By Mark Pinto
SYCAMORE TWP., OHIO – Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy avenged last season’s loss to Summit Country Day, defeating the Silver Knights, 38-10 at the Robert D. and Richard E. Lindner Athletic Field on Friday.
CHCA remained unbeaten, winning its fifth straight to open the season.
The Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively, outrushing Summit, 347-67. The majority of rushing came from senior running Nick Marsh, who ran for 203 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns.
Senior running back Tyler Renners added 127 ground yards for CHCA.
“I give all the credit to the offensive line and Tyler Renners,” Marsh said. “We feed off one another rotating series.”
Marsh also contributed on defense, intercepting a pass in the third quarter that set up a 20-yard field goal by senior kicker Alex Bertrams.
According to Marsh, the team dedicated more time this week in preparing for this matchup because this game defined the rest of the season.
“Everything was extra and 100 times more,” Marsh said. “We stayed longer at practice, more film study and studied our playbooks enough to know the playbook like the back of our hand.”
The CHCA defense was able to contain Summit senior quarterback Antoine Woods, as he threw for only 138 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 52 yards on 15 carries.
Entering the game Woods was averaging 101.5 rushing yards.
“We won the battle up front and the defense has played outstanding, “said CHCA head coach Eric Taylor. “All week in practice we tried to simulate Woods’ speed and worked on preparing to chase him around the field.”
CHCA took the opening drive 65 yards on nine plays, capped off by an 8-yard touchdown run by junior wide receiver Cameron Murray.
The Eagles took a 14-0 lead after a 14-play drive that lasted just over eight minutes between the first and second quarter when Marsh scored his first of three touchdowns.
Summit countered on its next possession with a five-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Woods throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Daniel Bruns to cut the deficit to seven, 14-7.
The Silver Knights’ defense stopped CHCA on its next possession and started with good field position after the Eagles’ punt went out of bounds on the CHCA 43 yard line.
But after Summit drove to the CHCA 4, a facemask penalty pushed the Silver Knights back 15 yards and they were ultimately forced to settle for a 34-yard field goal by senior kicker Quinn Smith.
CHCA scored on its first three possessions after halftime. On the Eagles’ opening drive to start the second half, senior quarterback Conner Osborne threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver David Bechtold to make it 21-10.
Then Marsh took control of the game by intercepting Woods’ pass and running it back to Summit’s 17-yard line, which set up a field goal by Bertrams to extend the lead to 14.
The CHCA defense forced a three-and-out on Summit’s next possession, which helped the offense gain good field position.
The Eagles put together an eight-play drive that ended with Marsh’s second touchdown, a 31-yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter.
Marsh capped off the scoring with his third touchdown on a 2-yard touchdown run with five seconds left.
“This was one of his best games, dynamic on both sides of the field,” Taylor said. “He had personal motivation to do well tonight.”
This was Summit’s first lost in the regular season since losing to CHCA, 24-10, on Sept. 30, 2011.
The Silver Knights will host Clark Montessori next week, and CHCA will face Cincinnati Christian at Lakota West High School.