McClain's Andrew Potts rushed for 360 yards and four TDs Friday night against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. (HCP Photos/Jim Jones)
McClain's Andrew Potts rushed for 360 yards and four TDs Friday night against Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. (HCP Photos/Jim Jones)
After losing two weeks ago to Zane Trace in a lopsided non-league affair, the McClain Tigers have put together two outstanding back-to-back victories, this one a 48-14 drubbing of visiting Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

It was a game that the Tigers put together almost a perfect all-around ballgame, both offensively and defensively.

On offense, junior tailback Andrew Potts was phenomenal, gaining 360 yards rushing on 22 carries and scoring four touchdowns in just over three quarters of play.

It is possible that this is a new school record, although that has not been confirmed as of this article’s posting.

“I thought our kids played really well tonight, especially our offensive line. Andrew (Potts) ran for 360 yards, and we had over 600 total for the game,” McClain head coach Keith Penwell said. “There was a couple of times that Andrew never got touched, which means our offensive line had to be doing a great job.

“They were physical and moved really well and then did a nice job of adjusting to some things that we changed at halftime.”

McClain took the opening kickoff and ran Potts nine straight times for 68 yards, and he scored the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run for a 7-0 advantage early after Emerson Yates converted the PAT.

That opening drive took a little over three minutes for the Tigers to score. It looked like CHCA might answer the Tigers’ score when they moved the football quickly down inside the 5-yard line, but the McClain defense held on a 4th-and-goal incomplete pass.

On McClain’s second offensive series, Potts took the first handoff from quarterback Drake Stapleton and ran 97 yards for his second touchdown of the game and quick as lightning, the Tigers led 13-0 after the extra-point try failed.

After holding the Eagles to a quick three-and-out on their next offensive series, the Tigers looked like they would score again after moving the ball to the CHCA 13-yard line, but a mishandled handoff resulted in a fumble the Eagles recovered, ending the McClain scoring opportunity.

McClain extended their lead to 21-0 midway into the second period when Stapleton connected with Max Eikenberry for a 12-yard touchdown throw and catch. Stapleton ran in the 2-point try.

CHCA looked like they might cut into the Tigers’ lead when they mixed the run and the pass to drive inside the McClain 10-yard line, but again the McClain “D” had a big stop at the 1-yard line on a nice touchdown-saving tackle by D.J. Frost.

The Eagles finally got on the board with just 2:38 remaining in the second quarter on a pick-6 interception return for a touchdown by Jepson Cooper.

McClain wasted little time getting those points back when Penwell caught a Stapleton pass and broke a tackle, then raced 68 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown to put the Tigers up 28-7. CHCA scored again with just two seconds remaining in the opening half on a 29-yard touchdown pass when freshman quarterback Griffin Richard found Cameron Miller open for the score that ended the half with McClain leading 28-14.

The Tiger offense was outstanding in the first half where Potts rushed for 229 yards on 16 carries scoring 2 TDs. Stapleton was superb passing with 194 yards, while completing 5-of-8 passes and 2 TDs.

McClain’s defense came up big again in the third period when Eikenberry intercepted a Richard pass at the 7:37 mark, giving the ball back to the Tiger offense, who scored eight plays later on another 8-yard run by Potts, making the score 35-14 after another successful PATs by Yates.

McClain closed out the scoring in the game later in the quarter after another electrifying 72-yard TD run by Potts with just 3:45 showing on the third-quarter clock. It was Potts’ fourth touchdown of the ballgame, followed by a 66-yard TD run by Stapleton with just 23 seconds remaining.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter due to a running clock rule, and both coaches took out all their starters and let several young kids play some valuable minutes in the game.

“In the second half, we adjusted our defense and went mostly man-to-man coverage and my son K.P. (Kaden Penwell), Emerson Yates and D.J. Frost all did a great job, which allowed Max (Eikenberry) to just play centerfield in the backfield,” Penwell said. “They all did a really good job back there. K.P. had a nice tip on a ball thrown into the end zone, and D.J. (Frost) came up with the big interception and made some really nice plays on Miller.

“Riley Cummins also had a nice game with a pick. We move him around a lot. Sometimes he plays linebacker and sometimes he plays the safety spot, then we man him up so he does a lot for us.”

With the victory, McClain now improves to 4-1 on the season with homecoming next week against Chillicothe.

“Our kids are super excited about homecoming next week,” Penwell said. “We’ve had some really good practices these last couple of weeks, and it’s my job now to keep them focused and ready to play against Chillicothe.

“We know Chillicothe is really good and the FAC is loaded, so it’s going to be a battle every single week the rest of the season.”

Individual stats for McClain:

• Rushing: Potts 360 yds on 22 carries (4 TDs); Stapleton 58 yds. on 3 carries (1 TD); Penwell 39 yds on 5 carries; Andrew Roeder 16 yds. on 4 carries.

• Passing: Stapleton 6-of-10 for 193 yds. (2 TDs).

• Receiving: Eikenberry 3 catches, 113 yds., 1 TD; Penwell 1 catch, 67 yds., 1 TD; Potts 1 catch, 14 yds.

• Riley Cummins and D.J. Frost led the McClain defense with six solo tackles each.

• Cameron Medley, Frost and Cummins each had one interception.