Sports

Generals Enter Postseason With Victory Over Raiders

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Rain typically makes football uglier. Passes slip through receivers fingers, rushers have difficulty keeping the ball, and every player kicks up mud and water in equal measure with each stride. The conditions can be a nightmare, but it’s a nightmare that both teams share.

The Sheridan Generals were able to wake up from the nightmare Friday night to the tune of a 68-7 victory over the visiting Morgan Raiders. The game, which saw rain from kickoff to the final whistle, put Sheridan’s record at (9-1) while ending the Raiders’ season with a (1-9) record.

With the win, Sheridan punched themselves a ticket into the OHSAA State Playoffs, returning to the postseason after not making the cut last season.

The Generals defended their home turf thanks to a commitment to blocking and aggressively pursuing turnovers. Sheridan running back Isaiah Austin benefitted from his team’s hard-nosed approach, scoring three touchdowns on the ground, two of which saw him run in completely untouched from both 20 and five yards out.

Sheridan’s great blocking translated to special teams as well, where Alec Ogle was able to return a punt 69 yards to the house on the first play of the second quarter. The impressive runback made the score 35-0, and by the end of the second quarter the Generals led 48-0 over Morgan.

While the Generals offense executed their game plan all night, the defense also made plays for themselves, snagging two interceptions and disrupting the Raiders’ run game, despite lining up only three men along the line of scrimmage for much of the game.

Taylor Deem, Collin Hill, and Owen Loughman battled in the trenches the entire night as the defensive line trio in Sheridan’s 3-3 scheme. They were able to clog up running lanes and occupy enough blockers so that blitzing linebackers could find their mark often.

Daniel Miller also found his way into the end zone after an athletic interception towards the end of the first quarter. Miller’s pick six was from 29 yards out and put his team up 21-0.

While Morgan was not able to get the win, a few individual players had solid outings. Wesley Pauley was running all over the place, reversing field and trying to find space on his rushes, and his efforts were rewarded with 50 rushing yards on the day. Lucas Watters totaled 144 passing yards including 53 and 38 yard tosses. Watters is only a sophomore and will try to lead the Generals to an improved record next season.

While Morgan’s season is ended, Sheridan will face the undefeated Bellbrook Golden Eagles in the first round of postseason play next week.