By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — Untimely turnovers and penalties cost the Beavercreek Beavers on Senior Night, Friday at Frank Zink Field.
An interception led to one touchdown and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty led to another as Centerville beat the Beavers, 31-28.
Both miscues hurt. But the penalty was the most costly.
The Beavers had taken a 28-24 lead on an 11-yard run by Kaden Wenger with two minutes left. The Elks started on their own 17 and faced a second-and-22 from their own 13 when a pass was knocked down. However, a ‘Creek player was called for the 15-yard penalty giving the Elks a more-manageable third-and-nine. The Elks got eight on the next play and then hit a 44-yard pass from QB Alec Grandin to Jack Meade, putting the Elks at the ‘Creek 35 with 46 seconds left.
Centerville scored three plays later, on a 15-yard pass from Grandin to Donovan Shelton with 25 seconds left. Beavercreek was able to get to the Elks’ 46 before a final pass was knocked down.
“They were able to complete some balls and we had a 15-yard penalty,” a dejected coach Nic Black said. “Critical moment. It was a difficult call. Gave them a makeable situation. Massively frustrated.”
The Beavers had 503 yards of offense, all but 40 on the ground. Wenger finished with 118 yards and two touchdowns and Rodney Alston added 105 on just five carries. Centerville (5-5 overall, 2-2 Greater Wesltern Ohio Conference) had 413 total yards, 341 in the air. Grandin completed 28 of 36 passes and ran 12 times for 68 yards to lead the Elks, whose playoff hopes were on life support prior to kickoff.
Beavercreek (4-6, 1-3) dominated the first quarter in time of possession, but it was the Elks who found the end zone on a quick 8-play, 72-yard drive. Grandin hit Jack Meade for a 25-yard touchdown with 5:44 left to open the scoring.
The Beavers tied it on the second play of the second quarter with an 8-yard run by Wenger and the PAT by Marcella Cash, who has yet to miss.
Corrigan gave the Beavers a 14-7 lead with 10:12 left, taking advantage of a fumble by Centerville on its 22-yard line. Julian Linkhart recovered the loose ball and two plays later, Noah Corrigan took a late pitch from by Jake Maloney and sprinted down the sideline to the pylon.
Centerville returned the favor late in the second quarter after an interception by Centerville’s Austin Hanes on the Elks 34-yard line with and the Beavers driving.
The Elks used a 37-yard pass from Grandin to Donovan Shelton and a 13-yard pass to Mason Daniel to set up Mason Kuhr’s two yard off-tackle scoring run.
The Elks took a 17-14 lead with 8:25 left in the third quarter after a 36-yard field goal by Brandon Walters. The Elks used a bevy of screen passes to move down the field into scoring range.
The Beavers re-took the lead with 10:19 left on a 25-yard reverse run by Jake Maloney. A 37-yard run by Alston and a 30-yard pass to Justin Terrell set up the score.
The Elks jumped back in front with 8:23 left on a 1-yard pass to Sam Vance. The Elks had a 34-yard pass to Shelton to move down the field.
Black credited his seniors for making a lot of big plays but also lamented earlier missed opportunities, including a pair of drives that reached the Centerville 30 before stalling.
Score by quarters
Centerville 7 7 3 14 — 31
Beaverceek 0 14 0 24 — 28
C — Meade 25 pass from Grandin (Walters kick)
B — Wenger 8 run (Cash kick)
B — Corrigan 20 run (Cash kick)
C — Kuhr 2 run (Walters kick)
C — Walters 36 field goal
B — Maloney 25 run (Cash kick)
C — Vance 1 pass from Grandin (Walters kick)
B — Wenger 6 run (Cash kick)
C — Shelton 15 pass from Grandin (Walters kick)