The Mount Carmel Fire won its first game in the two-month history of the franchise by knocking off the visiting Northwest Ohio Raiders 23-16 in a very hard-fought confrontation.
The game was played on Saturday night July 14, on the Anderson High School football field.
This showdown was a non-conference encounter.
The Fire is a member of the United States Football Alliance and its Western Football Conference’s Southern Division.
The Clermont County contingent spotted the Toledo invaders an 8-7 first quarter advantage, but the Fire took over for a 20-16 lead at the conclusion of the first half and the termination of the third quarter.
"It felt good. We felt this should have happened before this game," said the Fire's head coach, Kyle Dincler, a graduate of Amelia High School. "We have felt all along that we're a good team; better than our record shows.
"This win was very encouraging."
Dincler poured out praise upon the defensive unit. "The defense played strong. The defense has been our strength during the season."
The Fire's head honcho pointed out the stellar performances of strong safety Brandon Naylor, free safety Andy Hesketh, a Bethel-Tate High School graduate, cornerback Mike Dowd, a New Richmond High School graduate who intercepted an enemy pass against the Raiders, and linebacker Ken Retick, a Landmark Christian High School graduate.
The offense also came in for some very deserved praise. Dincler noted the superb play of Jones at quarterback, Brandon Naylor at tailback and wide receiver/fullback Doug Earley, an Amelia High School graduate who was injured during the battle, the "much improved" play of running back/fullback Ryan Walriven, a New Richmond High School graduate, and special teams player Thomas Harder, a Glen Este High School graduate. Walriven's and Harder's performances are even more impressive when discovering that neither star had ever played organized football before becoming members of the Fire. The all-around play of Jeff Mahaffey, a New Richmond High School graduate, was also lauded.
"We're finishing strong," Dincler said.
The Mount Carmel Fire has one more home game remaining and it will be played Aug. 4, opposite the arch-rival Southern Ohio Patriots. The game will take place at Anderson High School beginning at 7 p.m.