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Princeton High School football team defeats Anderson 58-45 in season opener

Posted at 12:41 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 00:41:02-04

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Princeton High School sophomore quarterback TJ Engleman had some jitters before Thursday night's game against visiting Anderson.

It was certainly understandable given his first varsity start for the Vikings during the season's opening night. He also had to fill in for injured starting quarterback, senior Mekhi Lynn.

Yet, Engleman's nerves didn't last long.

Engleman threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' 58-45 win over Anderson in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

"It felt good," said Engleman, who was named the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown MVP. "There was red over in the stands. There was so much spirit today. They really got us amped."

Engleman, who is also listed as a wide receiver and running back, was named the starting quarterback as Lynn continues to recovery from an injury.

Princeton coach Andre Parker said Engleman was well-prepared for the moment on Thursday night as the Ohio high school football season opened around the state.

"He's very, very coachable," Parker said. "You can coach him hard. He doesn't flinch. And he wants to be good. If you give him something to work on, he's going to work on it. He's a yes sir, no sir kid. He doesn't pout. All those things make him special besides his athletic ability."

Engleman, who is listed at 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds, exhibited his athleticism and poise early in the game.

He scored on a 79-yard touchdown run at the 3:32 mark of the first quarter to help give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.

That was a sign of the explosive offensive display from both teams all night.

Anderson and Princeton combined for 1,197 yards of total offense (Princeton 727, Anderson 470).

It was the most points Princeton scored in a regular-season game since a 62-21 win at Middletown on Sept. 15, 2017. The Vikings scored 55 points in a playoff game against Oak Hills in 2020.

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Thursday was quite a Princeton coaching debut for Parker, who arrived at the school in March after being the Winton Woods head coach since July 2010.

"It was unbelievable," Parker said. "An unbelievable experience. The community came out. The band was awesome. School was awesome. We just got to continue to get better."

There were several offensive standouts for the Vikings (1-0) including sophomore wide receiver Riley Woods (five receptions for 83 yards), senior wide receiver Isaiah Myers (three receptions for 80 yards including a touchdown and an assist on a hook-and-lateral) and senior wide receiver Rodney Harris (four receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns).

Senior running back Maurice Borden had 14 carries for 64 yards. He scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). Senior running back Emoni Steele rushed for 65 yards including a touchdown.

Anderson (0-1) had 462 yards of total offense. Junior quarterback Griffin Scalf was 33 of 53 passing for 462 yards and six touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Joey Faulkner had 11 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior wide receiver Evan Upchurch had seven receptions for 154 yards and four touchdowns.

Princeton is scheduled to play at Loveland Aug. 27 while Anderson plays host to Clinton-Massie.