MIAMISBURG — If a postseason award was given to a football team for best performance in a losing effort, the Beavercreek Beavers would have clinched it Thursday in Miamisburg.
Down 18 points at halftime, the Beavers were within one score and had all the momentum late in the third quarter before a Miamisburg surge led to a 49-26 defeat Greater Western Ohio Conference action.
OK, that in itself isn’t worthy of much ballyhoo.
But consider ….
— The Beavers had 188 rushing yards, led by Quentin Youngblood’s 88 and Spencer Johnson’s 83.
— It was Beavercreek’s second-highest rushing total this season, second only to the 360 in a 56-23 win over Ponitz.
— The 26 points scored is the second-highest output this season (see Ponitz).
— The Beavers scored on a pair of touchdown passes for the second time (yup, Ponitz). Owen Ranley hauled in both.
— Defensively, the Beavers had an interception and recovered an onside kick, and forced quarterbacks Brock Vaughn and Preston Barr into a lot of scrambling situations. C.J. Crawford was all over the place, recording 12 total tackles, eight solo. Brent Couch had eight tackles, six solo.
“I think our kids fought,” Coach Marcus Colvin said. “I think we ran the ball well tonight. We just didn’t finish.”
One such failure to finish loomed large.
Down 28-17 late in the third quarter after a 15-yard TD pass from Spencer Johnson to Ranly, the Beavers (3-5 overall, 1-4 GWOC) recovered an onside kick and started from the Miamisburg 47. Three Miamisburg penalties and solid running by Johnson allowed the Beavers to get to the Miamisburg six. On a third and goal, Johnson scored on a run, but a holding play negated the score and the Beavers eventually had to settle for a 36-yard field goal by Shaun Morse to make the score 28-20 with 3:27 left.
The Beavers attempted a squib kick, which appeared to work as the ball bounced all the way to the 10 where a Viking picked up the ball. Unfortunately for Beavercreek, he ran it all the way to the Beavercreek 38 as a couple coaches screamed for a block in the back penalty. Five plays later the Vikings were up 35-20.
Miamisburg picked off a pass on the next Beavercreek drive, started from the Beaver 19, and scored on the fourth play — a 14-yard TD pass to Jackson McGohan, his fourth of the game. That made the score 42-20 after three.
The Vikings (4-4 overall, 2-3 GWOC) added another score with 3:14 left in the game on a four-yard run by Drew Copsey.
Beavercreek closed the scoring on a perfect 34-yard slant pass from Johnson to Ranly. Riley Rassmussen had a pair of carries for 14 yards to help the Beavers drive.
The Vikings led, 7-0, on a two-yard TD pass to McGohan. After a ‘Creek fumble, McGohan hauled in a 16-yard pass to make it 14-0 with 2:05 left in the first.
Crawford got the Beavers first touchdown on the next drive, scoring on a two-yard run. Miamisburg answered with a 28-yard touchdown catch by McGohan to make it 21-7. After a Beavercreek punt, Vaughn hit Conner Smith with a 28-yard pass to make it 28-7 with 2:08 left.
“84 is a problem,” Colvin said. “We let them convert too many third downs that were manageable. (But) they had to earn some of the touchdowns.”
Beavercreek, which is all but eliminated from playoff consideration, hosts Northmont Friday while the Vikings, who are still in the playoff hunt, are at Springfield.