September 16, 2015

The Beavercreek Beavers sit atop the GWOC Central at 3-0, but the schedule gets tougher this week as the Beavers host 2-1 Springboro on Friday at 7:00 at BHS.  Beavercreek will seek to avenge a painful defeat at Springboro last year in which the Panthers ran over the Beavs 58-0.  Early turnovers hurt Beavercreek in last year’s meeting.  This year, through three games, the Beavers have only one turnover, a key to their early success this season.

Beavercreek leads the GWOC in rushing behind senior back Tim Bradshaw, the league’s second-leading rusher with 533 yards through three games.  As a team, the Beavers average over 355 yards on the ground per game.  Last week, Beavercreek senior QB Hunter Maloney showed a different element of Creek’s offense as he threw two touchdown strikes to junior Justin Terrell.   Beavercreek’s defense has been solid thus far, but will face the league’s top offense, as the Panthers average 234 yards on the ground per game and add another 244 yards per contest through the air.  Springboro’s balanced offense is led by senior QB Elijah Cunningham, who has thrown for 733 yards and 4 TD’s, while running for another 3 scores.  He will test the vastly improved Beavercreek secondary, which will be bolstered this week by the return of junior safety Julian Linkhart, who missed most of the Carroll game and last week’s home opener against Fairborn after he was ejected for a jarring hit on a Carroll receiver on Carroll’s first offensive play from scrimmage.  Linkhart had two interceptions in the opener at Xenia.

KEYS TO THE GAME:  Last year’s game turned quickly after early Beavercreek drives ended in turnovers, allowing Springboro to grab an early lead.  Once down, Beavercreek was unable to run the ball and control the clock.  To win, the Beavers must be mistake-free early and be able to sustain some first half drives that result in points.  The Beavers can keep the potent Panther offense off the field by effectively running the ball and limiting Springboro’s offensive possessions.  On defense, Beavercreek must contain Cunningham — he is a dangerous runner when flushed out of the pocket.  The defense will need to be disciplined and provide Cunningham with different looks and pressures.  Finally, the Beavers must win at special teams.  So far, Beavercreek’s student section has been out in force — they could be the difference!  Go Beavers!