UNION CITY – The 4-2 Mississinawa Valley football team was looking for their fourth straight win with the Bethel coming to town. It would be the first time since the 1992 team did it twice in the same season.
Despite the Bees 1-5 overall record they weren’t about to just hand the game to the Hawks.
MV Coach Steven Trobridge said the game was ugly and they struggled offensively and defensively and a lot of that was due to Bethel coming out and putting it to them.
In the end the Hawks would pull out a dramatic hard fought 22-20 win over Bethel.
“I feel like Friday night the fans, our school and everyone on this team from the senior class all the way to our Freshman class played a big part in this win”
Mississinawa moved the football on their first two drive but made mistakes.
On their third possession they Hawks moved the ball to the 10-yard line and was facing a long fourth down and goal to go. Quarterback Cody Dirksen dropped back to pass and was swarmed by a host of Bees but somehow rolled out of it and then lofted a pass to the corner of the goal line and endzone to Zach Connor who was standing there all alone with no one within yards of him and the junior wideout cradled it in and stepped over the goal line for the first score of the game 6-0.
In the second frame MV moved the ball to midfield but the Bees snared a pass intended for Blake Scholl to stop the drive.
Bethel on a couple of long runs moved the ball down to the two-yard line and William Walker who carried the load got the score to tie the game at 6-6 near the end of the first quarter.
Over the next two quarters neither team could make a play and the game would remain 6-6 heading into the final period.
Bethel would break the drought when Mason Brown plunged in from 1-yard out to put the Bees up 12-6.
The Bees stung the Hawks again this time on a 45yard td pass from Mason Brown to Maus, add the two-point conversion and MV trailed 20-6 with less that 9 minutes to go in the game and things were looking bleak.
MV went to work and quarterback Cody Dirksen punched one in from 8-yards out and with the two point conversion the Hawks cut the lead to 20-14 at 7:27.
The Hawks defense stiffened even after throwing an interception at 4:44 they were able to keep the Bees from taking advantage.
With 1 minute left to go Dirksen found Alex Scholl in the flat and he would do the rest of the work going 46-yards for the score to tie game for a dramatic come-back effort at 20-20. The Hawks went for two points and was successful to go up 22-20.
The defense held one more time and the Hawks had won their fourth straight game to improve to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
After the game coach Trobridge was able to find the positives in a game where they didn’t play their best.
“The one positive I can say about Friday night and for me trying to change the environment here at Mississinawa Valley is our kids did not give up on each other. Years past it is well known when things got tough, we would call it quits and go home. I have to thank my Coaching staff for relaying my message to the kids “DON’T QUIT” keep believing.
Trobridge also thanked his ball boy Kaden Mote. “He was busy man keeping the football dry and for us as a spread team we only had one bad snap the whole game and I know my Center and QB and all my skill guys appreciated it.
Alex Scholl once again went over 100-yards rushing going for 126-yards on 26 carries. He also had the big 46-yard reception and a TD.
Cody Dirksen was 10/26 passing for 117 yards and two TD throws.
Trey Godfrey led the defense with 11 tackles, Cody Dirksen and Max Dirmeyer each had 7 tackles.
Next week will be a stiff test for the Blackhawks as they will face league front-runner Fort Loramie.
“We got a big one next week but one thing I know about my players we are always up for a challenge,” Trobridge concluded.
PHOTO CAPTION: Mississinawa Valley senior quarterback Cody Dirksen throws deep for the Hawks in win over Bethel. (Dale Barger photo)