Clay Archer, Contributor
FRANKFORT — When next season starts, the Adena Warriors will still be looking for their first-ever postseason victory.
In a Division VI, Region 24 Quarterfinal Friday, the Warriors dropped a 32-7 decision to Mechanicsburg, one where they surrendered 26 unanswered points.
But the loss doesn’t negate the humongous stride forward that the program took this fall.
“I told the kids to keep their heads up,” Adena coach John Penwell said. “Theres a lot of good on the horizon. We had a good season. We just didn’t end it the way we would have liked to.”
Mechanicsburg (9-2) started the game clicking on all cylinders. After starting their first drive at their own 41-yard line, the Indians used their running game to march 59 yards into the end zone to take a 6-0 lead.
However, Adena (8-3) provided a quick answer.
After Preston Sykes found Carson Long for a 30-yard gain through the air, the junior quarterback capped the scoring drive with a four-yard touchdown run, giving the Warriors a 7-6 lead … one that would stand at the break.
But unfortunately for Adena, the second half was all Mechanicsburg.
After forcing Adena to punt on its opening drive, the Indians found the end zone with 7:13 left in the third to take a 12-6 lead. Mechanicsburg scored again, this time via an 80-yard touchdown run from Jake Hurst, to go up 18-7 heading into the fourth.
From there, the Indians tacked on two additional scores in the final eight minutes to end the Warriors’ playoff season.
“One thing we had to do was control the ball and control the clock. We didn’t do that very well,” Penwell said. “We couldn’t put together first downs on offense, we gave them the ball with good field position and we missed a couple of assignments defensively. It bit us in the butt.”
While Mechanicsburg advances to play Grandview Heights in a Division VI, Region 24 Semifinal, Adena looks towards next season.
The Warriors’ eight wins this year were the most since 2011, they made their second straight postseason appearance — marking just the second such occurrence in history — they outscored their opponents by a 311-226 margin, and they’ll bring back plenty of talent in 2020.