Clay Archer, Contributor
FRANKFORT — You’d be hard-pressed to find a back at Adena who doesn’t appreciate his offensive line.
That’s for good reason.
The Warriors’ front has been stout all season long, dominating their opponents and forming wide holes for their skill players to run through.
Friday’s story was no different as Adena (4-0) rushed its way to a 64-32 victory over Piketon. With two games remaining, the Warriors are in prime position to win their first conference title since 2010.
“It boils down to our senior class. We have 14 seniors and they’re all leaders,” Penwell said. “They’re all team guys and it doesn’t matter to them who gets what. They just want to get wins.”
One of those seniors, Nate Throckmorton, was nothing short of outstanding on Friday.
Throckmorton had 12 carries for 128 yards and three touchdowns, caught three passes for 71 yards and a score, and returned an interception to the house.
But if you asked him, he didn’t deserve a lick of credit. His teammates made that possible.
“It all starts up front with [the offensive line],” Throckmorton said. “They work hard day in and day out and this is the result.”
After intercepting a pass on the first play from scrimmage, the Warriors embarked on a 60-yard drive that ended with Throckmorton scoring from 20 yards out at the 8:42 mark in the first quarter. Throckmorton would score again with 5:11 left, this time on a 48-yard touchdown reception, to give Aden a 14-0 lead.
Piketon (1-3) got on the board just over two minutes later when Levi Gullion found John Burton for a 25-yard touchdown strike cutting the deficit to 14-6. Throckmorton then found paydirt again from nine yards out before Gullion and Burton hooked up for their second touchdown, making the score 20-12 with 8:04 to go in the second.
Over the next eight minutes, 28 more points would be put on the scoreboard.
Adena quarterback Preston Sykes logged touchdown runs of one and 36 yards while Gullion found Cameron Loar and Burton for touchdown passes of 40 and two yards. At halftime, Adena was the owner of a 36-24 lead.
“We made some adjustments defensively. We were getting caught one-on-one in spae and we weren’t tackling well,” Penwell said. “So we adjusted what we were doing so we wouldn’t be in those one-on-one situations. Piketon’s receivers and skill kids are phenomenal.”
Throckmorton began the third with a 12-yard score, making it 44-24 with 10:22 to go, before Sykes ran it in from five yards out to push the lead to 52-24 at the 8:11 mark.
Throckmorton then logged his interception return for a touchdown, making it 58-24, before Adena’s Isaac Grey made it a 64-24 ballgame with 9:14 left in the fourth on a two-yard run.
Piketon’s final score of the evening came with 5:26 left when Allen Austin logged a 20-yard touchdown run to produce the night’s final.
Following Throckmorton’s stat line, Sykes ended with 11 rushes for 130 yards and three scores, alongside two touchdown passes, while Clay Wilt caught two passes for 40 yards and a score.
Gullion finished 13-of-24 passing for 203 yards and four touchdowns while Loar caught three passes for 86 yards and a score. Burton ended the evening with six receptions for 83 yards and three touchdowns.
The Warriors now look towards Week 5, where they’ll travel to Huntington. Meanwhile, Piketon looks to bounce back the same evening, hosting Westfall.
“Each week, we strive to get better. If you’re not getting better, then you’re getting worse,” Penwell said. “So we’re going to continue working to get better and keep improving week to week.”