The Paint Valley Bearcats are in sole possession of first place in the Scioto Valley Conference after handing the Southeastern Panthers their first conference loss, 35-27. The Bearcats stay perfect with the win, running their record to (5-0/8-0) while the Panthers drop to (4-1/6-2).
The game, which also featured two of the top three teams in Division 6/Region 23 playoff ratings, holds big points for the winner. Early projections show Paint Valley as the new first place team in the region and clinch a playoff berth.
While offense was the highlight of the game, a big defensive stand by Paint Valley on a Southeastern drive deep in Bearcats territory in the fourth quarter.
Paint Valley got out to a 12-0 start on two Lane Metler touchdowns. They drove 69 yards in five plays on their opening drive for a score, then got the ball back on a Southeastern fumble, then proceeded to drive 76 yards in 6 play scoring drive. PV missed both of their two-point conversion tries, but led by two scores at 6:38 left in the first quarter.
Southeastern got on the scoreboard with a 72 yard scoring drive that took 10 plays, capped off by Dalton Thurston's 3 yard TD run and Jacon Lennox' PAT kick with 1:41 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bearcats scored first in the second quarter, capping a 65 yard drive in 8 plays, when Lane Metler scored his third TD on a 5 yard run. Jackson Williams' PAT kick made it 19-7 Paint Valley. But, that didn't last long as Southeastern's Zach Proehl took the ensuing kick-off 72 yards for a TD, but the PAT kick was missed, making it 19-13 Paint Valley.
Both teams would trade scores before the half, with the Bearcats go 62 yards in 6 plays as Brice Newland connected with Caden Grubb on a 9 yard pass. Newland then ran the two-point conversion making it 27-13 Bearcats with 6:45 left in the half.
Southeastern pulled to within 27-19 by driving 71 yards in 6 plays with 1:05 to play, thanks to Dalton Thurston's 20 yard TD run and failed PAT kick. That score was the margin at halftime.
The defense for both teams stepped-up in the second half, with each team scoring only once. Southeastern tried the contest at 27-27 at 7:09 left in the third quarter, when Lane Ruby ran 33 yards for a score- capping a 9 play/69 yard drive, followed by Mikey Nusser's PAT run.
Less than one minute later, Paint Valley took the lead back when Ian Cockerell raced 45 yards for a TD. Newland then ran for another two-point conversion, making it 35-27. That would hold-up as the final score.
Southeastern had more total yards in the game with 398 with 338 of those on the ground. Paint Valley had a balanced attack, rushing for 206 yards and Newland throwing 8/11 for another 144 yards to total 350. Southeastern's Mikey Nusser was the game's leading rusher with 149 yards on 21 carries, while Dalton Thurston ran 17 times for 125 yards.
Penalties were a major problem for both teams, as Southeastern was flagged 13 times for 110 yards and Paint Valley 10 times for 75 yards. The Panthers also had two critical turnovers while Paint Valley had one.
Paint Valley travels to Westfall next Friday in WKKJ's Herrnstein Hyundai SVC Game of the Week, where a Bearcats win would clinch a share of the SVC title. Southeastern hosts Adena, with both teams trailing Paint Valley by one game, with Adena playing at Paint Valley in Week 10.
Listen to the play-by-play from WKKJ's Mike Smith and B. Jay Dailey on our podcast link below...