Barnesville tops Shenandoah
BARNESVILLE — Barnesville had come out on the short end three years in a row against Shenandoah, but the Shamrocks weren’t going to let it happen again.
Sparked by a stellar defensive effort that forced four turnovers by the Zeps, the ‘Rocks improved to 3-1 with a 22-8 victory at Shamrock Stadium on Friday.
“Just an outstanding defensive performance,” said Barnesville coach Blake Allen. “(Shenandoah senior back Briar) Portman killed us last year and we stressed all week that we had to swarm to the ball, and we were all over the place on defense tonight.”
Among the defensive stars for the ‘Rocks were junior Spencer Bliss with two interceptions and a fumble recovery and senior Gavin Carpenter with two sacks and a fumble recovery.
“Offensively, we had our backup quarterback in there, so we played a little conservatively but our backs ran hard and the line did a great job. We were really dominating up front.”
Coach Allen pointed to the blocking of interior linemen Carpenter, Jaden Lucas, Luke Schultz, Jacob Starr, Justin Jackson and Quinten Leasure, tight end Chase Conner and fullback Jake Boulet.
“Those guys have had our number the last three years so our seniors really wanted this one,” Allen said of the win over the Zeps.
After forcing a Shenandoah punt at the outset, Barnesville’s first possession ended in an interception by the Zeps’ Baylor Wentworth, but the ‘Rocks forced another punt and took over at their 15-yard line.
BHS went to work in the ground with senior Gage Hannahs getting the call five times early including runs of 14 and 20 yards; fullback Boulet busting through for 12; and then senior Cameron Woods taking over with the final five carries including a two-yard touchdown run to cap a 14-play, 85-yard drive.
Carpenter drilled through point-after kick to give the hosts a 7-0 lead at the 11:26 mark of the second quarter.
That score held up at halftime as a late push by the Zeps ended with an end zone “pick” by Bliss.
Carpenter recovered a Shenandoah fumble at the the 22-yard line four minutes into the second half and the ‘Rocks quickly took advantage when Woods raced 17 yards to paydirt.
Another successful PAT boot by Carpenter extended Barnesville’s lead to 14-0 with 6:38 remaining in the third quarter.
Two played later, the Zeps coughed the ball up again and it was Bliss pouncing on the ball for the ‘Rocks.
This time, Barnesville used four pass completions by sophomore C.J. Hannahs – the biggest a 27-yarder to senior A. J. Detling and the capper a 19-yard screen to Bliss for the six-pointer.
C.J. Hannahs hit junior Chase Conner with the two-point pass to widen the gap to 22-0 with 2:32 left in round three.
Shenandoah (2-2) averted a shutout with 22 seconds left on a 22-yard TD connection from senior QB Dayton Hill to sophomore back Tyce DeVolld, with Hill running for the bonus markers.
Barnesville finished with 221 total yards, including 155 rushing and 66 passing. Gage Hannahs carries 19 times for 89 yards and Woods had 55 on 12 attempts. C.J. Hannahs completed 6-of-8 passes with one interception and Bliss caught four for 38 yards.
Shenandoah managed 121 net yards, with 77 through the air and just 44 on the ground. Senior Cade Denius tallied 27 rushing yards on seven carries while Portman had 25 on six tries. The trio of sophomore Nathan Van Fleet, Hill and Portman connected on 11-of-22 passes with two INTs.
A plethora of penalties resulted in 107 yards on 15 flags by the ‘Rocks and 11 infractions for 97 yards by the Zeps.