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TROTWOOD, Ohio – The Centerville defense stopped Trotwood-Madison on fourth down with 13 seconds left to wrap up a 21-14 victory at Good Samaritan Field on Friday.
"We knew they weren't going to lay down on us," Centerville head coach Rodney Roberts said. "We knew it would be a 48-minute battle. I'm proud of our guys for hanging in there and finishing one off against a very, very good football team."
After holding the Rams to a three and out on their opening possession, the Elks took an early 7-0 lead three plays later when quarterback Will Vance connected with running back Spencer Crisp on a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Centerville was driving again later in the quarter until Crisp fumbled out of bounds at the goal line, giving Trotwood (3-1) the ball at their own 20-yard line.
The Elks’ Domenic Ashburn blocked a Rams punt, giving Centerville the ball at Trotwood's 19 yard line with 1:23 remaining in the first half.
Centerville would capitalize on the special teams play, as Vance threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this time to tight end Clayton Schmerber, giving the Elks a 14-0 halftime lead.
On the first play of the second half, the Rams' defense recovered an Elks' fumble and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Centerville lead to seven, 14-7.
Later in the third quarter, Trotwood-Madison was penalized for kick catching interference on a punt, giving the Elks' offense a short field to work with. The Elks took advantage of the penalty, extending their lead to 14 when Crisp scored his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run.
The Rams' scored their first offensive touchdown with 2:56 remaining in the game when quarterback Messiah DeWeaver scored from 10 yards out, capping off a drive in which Trotwood-Madison converted two fourth downs.
On the next possession, Centerville committed its fourth turnover of the game on a fumble, giving the Rams the ball back with 1:44 remaining.
But Trotwood-Madison was unable to convert the turnover in to points, wrapping up the victory for the Elks.
"That's Elk Pride," Centerville defensive lineman Chad Coeling said. "Every day in practice, we work hard. I have great teammates and great coaches."
Both teams are ranked in their respective divisions in the latest Ohio AP poll – Centerville at No. 6 in Division I and Trotwood-Madison at No. 1 in Division III.
This was the first meeting between the schools since 2004.
Since 2008, Trotwood hasn't lost a game in GWOC North play. However, in that same time the Rams have a record of 7-9 against teams from the GWOC Central.
Next week, Centerville returns home to face West Carrollton. Trotwood will look to bounce back when it visits Lebanon.
Matt is a graduate of Centerville high school. When he isn't covering high school football, you can find him watching the Dallas Cowboys or competing in a Tough Mudder. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.