By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
CASSTOWN — The Miami East football team’s playoff streak may have come to an end.
But the young Vikings are still finishing the season strong.
Miami East (5-4, 4-3 Cross County Conference) ensured itself at least a .500 season Friday night, winning its third straight in convincing fashion by defeating Bethel 55-14.
“We were kind of reeling at 2-4,” Miami East coach Max Current said. “So we tried to focus on winning those last four games. Finishing 6-4 is still a good year, and now we’ve taken the first three steps toward that. Now we’ve just got to finish it off next week.”
Miami East got going early, scoring on its first three possessions to jump out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. Austin Francis scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night with a 3-yard run, quarterback Tyler Kirby punched in a 1-yard run and Francis scored on a 9-yard run before Bethel was able to record a stop. But the Vikings recovered a fumble on Bethel’s 5-yard line, and Kirby scored on a 1-yard run to make it 28-0.
The Bees (2-7, 2-6 CCC) finally got on the board on their next possession, though, as Mason Brown hit Carter Bennett with a 24-yard touchdown pass. East answered with Kirby hitting Nick LeValley for a 22-yard score, then Brown and Bennett connected again on a 22-yarder to make the score 35-14 Miami East at halftime.
Francis broke a 45-yard touchdown run for the only score of the third quarter, then in the fourth Kirby hit LeValley with a 25-yard touchdown pass and LeValley broke a 39-yard touchdown run to finish off the game.
Francis finished with 174 yards and three scores on 19 carries and LeValley added 147 yards and a touchdown on nine carries as well as 58 yards and two more scores on three receptions. Kirby, who also had two rushing touchdowns, was 4 for 9 passing for 90 yards with two touchdowns as the Vikings had 444 yards of total offense to Bethel’s 218.
“We were able to run the ball tonight, and Tyler threw a couple of touchdowns, too,” Current said. “We got set up with good field position most of the night, and our defense did a nice job of making them one-dimensional by only allowing 40 rushing yards. They did hit some passes on us, but by then we were up 28-0. And we had some young kids who got some opportunities at different times in the game step up and make plays, too, which was good to see.”
Miami East travels to 2-7 Twin Valley South in Week 10, while Bethel hosts 7-2 Covington.
NEW LEBANON — Milton-Union’s offense put away Friday night’s game at Dixie early as the Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) jumped out to a 26-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back, winning 54-7.
Kayge Thwaits scored on a 3-yard run to get things started, then A.J. Lovin broke touchdown runs of 33 and 41 yards to make the score 19-0 Milton-Union after one. Lovin then returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs led 26-7 at halftime.
Blake Neumaier recorded a safety early in the third quarter, then Lovin returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown to set the tone in the second half. Ashton Jones then scored on a 6-yard run, Michael Elam added a 4-yard touchdown run and Zeb Hines scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to close things out.
Lovin finished with 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns on nine carries in addition to his two specials teams scores and Neumaier had 82 yards on 10 carries as the Bulldogs had 338 rushing yards and 343 yards of total offense to Dixie’s 29 total yards — including minus-21 rushing.
Milton-Union finishes the regular season at home in Week 10 against 1-8 Carlisle.
MCGUFFEY — Lehman snapped a two-game losing streak Friday night, defeating Upper Scioto Valley 21-6 on the road in Northwest Central Conference play.
R.J. Bertini was 11 for 18 passing for 122 yards and all three of the Cavaliers’ touchdowns: a 6-yarder to John Edwards to give Lehman a 7-0 halftime lead and a 28-yarder to Edwards late in the fourth to ice the game.
Lehman (4-5, 4-2 NWCC) hosts 6-3 Perry to close out the regular season in Week 10.
Troy Christian 0
TROY — Troy Christian’s four-game winning streak came to an end Friday at home as Lima Central Catholic (8-1) defeated the Eagles 70-0.
Troy Christian (4-5) finishes the season at Fisher Catholic in Week 10.
Miss. Valley 70,
BRADFORD — Bradford fell to 0-9 overall and 0-7 in Cross County Conference play Friday night, falling 70-13 to Mississinawa Valley at home.
The loss was the 31st straight for the Railroaders, which, according to Drew Pasteur’s Ohio Fantastic 50 (fantastic50.net), is tied with New Washington Buckeye Central and Lancaster Fairfield Christian Academy for the longest running losing streak in the state.
Bradford finishes the season at 4-5 National Trail in Week 10.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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