August 20, 2016

Beavercreek’s final tuneup before their highly-anticipated TV home opener against Xenia (Thursday, August 25th, 7:00 pm) went well, with the Beavers hosting Vandalia Butler.  The Jamboree game, featured three quarters of varsity play and a final quarter of JV play.  The Beavers struck first with Noah Corrigan catching a touchdown pass out of the backfield to take an early 7-0 lead.  The Aviators answered with a short TD run and at the end of the first quarter the scored was knotted at 7-7.  After Beavercreek took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, the defense became stingy, as the secondary shut down the Aviators’ vertical passing game and Butler struggled to run the ball.  Jack Knipper provided pressure up the middle and Julian Linkhart intercepted a pass in the red zone to thwart an Aviator drive.

Late in the second quarter, a spectacular catch by senior WR Nate Santiago set up a short touchdown by Esteban “Stevie” Llanas, who plowed his way into the endzone from a yard out to give the Beavs a comfortable 21-7 lead.  Following the score, freshman kicker Marcella Cash executed a perfect onside kick that the Beavers recovered.  Cash, who also plays girls’ soccer for the Beavers, was solid in her football debut, hitting all four of her extra-point attempts, executing the onside kick, and even helping make a tackle on a kickoff.

Beavercreek’s final score came on the opening play of the second half as Linkhart took the kickoff 95 yards for the score to provide the final varsity margin of 28-7.  Linkhart, a senior defensive back, should be one of the more dangerous kick return specialists in the GWOC this year.

Overall Beavercreek looked solid on defense and was surprisingly more balanced in play calling on offense, mixing in some pass plays into what is traditionally a run-heavy offense.  On offense, returning backs Noah Corrigan and Rodney Alston looked good with Alston breaking off several runs up the middle and Corrigan getting loose on options to the outside.  Sophomore back Sebastian Rendon broke off a long run in the JV portion of the game, possibly providing a preview of the future.  On defense, senior linebacker Jack Knipper anchored the middle and provided some heat on the blitz.  Knipper returns as one of the top linebackers in the GWOC.  Defensive linemen Jay Drennen and Stevie Llanas were tough against the run.  Creek’s secondary was solid with the return of corners Jack Kowalski (Sr), Jordan Williams (Jr) and safety Julian Linkhart (Sr).

The Beavers open the season at home on Thursday in a game that will be televised live on Fox 45.