BELLVILLE — Ontario coach Aaron Eckert pulled out his phone and took a quick photo of the final scoreboard at Clear Fork on Friday night.

It’s not often the Warriors come into the valley in front of a packed house and walk away with a 45-0 win.

“I think it’s huge for our program. This is not an easy place to win,” the second-year head coach said after his team improved to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.

“Historically, Clear Fork has just been really good at football. Tough community and tough kids. They haven’t had things go their way this year.

Ontario posts third shutout in five games

Really good job may be an understatement.

Ontario rolled up 446 yards in offense and limited Clear Fork (1-4, 0-2) to 77 as the Warriors posted their third shutout in five games.

The Ontario offense has scored 101 points in the last two weeks and averaged 38 per game in the first half of the season.

OHS scored on the first-play from scrimmage on a 70-yard run by senior Chase Studer, one of his two TDs on the night. The Warriors built a 38-0 lead by halftime, triggering a running clock for the entire second half against the defending MOAC champions.

Quarterback Bodpegn Miller continued to put up video-game numbers.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior completed 12-of-17 passes 217 yards and two touchdowns on passes of 23 and 40 yards. He also ran 10 times for 109 yards and a third score.

Studer finished with 83 yards on nine attempts. Quinton Frankhouse led Ontario with 50 yards on two catches.

First-year Clear Fork coach Aaron Brokaw said Ontario, a team with 21 seniors on the roster, was as good as advertised.

“We saw exactly what we thought we were going to see (from Ontario),” Brokaw said. “We just didn’t execute on either side of the ball or special teams.”

“(Miller) has a great touch. He had a couple of downfield passes in which we had pretty solid coverage. He put the ball exactly where it needed to be,” he said.

“They have got a lot of guys that are experienced, seniors who have been playing for several years. They are doing a good job. They are rolling right now and we are reeling,” Brokaw said.

5-0 with a chance to be 6-0

It’s been more than a decade since Ontario started a season 4-0. Eckert said he didn’t remember the last time the Warriors were 5-0.

“I don’t know. I should probably know. But I do know this team is 5-0. I know our goal every week is to go 1-0. So that’s what I do know,” he said with a laugh.

Ontario has beaten opponents by an average of 31 points per game. But Eckert said all he has to do is point to the remaining MOAC schedule to keep his team focused.

Ontario hosts Galion (4-1) next Friday, Marion Pleasant (3-2) in week seven and Shelby (4-1) in week nine. The Warriors finish the regular season at Highland (4-1).

“I think the challenge of a really good team is to come out every week and perform,” Eckert said.

“We’ve done that so far and next week, I don’t think we’re going to have to say a whole lot. We’ve lost two close games (to Galion) in the last couple years.

“We’ve been on the bitter end of that a couple times. Galion is a really good football team and we’re gonna have to bring it in order to compete next week,” Eckert said.

‘You have to be determined’

Football pride runs deep in the Clear Fork Valley in a program that is a perennial playoff participant.

The Colts raced through the MOAC schedule in 2022, finishing the season at 10-2, including a playoff win.

“But for us as a program, and in the Ontario community, it meant a lot to me. I think it meant a lot to our kids and our fans and our community to come down here and do a really good job tonight,” Eckert said.

With four straight losses and a growing list of starters lost to injury, Brokaw’s post-game message to his team was simple.

“You have to be determined,” he said. “You have to be determined.”

Junior QB Mason Sansom completed five of 12 passes for 32 yards. Junior RB Nick Appleman had 41 yards on nine carries.

A Clear Fork graduate, Brokaw said he did see some positives on Friday night.

“We had some guys that stepped because of injuries. I thought they had a good level of energy and some hustle. We need to find more of those guys going forward.

“(The injuries) don’t make it any easier. But we have got to play with the guys that we’ve got,” Brokaw said.

Coming up next

Ontario is at home against a Galion team that dropped its first game of the season on Friday night at Shelby, 62-26.

Clear Fork is at Marion Pleasant (3-2, 1-1). The Spartans fell to River Valley on Friday, 64-43.



1st quarter

Ontario — Chase Studer 70-yard run (PAT Trey Booker kick), 7-0

Ontario — Mason Vantilburg 20-yard pass from Bodpegn Miller (PAT Booker kick), 14-0

2nd quarter

Ontario — Studer 5-yard run (PAT Booker kick), 21-0

Ontario — Quinton Frankhouse 43-yard pass from Miller (PAT Booker kick), 28-0

Ontario — Miller 1-yard run (PAT Booker kick), 35-0

Ontario — Booker 20-yard field goal, 38-0

Third quarter

Ontario — Nate Spencer 6-yard run (PAT Booker kick), 45-0

(Below are photos from Ontario’s 45-0 win at Clear Fork on Friday night in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game. The gallery includes pre-game festivities and also the marching bands from both schools.)

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...