Visiting Beavercreek gave host Carroll all it could handle Friday. The Beavers drove 67 yards in the final 33 seconds but failed to score from the Patriot 20-yard line, losing 14-7. It was a matchup of traditional neighborhood rivals, who both assemble their student bodies from the same subdivisions east of Dayton. Last year Carroll won 21-20.
RIVERSIDE – Visiting Beavercreek endured a brutal 107-degree heat index and gave host Carroll all it could handle Friday night. The Beavers drove 67 yards in the final 33 seconds of the game but failed to score from the Patriot 20-yard line, losing by a disappointing score of 14-7.
It was a matchup of traditional neighborhood rivals. Beavercreek is a public school and Carroll is a parochial one; and both institutions assemble their student bodies from the same subdivisions east of Dayton. Last year, the over achieving Beavers lost another heartbreaker to the Patriots 21-20. This year, both schools have the potential to thrive in the playoffs.
“It was really hot,” Carroll head coach Steve Bartlett said. “When we looked up at the thermometer at the start of the game it was still 97 degrees. We used multiple tailbacks early because of that, but truly we try to use lots of people most of the time anyway. We have three or four kids that we are really high on when it comes to running the football. That is our strength and that is what we want to do.
“Last year, Beavercreek dropped the ball late in the ball game on the ten or twelve yard line, and we scored and kicked the extra point. They had missed the extra point on their touchdown and we won the game. I’m sure they pointed at us all year because of that. Add in the fact that it is a big rivalry game anyway and you saw what happened.”
Senior running back Adam Fearing was the star of the game with 126 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns for the Patriots. Junior David McComas had 101 yards on 25 carries. Quarterback Michael Escobar was 3-of-7 passing for 18 yards with an interception.
“It was ugly but we won,” an exhausted, but enthused, Escobar said after the game. “We played hard and we have a good team, but we have a lot of work to do before we are the team we want to be. This is a tough region (Division II). I think that Beavercreek is a great team, and we were looking forward to playing this game. I’m a big fan of Zach’s (Domicone). He is awesome quarterback.”
Beavercreek sported a balanced attack featuring a variety of formations, from an empty backfield with three tight ends to a pro set with two running backs. On defense they ran a 3-4 but threw in some 5-2 looks to keep the Patriots honest.
Domicone was 9-of-16 passing for 103 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 82 yards on 16 carries. Joe Joyce chipped in was an impressive 118 yards receiving on 4 catches and a touchdown.
Other than Domicone, the most impressive aspect of the Beavers offense was their massive bookend tackles featuring J.D. Bales (6’5” 300) and Darryl Duibley (6’4” 270). Bales is the younger brother of former Beavercreek and Duke basketball superstar Allison Bales.
“When Bales gets hold of you, you are finished,” Beavercreek head coach Scott Clodfelter laughed. “He is still inconsistent at times, but he has quick feet, his footwork is good, he is a big strong kid, and he can get it done. Darryl has his moments, too. We could do a heck of a lot worse than those two.”
Clodfelter is in his fifteenth year of coaching–his fifth at Beavercreek–having served as an assistant at both Fairmont and Springfield North.
Carroll ran the ball 86% of the time but managed to be unpredictable through the judicial use of pro set formations and the split-back veer. On defense they ran the 5-2 and didn’t even bother to try to disguise it.
“We have some great kids, but we have to get better every week,” Bartlett said. “If we don’t do that we won’t win very many more games. Tonight was a great example of Carroll Patriot football. We ran the ball and we played great defense, and I doubt that we will see tackles quite that big again this year.”
Clodfelter was a bit more subdued.
“We did a lot of things right tonight but it wasn’t enough” Clodfelter said. “Close might have been good enough last year, but at some point we have to win these games that, frankly, we feel we can win. We still have a ways to go. We have to eliminate mistakes up front and keep playing hard and I think that we will win some games this year.”
Beavercreek aborted several of their drives with costly penalties. At one point they had three illegal procedure penalties in a row. Carroll had but two penalties for 20 yards all night. That is the difference between an up-and-coming squad and a veteran playoff team.
Even so, the game’s outcome was determined on the last snap of the evening.
“We had two guys open on the last play,” Clodfelter said.. “One receiver had his jersey grabbed and the other was open in the end zone. The play action worked, but their defense did a great job. I hope our kids were taking notes. We have to learn how to take that next step.”
Next week Beavercreek hosts Fairborn. Carroll will travel to Welcome Stadium to play Dunbar.