By John Bombatch
XENIA — A trio of touchdowns to Buccaneer wideout Corey Burnette, from two different quarterbacks, helped lead Xenia to its first win of the season Friday night at Doug Adams Stadium.
Burnette caught TD passes of 57, 47 and 10 yards — the first from Christian Severt, the last two from Warren Mahar — and the Xenia Buccaneers defeated visiting Riverside Stebbins, 34-24, to record their first win of the season, and their first in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American South division.
“I’m so happy for the kids. They battled and battled and battled for six weeks, and it showed tonight,” Xenia coach Bob DeLong said.
Big plays meant big touchdowns for Xenia (1-6, 1-0 GWOC American South). Burnette wasn’t the only Buc to haul in a big score. On a Mahar pass play designed for Kobe Hughlett to get a first down and run out the game clock, the senior wideout broke about 3-4 tackles and scurried down the Xenia sideline for a 48-yard score.
“I was standing where the first down was, just hoping Kobe would get the first down. But he just kept on going, and obviously that was fine with me,” DeLong laughed.
For the game, Burnette finished with six receptions for 131 yards and the three scores. Meechi Harris hauled in three passes for 85 yards. Severt threw for 115 yards, and Mahar completed seven second-half passes for 156 and three scores.
Xenia caught a bit of a break after the second play of the game when Stebbins’ starting back-up quarterback — Ryan Minor — had to leave the game with a broken arm. That threw Brady Wilson, the Indians’ third-string QB, into the fray.
The switch in quarterbacks led to some timing issues for Stebbins. The Indians recorded six false start penalties.
Despite the timing issues, Stebbins’ run game gained 266 yards on 63 carries. C.J. Martin led all rushers with his 86-yard night on 15 carries. Wilson ran for 55 yards in a solid effort.
“Our starting quarterback broke his left arm on the second play of the game, so we had to do Next Man Up,” Stebbins coach Trace Smitherman said. “We continued to fight. They showed a lot of character. We had no idea we’d have a night like that with our third quarterback.
“We ran the ball pretty well, too. That’s what we do. Now we’ve gotta lick our wounds and go get ready for another tough one next week against Trotwood-Madison.”
Stebbins is now 2-5 overall, 0-2 GWOC American South.
Xenia next plays at West Carrollton on Friday, Oct. 14.
Score by Quarters
Stebbins 0 6 3 15 — 24
Xenia 8 6 7 13 — 34
X — Corey Burnette 57 pass from Christian Severt. (Kai Johnson run)
X — TeAndre Adams 3 run (kick failed)
S — Brady Wilson 4 run (kick blocked)
S — Gage Fosberg 33 field goal
X — Burnette 47 pass from Warren Mahar (Heath Throop kick)
X — Burnette 10 pass from Mahar (kick failed)
S — Wilson 14 run (Joe Simpkins run)
X — Kobe Hughlett 48 pass from Mahar (Nate Higgins kick)
S — Levi Stewart 5 run (Fosberg kick)