It was a game that almost did not happen.
Hagerstown was originally scheduled to host longtime rival Cambridge City Lincoln on Friday, Sept. 15 for homecoming. Injuries on the Lincoln squad brought about a change.
The Tigers made a last-minute schedule change replacing Lincoln with Maimi Valley Christian Academy from Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Tigers won the pregame coin toss and deferred to the Lions. The Tiger defense kept the Lion offense in check and immediately fired up their ground game. Less than four minutes into the game, Collin Beaty scored on a 5-yard run. Peyton Meyer added the point after to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Six minutes later, Grant Semler broke away for a 27-yard TD run and Meyer added the PAT to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
The Tigers expanded their lead in the second quarter. Aiden Grover, Lowell Berger and Will King each scored on touchdown runs to build a 34-0 halftime lead. The Tiger defense was disruptive, forcing a fumble, intercepting a pass and holding MVCA to only three first downs.
The Tigers scored on their first possession of the second half on a 22-yard run from Berger to trigger a running clock. Tiger reserves finished the game.
Kayne Ervin and Kaagen Kendall combined for 93 yards passing, but the Tigers predominantly stayed on the ground. Eight Tigers shared rushing duties, gaining 304 yards as a team. Berger led the way with 82-yards. Beaty, Grover, King, and Semler each scored a touchdown, Berger scored twice, and Meyer kicked 5 extra points. Meyer also led the team in tackles with seven.
The Tigers improved to 4-1 on the season, MVCA is now 1-4.
Hagerstown football coach Scott Snodgrass, who also serves as the athletic director, summed up the emotion of the last few days in his post-game comments. “We were very appreciative that MVCA agreed to come here tonight,” Snodgrass said. “They saved our homecoming. They are great kids, and their coaches were great as well.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 20 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.