Finally, a Week 1 win for Ron Hinton’s Cavaliers. The Cavs came off the mat for a 20-7 win at Johnstown-Monroe Friday night.
“Yes, yes, yes” said Hinton in his postgame chat on WBEX, happy with a win over the Johnnies. “We beat a good football team. They’re solid. They’re good.”
Chillicothe’s defense held Johnstown to just 65 yards total offense. But the Johnnies got on the board first.
After a scoreless 31 minutes, Johnstown flooded the middle on the Cavs offensive line and forced the ball loose from Ryan Mathis and recovered the ball at Chillicothe 10 yard line. Three plays later, a tipped pass off the hands of defender Caleb Price found its way to Sam Branstool for a 7-0 lead with 4:48 left in the 3rd quarter.
It was enough to sap the life out of the Cavs following such a defensive struggle. But that was before Friday.
“We made a crucial mistake (in fumbling the ball)” said Hinton. Johnstown capitalized on the moment, however it would be short lived.
Instead of hanging their heads, Chillicothe came back with determination.
Both teams exchanged punts. Then, a fumble recovery by the Cavs’ Josh Leonard at the Johnstown 15 set up a touchdown run by Ryan Mathis. Jacob Weber’s PAT tied the game at 7-7 with 5:28 left in the 4th quarter.
The Cavs weren’t done. A second fumble recovery by Ryan Milliken set up a 15 yard TD run by Nate Rosenbauer to give Chillicothe its first lead at 14-7 just 60 seconds later.
Rosenbauer found the end zone again after the Cavs force Johnstown to turn the ball over downs with just 51 seconds remaining.
The Cavs missed out on a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half, driving into the red zone twice but Weber was unable to connect on field goals from 28 and 36 yards.
The Cavs racked up 230 yards offense, with Rosenbauer rushing 22 times for 110 yards. Daiquan Hall added another 52 yards.
The Cavs (1-0) head to Big Walnut for Week 2 next Friday.
Hear Jim Day's postgame interview with Coaches Ron Hinton and Jeff Arndt: