September 30, 2015

It’s Homecoming week at Beavercreek High School and the Beavers are getting ready to host the Northmont Thunderbolts for the annual Homecoming game Friday night, with kickoff at 7:00 PM.  Northmont, a tradition GWOC-Central power, comes into the game a disappointing 1-4 on the year.  The Thunderbolts are a dangerous team though, and they are in desparate need of a win to turn their season around.  The Bolts are led by senior running back Avery Miliner, who rushed for 877 yards as a junior, and had a big game last week in a loss to Springboro, rushing for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Northmont dominated the Beavers last year, racing out to a 34-0 lead before Beavercreek scored 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter to close the gap to 41-26.  Beavercreek has not beaten Northmont since 2011, when they won in Beavercreek 15-7.  The two teams shared the GWOC Central championship back in 2012 and this could mark the last time they meet as divisional foes, as the GWOC will be realigning next year to accommodate expansion.

Beavercreek enters the game with one of their best starts in years at 4-1.  The Beavers are coming off an exciting and dramatic win on the road last week against Columbus Bishop Hartley, where they rallied from 17 points down to win a thriller 28-24.  Tim Bradshaw leads the potent Beavers’ rushing attack with 792 yards on the year.  Bradshaw has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season and has scored nine times.  After opening the season with pass-happy opponents, the Beavers’ defense was tested a week ago at Hartley, facing a stable of big and quick running backs.  Although Hartley piled up 337 yards on the ground, the Beavers were able to come up with timely stops, with none bigger than a goal line stop with no time left as Caleb Boone and Jay Drennen came up with a huge stop to seal the win.  The Creek defense, led by Jack Knipper (11 tackles), held Hartley’s feature back, Quri Hickman, to just 47 yards on 11 carries.  It was Hickman’s lowest single-game rushing total of the season.

KEYS TO THE GAME:  Beavercreek looks to keep momentum going and notch a rare victory against Central foe Northmont.  Beavercreek has been solid on defense this year and should be able to focus on Miliner, as Northmont has no other back who has rushed for more than 55 yards this season.  The Bolts have struggled on offense, averaging just 191 yards per game.  If the Beavers can contain Miliner and make the Bolts one dimensional, Northmont could struggle behind a young QB.  The Beavers will try to limit opponents’ possessions by controlling the ball, which will put even more pressure on the Bolts to make the most of every possession.  The Beavers may find running up the middle challenging with Northmont linebackers Chuck and Jimi Saul to contend with, but overall the Bolts have given up yards on the ground, allowing 224 rushing yards per game.  The Homecoming crowd at Beavercreek should be huge — it could be the difference.  Go Beavers!