Clay Archer, Contributor
BAINBRIDGE — Corey Dye has his first head coaching win in Bainbridge, and it’s a doozie.
Heading into Friday’s game against Piketon, much of the attention and pressure was on the Bearcats’ defense. The Redstreaks were coming off a 38-point outing in a loss and featured one of the conference’s best playmakers in quarterback Levi Gullion.
But Paint Valley didn’t get that memo.
Instead, the team’s defense met its challenge head on, executed the game plan and handed Piketon a 56-19 drubbing — sealing Dye’s first victory as the program’s leader.
“Credit goes to our kids. They’re resilient. Last week, we lost a heartbreaker,” Dye said. “That score didn’t indicate how the game went. We were in it with about six minutes to go. A couple of things didn’t go our way and that’s how it is. But our kids came in Monday, worked super hard and really set the tone for this week.”
The Bearcats (1-1, 1-1 SVC) used a mix of quarterback Cavan Cooper, and running backs Tramel Byrd, Cordell Grubb and Dom Chambers to score on the ground. Meanwhile, Cole Miller and Trent Mettler caught touchdown passes while the defense, as mentioned, held its end of the bargain.
“Our offensive line did an amazing job, our backs ran hard and [defensive coordinator] coach [Brian] Cooper had an amazing game plan and our kids were able to execute it,” Dye said. “It just feels good to get the W.”
Paint Valley came out of the gates firing on all cylinders.
The Bearcats pieced together a lengthy opening drive with a 31-yard touchdown run from Cooper to take a 6-0 lead at the 8:30 mark in the first quarter.
Piketon (0-2, 0-2 SVC) responded quickly, taking just over two minutes to take a 7-6 edge when Gullion found Logan Maynard for a 30-yard hook-up.
After each team traded interceptions, Cooper took a 88-yard run to the house before Byrd found the end zone to make it a 21-7 ballgame. Then, with 2:08 left in the second quarter, PV took a 28-7 lead when Cooper found Miller for a 47-yard pitch and catch.
But Piketon had an answer before halftime, as Gullion logged another rush touchdown, to make it a 28-13 score at halftime.
The Redstreaks started the third quarter with consecutive 20-plus yard plays before Gullion logged a 20-yard touchdown scamper, cutting PV’s lead to 28-19.
However, two players later, Byrd provided an answer with a 70-yard touchdown run to give Paint Valley a 35-19 lead with 11:05 left in the third.
The Bearcats got another scoring opportunity after a fumble recovery and took full advantage of it as Grubb made it a 42-19 score with a two-yard touchdown plunge.
Cooper then found Mettler for a 19-yard score through the air before the Bearcats tacked on a late touchdown, thanks to a 38-yard rush from Chambers, to produce the night’s final.
The Bearcats will now turn their attention towards Huntington, which they travel to in Week 3. As for Piketon, the Redstreaks will continue to look for their first win at Southeastern.
“It’s huge because last week, we had a sour taste in our mouths,” Dye said. “Obviously, an SVC title is still not out of the question. That’s always been our goal. But once again, credit goes to the kids. They came out ready to play and we were able to get the dub.”