CAMDEN —The Preble Shawnee football team lost its seventh game of the last eight — after starting the season 2-0 — in a 45-6 home loss to Monroe on Friday, Oct. 30.
The Arrows were playing to win early as evidenced by attempting a fourth down conversion on their own side of midfield on the first possession of the game, but Monroe stuffed the Arrows’ rush, preventing any gain and forcing a turnover on downs.
“I wanted my guys to know that we weren’t going to back down from them, ” head coach Matt Hopkins said. “It was the last game of the year, and we were going to pull out all of the stops to win.”
According to Hopkins, the decision to go for it was a message to his team on the final game. “I’m always going to think my guys are going to get that tough yard. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t, but it’s important that the guys know that I believe they will always get it,” he said.
Monroe quickly found the end-zone after the turnover on downs, for a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Monroe looked to be running away with the game after another score gave the visitors a 14-0 lead.
Preble Shawnee, however, was playing hard and forced enough defense stops that the offense eventually put together a drive which ended in a short touchdown catch for Trey Smith. The Arrows missed the extra point, but were still within one possession with a 14-6 Monroe lead.
Monroe had an answer, though, and quickly marched down the field for another score and a 21-6 lead.
Smith’s touchdown was the last of the season for the Arrows, as Monroe ended the game on a 31-0 run for a final score of 45-6.
Joby Williams played his final game for the Arrows and ended his career by going 25/37 for 216 yards and touchdown.
Williams also found Smith for 17 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown in his final game in a Preble Shawnee football uniform.
Hopkins talked about the pair’s connection after the game: “It’s just that special relationship that a quarterback has with his receiver. I couldn’t be happier for those two re-writing the record books while they were here; they absolutely deserve it.”
Hopkins was disappointed in the season, which started so promising but was derailed by several injuries throughout. “Football is definitely a game of attrition and usually you need a lot of luck to make it through the season with just a few injuries. The teams that do are the ones that usually move on. We didn’t have a whole lot of luck with that this season, and that happens.”
One positive, he said, was the knowledge he gained, and experience players gained for next season. “Anytime young players can get Friday night experience is a huge advantage,” he explained. “When it comes time to play next season, they have been there before so there isn’t quite a shock when they step on the field for the first time on Friday night. We learned that we have a group of guys that are willing to give everything they have and fight through adversity.”
The Arrows finished 3-7 on the season and 1-5 in the SWBL.