As the misses mounted, Miamisburg football coach Steve Channell couldn’t help himself. He repeatedly tore into sophomore quarterback Tate Vongsy as potential scoring drives were stopped on passes that had no chance of being caught.
“I’m not the easiest coach to deal with and I got on him pretty good,” admitted Channell.
But Vongsy connected twice with Tyler Johnson when it mattered most in Friday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference high school football crossover showdown at unbeaten Troy. The first went for a 58-yard first-half touchdown. The second covered 19 yards with eight seconds remaining and resulted in an improbable 21-17 Miamisburg defeat of Troy.
“My quarterback just told me to go out there and beat them because this is it,” said Johnson, an uncommitted two-way senior whose recruiting stock has soared this fall. “I listened to him, even though he’s a sophomore.”
The corner hookup eventually set off a jubilant midfield celebration by the Vikings and why not? Miamisburg (4-1) was coming off a 45-12 drubbing by unbeaten Wayne and needed to righten itself. Just as important, Vongsy finally won over Channell.
“I think I’ll let him start next week, also,” said Channell.
It was the first loss for Troy (4-1), which was in control following Jacob Anderson’s 19-yard field goal with 2:04 left. But Miamisburg converted a couple of fourth-down plays and Vongsy and Johnson were money again.
“We knew this game was going to be a gauge for us and I loved what I saw,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “We’re not there yet, but how far this team has come, last year they blew us off the field in the first quarter and I thought this year’s (Miamisburg) team was better than last year’s.”
Vongsy completed 13 of 21 passes for 164 yards and those two TD’s. Tony Clark added 100 yards rushing on 24 carries and scored on a short run and the fleet-footed Johnson had six catches for 113 yards.
Troy record-setting senior QB Hayden Kotwica completed 13 of 21 passes for 206 yards and stunned the Vikings with a 34-yard Hail Mary touchdown lob to Zion Taylor as time expired in the first half. Trojans senior running back Josh Browder was brilliant, collecting 170 yards rushing on 19 carries and dashing 75 yards for a first-half score.
Last season Miamisburg walloped Troy 43-15. This might not be the last game between these two. Both are among the top in the Division II, Region 8 computer rankings.
“It’s a major boost for our confidence after last week,” assured Johnson. “You’ve got to play a whole football game if you want to be one of the elite teams in this region.”