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Cody Hocker doesn’t mind splitting quarterback duty with Jacob Maloney. He’s just grateful to get that chance.
“This means a lot to me,” said Hocker, who scored on three short runs in Beavercreek’s 37-20 season-opening high school football defeat of visiting Xenia in a Thursday night special. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of Beavercreek High School football and now it’s coming true and I get to do it on a varsity night.”
This was the 14th annual “Backyard Battle” between the rival communities and also served as the debut of the ABC 22 / FOX 45 Thursday night series that will run all 10 weeks of the regular season. Most all other area teams open their seasons today.
Hocker, a junior, scored on three 1-yard runs to finish off long Beavercreek series that featured mostly a powerful running game. Maloney, also a junior, did his part by scoring on a pair of 1-yard runs.
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Xenia had its own weapon in junior wideout Mechi Harris. He returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score and also had touchdown catches of 35 and 20 yards from sophomore quarterback Christian Severt.
Those two scoring passes gave Xenia a short-lived lead despite the Buccaneers not recording a first down yet.
“He’s a big-time player and he’s going to be really good for us,” said Xenia coach Bob Delong.
The Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game featured an abundance of goal-line stands, a safety, several fumble recoveries and onside kicks, and that was before halftime.
“We’ll take a win any way we can get it, but we’ve got so many things to improve on,” Beavers coach Nic Black said. “This game did have it all. There’s a lot of learning on that film. You take your biggest step from Week 1 to Week 2, hopefully, and we’ve got a big step to take.”
Beavercreek was 7-3 last year and flirted with making its first playoff appearance. This season they’re realigned in D-I, Region 3.
Xenia drew within 30-20 midway through the third quarter. The Beavers answered with a nine-minute drive in the fourth quarter, capped by Hocker’s final TD plunge.“We made a few plays on our own, but that 9-minute drive at the end was too much,” Delong said. “Until then we went toe to toe with them.”
The game will be replayed on FOX 45 Channel 45.2 at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday.