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Adena wins first Gold Ball since 2010, gains steam heading into postseason

Clay Archer, Contributor

FRANKFORT — Just when you thought Adena couldn’t look any better than it already has this season, the Warriors up the ante.

It’s been like that all season long, so why stop the trend now?

With a 46-0 drubbing of Zane Trace on Friday, the Warriors (6-0, 6-0 SVC) wrapped up a perfect regular season and put a bow on it with an outright Scioto Valley Conference title — the program’s first Gold Ball since 2010.

“We’ve been knocking on the door in each of the past two years,” Adena coach John Penwell said. “Finally, tonight, these guys kicked that door in. I’m very proud of them. I love my team. I couldn’t ask for a better group.”

From the get-go, Friday’s contest was never in question.

With 11:47 left in the first quarter, Adena’s Preston Sykes recovered a fumble in the backfield and ran it in for a touchdown. A minute and 47 seconds later, Sykes lit up the scoreboard again, this time on a 46-yard touchdown pass to Tate Myers, making it a 16-0 ballgame.

Later, with 3:39 left in the first, Caden McWhorter tacked on a 27-yard field goal, pushing the lead to 19-0. Then, at the 7:50 mark in the second, Nate Throckmorton scored five yards out to push the lead to 26-0.

Zane Trace (2-4, 2-4 SVC) hadn’t barely blinked.

Before halftime, Sykes connected with Logan Bennett for a seven-yard touchdown toss, making it 32-0. The Warriors’ two final scores came on a 67-yard run from Sykes and a touchdown run from Gabe Stark late in the game.

All in all, in six conference games this year, the Warriors outscored their opponents 288-72 and averaged 48 points per game.

Adena, which was voted as a No. 3 seed in Div. VI, Region 24, will now have a first-round bye. The Warriors await the winner of St. Bernard-Elmwood Place and Rockford Parkway, whom they’ll host at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17.

Meanwhile, Zane Trace will try and bounce back with a playoff win on Oct. 10. The Pioneers travel to Coshocton that evening.

“I think this goes a long way into the playoffs,” Penwell said of Friday’s win. “The past two years, we went into the playoffs with losses. So to take a win into the postseason, I think, is a big deal.”

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