CINCINNATI — Winning is starting to become a habit for New Miami High School’s football team, even if it isn’t always pretty.
The Vikings recorded a 36-8 road victory over Cincinnati College Prep Academy on Saturday at Western Hills’ McCartney Stadium, giving them a three-game winning streak and maintaining their perfect record in the Miami Valley Conference Gray Division.
Yet first-year coach Jessie Hubbard wasn’t thrilled with his squad’s performance, especially its early play against a winless opponent.
WEEK 8 FOOTBALL COVERAGE
“We took a step back today,” Hubbard said. “The kids thought they were just going to get off the bus and beat up on them, and it didn’t happen. We told them that they were going to put nine guys on the line of scrimmage, that they were going to gimmick us on defense. We worked on it all week, and they looked like they’d never seen it before.
“The kids are starting to get confident, but you don’t want them to be overconfident. So I’ve got to reel them back in. That’s the job this week.”
New Miami was simply too strong for CCPA, which had been outscored 243-18 in its first six games.
David Cunningham piled up 211 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries for the Vikings, who ran for 409 yards as a team. Quarterback Trey Robinette had seven rushes for 94 yards, and Danny Spivey added 11 carries for 62 yards and two TDs.
“We did take them a little lightly,” admitted Cunningham, a senior running back/linebacker who transferred from Hamilton during the 2017-18 school year. “It all starts on the practice field and getting your mind right there, and we were not there for real.
“We had to come back together as a team and talk about what was going on. We had to finish the game strong, and we did that. We moved the ball down the field.”
Cunningham had 10 runs of 10 yards or more Saturday.
“It’s the O-line,” he said. “That’s their job, and I did mine. I appreciate the line. It’s a big part of the offense.”
New Miami took advantage of six CCPA turnovers. Five were interceptions — two each by Nate Hobbs and Jordan Robinette, and one by Donovan Howard. Zach Trent recovered a fumble.
Hobbs, a senior two-way end, had not picked off a pass in his high school career before Saturday.
“Our defense is just so good this year with all these coaches and my players,” Hobbs said. “That’s just how we work.”
The Vikings improved to 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the MVC, and they’re tied with Dayton Christian (6-2, 3-0) for the top spot in the Gray Division. They will meet in Week 10 at Harmon Field in Miamisburg, with New Miami hosting Clark Montessori on Friday and DC visiting St. Bernard on Saturday in Week 9.
Winning a conference title would be a big deal at New Miami.
“That would be great for the whole city. That’s what we’re doing it for,” Cunningham said. “I have all the faith in the world in our team for sure.”
“If we play as a family like we have been, no one can beat us,” Hobbs added. “The big goal is to get that championship. I’ve never been there and want to go, and I want to do it with these boys.”
The Vikings opened the season with a 32-0 win over Gamble Montessori, but had to forfeit that victory because of an ineligible player. They also suffered a down-to-the-wire 28-20 loss to Cincinnati Country Day.
Now New Miami is a long shot for the Division VII, Region 28 playoffs, but the Gray crown is clearly reachable.
“The kids can see the prize,” Hubbard said. “The seniors realize they’ve got a chance to be league champs. That’s something they never thought they’d see in their four years.”
The Vikings took a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes against CCPA (0-7, 0-3). It was still a 6-0 game about 14 minutes later, and the Lions had a TD pass negated by a penalty on their first possession.
Davaunce Hunter ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown for CCPA, but it was a 28-0 affair at that point. The Lions were limited to 83 rushing yards and also had 83 through the air with quarterback Shalo Jarrett, who was 6-of-13 and got intercepted four times.
“Our game plan was to attack, go downhill, complete third-down conversions and score,” Lions coach Robert Davis said. “I’m still optimistic. It’s not a total loss as far as the season goes. We’re taking baby steps in our strides. I think we’re doing things a little better than we were at the beginning of the season.”
Davis said he got what he expected from New Miami.
“They’re a great team. I can’t take anything away from them,” Davis said. “Watching film, I knew they were going to try to Big Ten us as far as going up and down, north and south on the field. Head-on blocking, nothing too spectacular as far as trick plays, just straight ahead. We just needed to stop it.”
The Lions will host Lockland on Thursday.
New Miami 6-14-8-8—36
N: Danny Spivey 4 run (Kick blocked)
N: David Cunningham 58 run (Run failed)
N: Cunningham 24 run (Spivey run)
N: Cunningham 10 run (Spivey run)
C: Davaunce Hunter 28 run (Shalo Jarrett run)
N: Spivey 10 run (Austin Hart run)