Updated Fri, Aug 30, 2013 10:08 am
The Alexander Spartans kicked off their season Thursday night with a 38-14 win against cross-divisional opponent Federal Hocking, hanging onto the SPACER Trophy for the fourth consecutive time.
With the win, Alexander head coach Sean Arno remains undefeated in home openers, grabbing his ninth consecutive victory.
The Spartans (1-0, 0-0 TVC-Ohio) crossed the goal line first following a Federal Hocking fumble, as junior running back Jacob Wirick capped an 86-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run with 3:56 left in the first quarter.
Alexander would not look back from there.
After forcing the Lancers (0-1, 0-0 TVC-Hocking) to turn the ball over on downs, junior running back Josh Barnes took off for a 65-yard touchdown run, but the referee dropped his yellow flag for an illegal block in the back on Alexander, cancelling the score.
Five plays later Barnes found his way back to the end zone on a 34-yard run with 6:13 left in the half, putting the Spartans on top 14-0. The score remained heading into halftime.
The Spartans carried all of the momentum until Federal Hocking recovered a fumble early in the third quarter. The very next play, senior running back Peyton Seel reversed field for a 45-yard touchdown to drop the deficit to 20-7 with 12:25 to go in the third quarter.
Following an Alexander botched snap, the Lancers took over on the Spartans 28-yardline and were able to cap the drive with a two-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarterback A.J. Cobb. The Lancers trailed by one score with 11 minutes left, 20-14.
Just when the Lancers thought they were back in the game, the Spartans responded with two offensive touchdowns and closed the game defensively with a 62-yard fumble recovery by sophomore Robert Fish, spotting the Spartans the 38-14 edge.
Despite the large margin of victory, the Spartans were plagued by penalties and had difficulties hanging onto the football. Barnes finished the game with three touchdown runs to help Arno win his ninth consecutive season opener.
Alexander looks to notch another victory when they head to Oak Hill Friday, Sept. 6. The Spartans lost to Oak Hill last year in a close one, 21-17.
Fed Hock will try to bounce back next week in their TVC-Hocking opener at Waterford. The Lancers pulled off a 16-14 win over the Wildcats a season ago.