BARNESVILLE - If defense wins championships, then Barnesville may be on to something big.
The Shamrocks held Shenandoah to 154 total yards - including a net 1 on the ground - in handing the Zeps a 25-6 loss Friday night in the ''Pumpkin Festival Game'' at Shamrock Stadium.
The victory allowed Coach Luke Johnson's squad to keep pace with the large pack of unbeatens in Ohio Division V, Region 17.
Barnesville quarterback Zack Dornan (14) runs with the ball as Shenandoah’s Shane Crum (21) gives chase Friday in Barnesville.
Barnesville's defense allowed it's lowest offensive output of the season, picked off a pair of passes, recovered a fumble and forced the Zeps (2-2) into 13 plays of negative yardage.
''Our defense played really well,'' Johnson said. ''We were more physical than we had been (this season) and they were hitting well, tackling well, and attacking the ball carrier a little more.''
Jesse Stoudt and Tyler Fitzpatrick were leading the charge.
''They were making some physical hits and that's what football is all about,'' Johnson said.
One of those hits resulted in the first score of the game.
A Barnesville (5-0) punt pinned the Zeps at their own 8. On the first play, quarterback Eli Hurst dropped back and was hit by the Shamrocks' Colin Hallstrom.
The ball popped loose and Stoudt recovered it in the end zone with a little more than 15 seconds left in the first quarter. David Brown's extra point made it 7-0.
The play was a spark for the Barnesville defense, which kicked things up a notch on Shenandoah's next drive.
Fitzpatrick sacked Hurst for a 7-yard loss on a first-down play. Then, on third-and-long, Hurst's pass was picked off by Colton Pritchard at the Rocks' 20.
Barnesville quarterback Zack Dornon hit on three straight passes to start the drive, the longest going to Pritchard for 44 yards that got the Rocks inside the Zeps' 20.
A 5-yard run by Preston Dornon and a 9-yard scamper by Zack Dornon set the stage for Stoudt, who scored from 1 yard out. After a missed extra point, the score stood at 13-0.
With 1:37 left in the half, Hurst was picked off by Preston Dornon deep in Shenandoah territory.
On the next play, Zack Dornon hit Preston Dornon for a 7-yard scoring strike that helped make it a 19-0 game.
The Zeps (2-2) came out on a mission in the third quarter.
On third-and-7 from the Zeps' own 23, Hurst hooked up with Shane Crum for 21 yards. Two plays later, Hurst scrambled for 12 more.
Then, from the Barnesville 42, Hurst found Derek Leasure streaking down the left sideline for a touchdown that trimmed the margin to 19-7.
But the Shamrocks responded on the next drive, marching 65 yards in five plays to score on a Preston Dornon 5-yard run that helped increase the lead to 25-6.
The drive was highlighted by a 30-yard pass from Zack Dornon to Preston Dornon, and a 21-yard keeper by Zack Dornon.
With Barnesville putting the brakes on the Shenandoah rushing attack, Hurst did most of the work for the Zeps. He threw for 135 yards before being knocked out of the game after a taking a big hit in the fourth quarter.
''It was a rough one,'' Shenandoah coach Tim Wilson said. ''We'll have to try and regroup, get things going and get ready for Buckeye Trail.''