It’s not unusual for high school football players to look forward to their senior seasons. They often harbor an inner edge of urgency that underclassmen couldn’t possibly grasp.
Most know they won’t play at the next level. As the games count down and the weather turns cooler, their motors are easily revved. Coaches count on that; even demand it.
That’s why this season is extra special to Vandalia Butler senior linebacker Andrew Scarpelli.
“It’s been a while,” said the 5-foot-11, 210-pound bruising menace after helping level visiting Miamisburg 27-6 on Friday night. “This means a lot to me.”
Of course it would. Scarpelli’s season ended in Week 3 last year when he snapped an ankle. He’s been on call for this moment ever since.
The season didn’t start well for Butler. Listing at 0-2, the Aviators easily took out Graham in a lightning-abbreviated mismatch last week. But Miamisburg was different.
In this Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game, the Vikings entered 2-1 and seemingly had found new life under new coach Steve Channell. Last week’s 13-10 defeat of highly ranked Franklin was a wake-up call for their GWOC South rivals.
Scarpelli and Co. made certain the GWOC North is paying attention, too.
“If you don’t come out and win this one – and not to discredit Miamisburg in any way – but you don’t know what the rest of the season holds,” said a relieved Butler coach Greg Bush.
Butler did it the hard way after losing go-to sophomore running back Michael Hutchinson on the third play from scrimmage to a shoulder injury.
In his place were at least six others who shared the run-oriented load. That would include a promising 6-2, 206-pound freshman hammer named Nic Martin. He bulled 6 yards for the final score.
“He lowered his shoulder and took it to the house,” said a giddy Bush. “I thought, ‘Hello mom.’ You never know what you’re going to get with those young kids.”
Butler also knows what it has in yet another senior, converted quarterback Richard Motter. A starter at corner last season, Motter is the key to an offense that Miamisburg couldn’t stop.
Motter scored on dashes of 33 and 3 yards and also lofted a 54-yard scoring strike to Airion Kosak.
“We love winning, that’s first and foremost,” Motter assured. “We brought that energy.”
Butler (2-2) will need much more of the same next week at Wayne (3-1), the area’s top-ranked Division I team. After that, the Aviators begin the second half of their season trying to break Trotwood-Madison’s reign as the GWOC North heavyweight.
With the exception of Greenville (1-3), all other GWOC North teams are 2-2.
“We just needed a few weeks to get going,” assured Scarpelli as Butler’s Victory Bell tolled into the night. “This is more like it.”
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