Beavers prevail in OT

CALCUTTA–After having his first extra point blocked, all Chase Flati wanted was another chance.

With Friday’s game against Shenandoah tied at 12 in overtime, the sophomore kicker strode onto the field and played the role of hero, drilling the game winning extra point past onrushing defenders to give the Beavers an exciting 13-12 victory.

“It’s an amazing feeling right now, it’s the best thing ever. I can’t really describe it,” Flati said.

The Beavers (2-1) overcame several penalties and, at times, sloppy offensive play to gain a much needed victory after last week’s lopsided loss to West Branch. The Zeps fall to 1-2.

Flati got his chance to provide the winning point after sophomore quarterback Tanner Johnston dashed into the end zone from 11 yards out to tie the game in the first overtime session.

He had a chance to put the Beavers ahead in regulation after Garrett Givens tied the game at 6 in the third quarter on a 5-yard run, but the kick was blocked, leaving the game tied until overtime.

The Zeps got the ball first in overtime and found the end zone when running back Ethan Wiley powered through the teeth of the Beaver Local defense for a 3-yard score. The Zeps tried to go for two, but the run failed, leaving the Beavers set up with a chance to win.

“I was ready for another chance,” Flati said. “I was hoping we could have got one earlier, but I’ll take it.”

Once the Beavers got the ball back, it took just three plays for Johnston to find the end zone. Flati faced heavy pressure on the extra point, but got the kick off just in time and watched his line drive sail through the uprights as he was hit by a defender.

“At first I thought it was going to get blocked, but (Ethan) Lewis had a good hold and it went in,” Flati said.

Beaver Local head coach Mike McKenzie said there was never any doubt the Beavers were going to try the extra point rather than go for two.

“We were going for one all the way there,” McKenzie said. “We had faith in Chase to come through and he came up big for us.”

After being held to just one first down in the first half, the Beavers appeared to find something with their ground game after the break.

Givens was the leading rusher for the night with 131 yards on 25 carries, with 97 of those in the second half.

“Garrett was a man in the second half,” McKenzie said. “He was determined to win that game. Even when he wasn’t running, he had some big blocks.”

Johnston–who had been alternating quarterback duties with Ethan Lewis–played most of the second half and finished with 52 rushing yards on 11 carries.

“We’ve been rotating the two quarterbacks, but Tanner kind of had the hot hand running the ball tonight,” McKenzie said. “We put the game in his and Garrett’s hands in the second half and they came through.”

Despite the offense struggling mightily at times to move the ball, the Beaver defense rose to the occasion time and again. The Zeps marched inside the Beaver 25 twice in the first half, only to turn the ball over on downs each time.

Shenandoah running back Kendal Sherman led the Zeps with 127 yards on 15 carries, but was held to just 41 yards in the second half. The Beavers were largely able to corral athletic, strong-armed quarterback Boone Jones, holding the senior to 5-for-20 passing for 65 yards and 59 rushing yards.

The Zeps first-half touchdown came when Jones scrambled 17 yards to the Zeps 45 before tossing a lateral to Sherman for a 55-yard score.

“When we weren’t moving the ball in the first half, our defense hung tough and kept us in the game,” McKenzie said. “That quarterback is a heck of a player and they have four four-year starters who are all-state players. But we hung with it.”

The Beavers will now focus their attention to next week’s trip down the road to rival East Liverpool.

“Tonight can be a confidence-builder for us,” McKenzie said. “We faced down a lot of adversity. You’re always a little bit more excited heading into a game like that off of a win. Hopefully we can capitalize on the momentum and get better.”

Game motes

¯ There was some confusion at the end of the game. The Beavers had the ball at the Shenandoah 19 with 2 seconds left. McKenzie thought the Beavers had one timeout left and tried to call one for a final play, but was told by the officials he had run out of timeouts. The clock to ticked away before the Beavers could get a play off. The scoreboard showed the Beavers having one timeout left.

“I’ll have to go back and look, but I thought we had one left,” McKenzie said. “We were trying to call a timeout, but they said we were all out.”

¯ The Beavers were stopped short on a 4th-and-1 from the Shenandoah 5 with 3:31 left in regulation.

“In that moment, I didn’t know if it was fair to ask a sophomore, first-year football player to try and win the game right there,” McKenzie said. “We figured even if we didn’t make it, we would leave them pinned back.”

¯Shenandoah head coach Jesse Wells was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starting defensive lineman at Mount Union from 2002-05. He was a part of National Championship teams in 2002 and 2005. Wells also served for five years as a defensive line coach at Mount Union.

¯ This is the second straight year the Zeps have ventured into Columbiana County. They beat Southern 28-0 last season.

¯ There were 15 combined penalties and seven combined first downs in the first half.

¯ The Zeps trip to Beaver Local took two hours and six minutes.

¯ Shenandoah is named for the USS Shenandoah, a U.S. Navy rigid airship that crashed in Noble County on Sept. 2, 1925.

SHENANDOAH: 0-6-0-0-6–12

BEAVER LOCAL: 0-0-6-0-7–13

SCORING

S –Kendal Sherman 55 run (pass failed)

B –Garrett Givens 5 run (kick blocked)

S–Ethan Wiley 3 run (run failed)

B–Tanner Johnston 11 run (Chase Flati kick)

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S B

First downs 12 8

Total Yards 266 224

Rushes-yards 36-212 42-182

Passing 65 42

Comp-Att-Int 5-20-0 5-9-1

Punts 6-29 7-34

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-0

Penalties-Yards 12-105 13-109

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INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING–Shenandoah, Kendal Sherman 15-127, Boone Jones 13-59, Ethan Wiley 8-45; Beaver Local, Garrett Givens 25-131, Tanner Johnston 11-52.

PASSING–Shenandoah, Boone Jones 5-20-65-0; Ethan Lewis 4-6-28-1, Tanner Johnston 1-3-14-0.

RECEIVING–Shenandoah, Ethan Wiley 1-38; Beaver Local, Garrett Givens 2-33.

INTERCEPTIONS–Shenandoah, Kendal Sherman.