By Dan Ramey
Branden Maughmer found the end zone four times and the Cavalier defense held Licking Heights scoreless until the game’s final seconds for a 28-7 victory Friday night.
Maughmer hit for touchdown runs of 6, 38, 15 and 2 yards each while the D bent, but didn’t break for 47 minutes and 37 seconds. Maurice Edmondson followed up a 30-plus yard run for the Hornets’ only score with 23 ticks left on the scoreboard at The O.
Just a week earlier, Licking Heights had tallied 52 points… but not against the Cavaliers, not on this rainy Friday night.
The home defense stood tall on several occasions, beginning with the opening drive. Payton Shoemaker intercepted a deflected pass to set up Maughmer’s first score 4:29 into the contest. Licking Heights was in a similar situation during Week 1, but outscored their opponent 45-14 the rest of the game. That would not be the case in Chillicothe.
The Cavs forced the Hornets to punt and Maughmer followed It up with a bounce to the right sideline and raced 38 yards for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Licking Heights’ only first half scoring opportunity came on a second quarter field goal attempt with 2:41 remaining in the half. A high snap forced Hornets quarterback Jacob Righter to look for a receiver, but the Cavs turned them away.
After the intermission, Chillicothe dodged a bullet on its opening possession. Maughmer dropped the ball near midfield. Connor Mathis fell on top of the loose ball. During the scrum, a personal fould against Licking Heights set Chillicothe up in Hornets territory. Less than a minute later, Maughmer scampered 15 yards for a 21-0 lead.
On the ensuing kick, Matt Detty pooched the ball behind the Hornets front line and Jason Benson slid into recover and set Chillicothe at the Heights 25. Maughmer punched in from two yards out to give breathing room for the Cavs, up 28-0 six minutes into the second half.
Righter’s favorite target in the Hornets’ opener last Friday was 6-foot-6 Tanner Allton. Enter Shoemaker, on a long pass attempt, the 5-foot-8 sophomore positioned himself perfectly to pick off Heights’ only deep threat.
The Cavalier Defense held the Hornets to just 223 total yards and turned them away on two field goal tries, forced three turnovers and put a lick on every tackle.
In the meantime, Maughmer and Mathis added punch to the Chillicothe running game. Mathis logged 15 carries for 82 yards while Maughmer added 152 yards on 25 lugs.
Chillicothe (2-0) prepares for Marion Franklin (2-0) September 8th in the second of six straight home games. The Red Devils were 28-6 winners over Beechcroft Friday. The Hornets (1-1) return home to host New Albany (1-1).
Other Chillicothe opponents in action Friday:
Washington CH (2-0) pelted Circleville 33-12
Jackson (2-0) pounded Fairfield Union 31-7
Teays Valley (1-1) took Logan (0-2) 35-7
McClain (0-2) fell to Unioto 42-6
Hillsboro (1-1) was dropped by Goshen 39-15
Miami Trace lost to Carlisle 35-19
Hartley (1-1) beat Central Crossing 31-6
Click below to hear the game podcast with Dan Ramey and Dana Cousins.
Halftime feature: Girls Tennis Coach Janet Disbennett and Captain Brittany Harper
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