Sidney withstands Bellefontaine’s Week 2 challenge

The one-season-wonder label didn’t fit well with the returning Sidney players. This would be the encore high school football team for a program that electrified the largest city in Shelby County last fall with a 10-2 record and multiple new team and individual records. That all changed with a blowout season-opening loss.

“We had to prove that we’re a better team than that and that we could do way better than we did,” said senior defensive back Josiah Hudgins, whose 42-yard interception return for a touchdown was one of many highlights during Thursday night’s 31-28 dodging of visiting Bellefontaine at Memorial Stadium.

“This is a great team. We want to keep this program where it was at.”

»PHOTOS: Piqua at CJ, Week 1 football

»PHOTOS: Alter at Fairmont, Week 1 football

That was the message all week for the Yellow Jackets, who were reeling from a 35-7 Week 1 loss at St. Marys Memorial. Last year Sidney handed St. Marys and Bellefontaine their only regular-season setbacks. That produced an abundance of computer points and vaulted Sidney into the Division II, Region 8 playoffs.

And like Sidney, Bellefontaine also was in reboot mode after falling 28-14 to Wapakoneta in Week 1.

“Somebody was walking away from this game 0-2 and feeling really down about themselves,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “That’s tough to overcome. This was a big one.”

»RELATED: Xenia takes the Troy challenge

»RELATED: Week 2 football power ratings

Caleb Harris scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with less than six minutes remaining and Sidney withstood a deep drive by Bellefontaine in the final 90 seconds.

Sidney junior quarterback Ryan Dunham completed 10 of 12 passes for 138 yards and had a 25-yard touchdown strike to junior Lathan Jones. Sidney freshman running back E.J. Davis had an outstanding debut. He rushed for 96 yards, including a 23-yard scoring run, figured prominently in the wildcat offense and delivered a 50-yard pass to Jones.

»RELATED: Northwestern vaults to top of CBC stats

»RELATED: Ohio Supreme Court sides with OHSAA

Grant Smith had two short TD runs for the Chieftains. Garrett Gross’ 56-yard touchdown dash on 4th-and-4 put Bellefontaine up 28-24 early in the fourth quarter. Sidney responded with Harris’ game-winning run.

Gross had 211 yards rushing and Smith, the son of Chieftains coach Toby Smith, added 128 yards rushing.

Bellefontaine was driving for the go-ahead score in the final minutes. Sidney senior Josh Harlett ended that threat with an interception on fourth down inside Sidney’s 10.

»RELATED: OHSAA goes on the defensive over lawsuit

»FOOTBALL: Week 2 schedule

The teams exchanged the lead four times and each scored four touchdowns. The difference was Sidney junior Hallie Truesdale’s 20-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.

“We had a lot of close games (last season) against quality teams,” Doenges said. “Our kids have just figured out how to overcome some of that stuff. It’s neat to see.”

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Bellefontaine (0-2) is the two-time defending Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail champion. The Chieftains pushed Dresden Tri-Valley in a D-III, Region 11 semifinal last season, falling 36-30 in overtime. Tri-Valley lost to Trotwood-Madison in the D-III state championship.

That was the kind of program success Smith had in mind after building West Liberty-Salem into a similar small-school power.

»WEEK 1 REWIND: Observations and other big hits

»RELATED: ‘Playing up’ should be rewarded

“It was energizing to move to a different place and see if we could get something going again,” said Smith, in his sixth season with the Chieftains. “I think we’re doing things right. We’re obviously not where we want to be. We’re 0-2. But we feel pretty good about what’s coming if we can play like we played.”

• Alter 51, Thurgood Marshall 6: The Knights (1-1) rebounded from a stinging 12-6 loss in the final seconds at Fairmont to post an easy Week 2 win also on Thursday night at Welcome Stadium. The Cougars fell to 0-2.

»RELATED: Fairmont edges Alter in final seconds

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina
Cincinnati Bengals: 5 storylines to watch in today’s game at Carolina

The Cincinnati Bengals are looking for their first 3-0 start in three years when they face the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday. The Bengals opened the 2015 season 8-0 and went on to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year but haven’t been back since. This season already feels much different than a year ago when they finished 7-9 for...
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues showcase accuracy
Ohio State notes: Haskins continues showcase accuracy

J.T. Barrett broke almost all the school passing records the last four seasons, not to mention a bunch of Big Ten marks. The way he’s playing in his first season as a starter, Dwayne Haskins won’t stick around the college game long enough to challenge any career marks. Haskins continued to compile stats worthy of the Heisman Trophy in his...
HS Roundup 9/22: Packnett paces Dunbar football in win over Woodward

Greg Packnett passed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in helping spur Dunbar football to a 22-20 win versus Woodward at Welcome Stadium on Saturday night. Packnett connected with James Murray and Bryce Smith on TD passes in the first half and hit Jaquan Lusbourgh with the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Aaron Richardson tacked on the...
HS Scores 9/22: Carroll finishes strong in Midwest Catholic race

Football Saturday’s Results Dunbar 22, Woodward 20 Landmark Christian 34, Middletown Christian 13 Friday’s Results Allen East 50, Delphos Jefferson 6 Alter 45, Fenwick 20 Anderson 47, Withrow 12 Badin 42, Roger Bacon 35, OT Bellbrook 21, Franklin 17 Bellefontaine 14, Ben Logan 6 Brookville 42, Carlisle 2 Butler 13, Xenia 7, OT Celina 42...
5 things to know about Ohio State’s blowout of Tulane
5 things to know about Ohio State’s blowout of Tulane

Ohio State rolled Tulane 49-6 on Saturday to end a rocky couple of months for the program.  So maybe it was only natural the state’s official rock song would be what brought Urban Meyer back to normal coaching the fourth-ranked Buckeyes.  “Between the third and fourth quarter, hearing the band play, ‘Hang on Sloopy.&rsquo...
More Stories