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Redmen take over OVC lead

PEDRO — The defending champions were up the challenge.

The Rock Hill Redmen are hoping to win a second straight Ohio Valley Conference championship this season. They took a big step Friday night with a 21-8 win over the Chesapeake Panthers.

Using a ball control offense and opportunistic defense, Rock Hill took over sole possession of first place in the league with a 3-0 record. The Redmen was 6-2 overall.

Chesapeake dipped to 3-5 and 2-1 in the OVC.

“We scored the first two times we had the ball and got us a lead and had a chance to score on our third drive and botched an assignment,” Redmen coach Todd Knipp said.

“The big thing is we were able to stick with our game plan and drive the football.”

Rock Hill took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a couple of short touchdown runs.

Jarrod Casey got the first score on a 1-yard run and Josh Guy bulled his way into the end zone later in the quarter. Merten Von Frieling kicked the extra points.

The Rock Hill defense, which created four turnovers, produced an insurance score.

“Our defense stepped up and played extremely well. We played a great football game.

Chesapeake was backed up to its own 4-yard line. Trying to run out of the I-formation, Rock Hill stripped the ball away at the 4-yard line and J.C. Murnahan recovered in the end zone for the touchdown.

Chesapeake came back to score on a 10-yard run by Mike Stapleton. Quarterback Aaron Donohoe ran for the conversion.

Rock Hill ran the ball 59 times for 280 yards and threw just two passes.

“We found something that was working and our fullbacks were getting four or five yards a carry so we stayed with it. They tried to take away our outside and we ran right at them,” Knipp said.

Guy led all rushers with 122 yards on 23 carries while Casey ran 15 times for 90 yards.

The Panthers still gained 223 total yards with 205 coming on the ground. Jaran Bartow had eight carries for 6 yards, Donohoe had eight carries for 53 yards and Stapleton added 52 yards on eight attempts.