McClain Tigers
Tate Erkenbrecher

Tate Erkenbrecher

McClain’s rhythm gives Adena the blues in opener

Behind a smooth offensive rhythm, McClain handed Adena a season-opening loss on Friday.

Tate Erkenbrecher, Contributor

GREENFIELD — Put simply, McClain arrived on Friday night with a never-give-up mentality that paid off in a form of a visit to the victory bell.

McClain’s Braden Wright led the Tigers to a 39-20 win over Adena on Friday.
CREDIT: Tate Erkenbrecher/SOSA

The Tigers, led by seniors Braden Wright, Seth Wise and Andrew Potts, handed visiting Adena a 39-20 loss to start their season in the win column.

Wright, Wise and Potts showed true leadership throughout the entirety of the showcase by scoring six combined touchdowns.

Wright scored his first touchdown, 33-yard run, with 6:28 left in the first quarter, giving McClain (1-0) a 7-0 lead, while his route to the end zone was paved by Potts and Kaden Penwell.

Adena’s offense, which had a strong showing of its own in spurts, was held under wraps in the first quarter. McClain kept the Warriors from making forward progress with two forced fumbles and numerous tackles for losses before forcing a punt at the end of the eight-minute time frame.

But on McClain’s second possession of the second quarter, the Warriors’ defense stepped up and made a big play.

With 7:29 left, junior Clay Rawlings stripped Potts of the football and ran a 12-yard return to the house for Adena’s first touchdown of the fall. However, the Warriors missed the ensuing PAT attempt to keep a 7-6 lead in McClain’s hands.

Potts did get his redemption.

With 5:55 left in the half, ripped off a 28-yard run to put the Tigers ahead 14-6.

Adena (0-1) would throw a counter-jab with just 58 seconds left. Quarterback Garrett Britton found Mason Dyer for a 28-yard touchdown strike, cutting the lead to 14-12 after a missed PAT attempt.

That’s when Wright and company answered in a resounding way.

Wright attempted and completed a ESPN-highlight worthy pass that was intended for Max Eikenberry. But the ball was tipped into the air and landed in Wright’s hands, who put the exclamation point on a 32-yard touchdown strike that ended the half and gave McClain a 20-12 lead.

“That touchdown pass just before the half that was deflected and tipped to Seth Wise was just a huge play in this game,” McClain coach Jake Orr-Zody told the Highland County Press after the game. “It really gave us some momentum going into the locker room.”

That momentum carried into the third quarter. While McClain struggled offensively to start, its defense kept holding strong until the Tigers made the best of an offensive opportunity around the five-minute mark.

With 4:53 remaining, Potts tallied his second touchdown of the night, this time an 11-yard rush, pushing the lead to 26-12 heading into the fourth.

The Warriors trimmed the gap again with 9:55 left in regulation as Britton scored on a one-yard plunge. But, leading 26-20, Wright put the game away in the final minutes, posting touchdown runs of 52 and 39 yards to seal the deal.

Wright finished the night with eight carries for 145 yards and three scores while passing for 45 yards and a touchdown. Potts added 19 carries for 106 yards and two scores while Wise added the 32-yard touchdown reception.

In Week 2, McClain will travel to Northwest while Adena looks for its first win at Cincinnati Reading.

“The rhythm that our team kept and how our running game played is how you win games,” Orr-Zody stated. “Our guys up front on the offensive line executed really well, and in high school football, you win games by running the football, and we did that tonight.”

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