Mitchell Schneider and his high-octane teammates were at it again Friday night – making football look easy.
Putting a game’s worth of points on the board in 12 minutes’ work, Kenton Ridge High School turned a 19-0, first-quarter lead into a 50-7, non-league smackdown of visiting Benjamin Logan.
“We didn’t put it all together yet tonight, but we hit the big plays when we needed to,” said Kenton Ridge coach Joel Marratta, whose quick-start squad is 3-0 for the fourth straight year.
“This group of guys has bought into the team (concept) instead of worrying about themselves as individuals.”
Schneider, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior quarterback, threw for 140 yards and three touchdowns in the opening half alone, hitting Justin Conley for TDs of 29, six and 39 yards.
The rout was on.
“We know we have to bring it every single week,” Mitchell said. “It’s coming easy now, but we know we have to improve each and every week. We definitely can’t get big heads because our opponents are only going to get better.”
Conley, a 6-foot, 182-pound junior, hauled in four first-half catches for three TDs and 82 yards and both stats stood as final. He also rushed twice for 19 yards.
“We just put our work in each week and strive to get better,” Conley said. “Our line protection was excellent tonight. Even if one of us wasn’t open right away, like usual, we still had enough time to run our routes and get open.”
A 1-yard run from 220-pound junior fullback Christian Smith helped quick-strike Kenton Ridge to a 252-122, first-half yard advantage and a 26-0 cushion at intermission.
Ben Logan, 0-3, managed to stray into Cougar territory just a handful of times in the opening half and suffered through four penalties for 41 yards, including a critical illegal block call at 6:18 in the second that nullified a 31-yard TD run from 5-8, 205-pound junior fullback Brady Bechtel.
Bechtel later spoiled the Cougars’ shutout on a short TD scamper with 45 seconds left in the game.
“We have two cross-over games coming up with Greenon and Northwestern and we need to continue to build and get better,” Marratta said. “Everyone’s getting better. We need to get better, too.”
Schneider entered as the Central Buckeye Conference’s second-leading passer with 498 yards, trailing only Northwestern’s Hunter Houseman (663).
The pass-happy Cougars entered the evening averaging 346 yards per game (249 through the air) and 45 points per outing.
“We have so many weapons,” Mitchell added. “I can fake to one guy and go to another guy. We always work to execute and hit whoever’s open.”
Kenton Ridge got a 25-yard, third-quarter field goal from sophomore soccer goalie Nathan Andorfer at 5:29 in the third, and one minute later, a 40-yard interception TD from sophomore defensive back Jayden Davis to bloat the Cougar lead to 36-0.
Smith struck again in the fourth, busting up the middle for his second touchdown, a 1-yard burst at 11:17 left to make it 43-0.
Junior lineman Will Lawson’s end zone fumble recovery at 6:42 swelled the margin to 50.
Schneider exited the game to hearty applause early in the fourth, finishing with 199 yards on 9 of 22 passing and 110 yards rushing on eight carries.