him … you guessed it, Reed Wehr playing the spy was there to contain.
“We used Reed last year in the playoffs against CCPA who also had a great quarterback like Bryce, and it was effective. It was something I got from Ohio State a while back and when you have a kid that fast who can close in on the quarterback it’s a game changer,” Burk commented.
After 3 ½ quarters of fireworks from both sides the only fireworks left came from Tri-Village.
As the saying goes dynamite comes in small packages and Wehr provided the final explosion to upset previously unbeaten Arcanum 53-28.
Arcanum was led by Bryce Schondelmyer with 321 yards passing completing 26 of 47 passes and 3 TDs. Garret Garno had 166 yards receiving and 2 TDs for the Trojans.
Arcanum falls to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the WOAC. They will not be able to rest long as they travel to undefeated Preble Shawnee next week and win there could give them a share for a WOAC title and valuable computer points for the playoffs.
Tri-Village put up an impressive 700 total yards of offense on the night in the win to improve to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference and will travel to Dixie on Friday.