Football: Colts Avenge Loss to John Glenn,
Advance to Region 15 Semis vs. St. Clairsville
By Jeff Harrison
Trailing 21-7 at the half on the road, things didn’t look real good for the Meadowbrook Colts.
Not so fast, my friend, as the Colts staged a thrilling comeback in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points including the game-winner with nine seconds remaining to defeat the Muskies, 28-21, in the OHSAA Division IV, Region 15 quarterfinals in New Concord on Friday.
Coach Steve Norman’s sixth-seeded Colts, who avenged a 35-7 regular season loss to the third-seeded Muskies, improved their record to 10-2 while ending JG’s season at 7-4. This marks the first 10-win season in Meadowbrook football history.
Meadowbrook – which routed Vinton County (64-34) in the first round – advances to the Division IV, Region 15 semifinals against second-seeded seed St. Clairsville on Friday at 7 p.m. St. C. advanced by defeating Licking Valley (55-38) and Carrollton (38-9).
The Colts wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as senior QB Josh Hupp went deep on the first snap, hitting senior Hunter Eubanks in stride for a 65-yard touchdown.
Sophomore Garrett Milam nailed the point-after kick, putting Meadowbrook on top, 7-0, just 10 seconds into the contest.
John Glenn responded nicely, driving 60 yards in 11 plays. Sophomore back Bronson Bendle carried seven times for 35 yards, including the final to the end zone for “six”.
Angela Kumler kicked the extra-point to knot the score at 7-7 with 6:28 remaining in the first quarter.
After forcing a Meadowbrook punt, the Muskies drove to their second score of the night by traveling 50 yards in 10 snaps, again converting a fourth-down play on a 12-yard pass from senior QB Brad Morgan to senior Noah Larrick. Lincoln Gilcher got the payoff this time, scoring from a yard out followed by another successful PAT kick by Kumler which put JG on top, 14-7, with 39 seconds left in the opening round.
Freshman defensive back Ryder Rock intercepted a Hupp pass on the Colts’ next possession, and John Glenn capitalized after taking over at the Meadowbrook 44-yard line.
Gilcher carried six times during the drive, scoring from four yards out on a fourth-down play.
Kumler booted her third PAT to give John Glenn a 21-7 lead with 7:31 left in the first half.
The Muskies had another scoring chance before the intermission, moving from midfield to a first-and-goal at the five, but a penalty and sack thwarted the attempt.
Meadowbrook’s final possession of the half ended on an interception by JG’s Emerson at midfield.
JG senior Bryson Evans picked one off on Meadowbrook’s first second half series, but the Muskies had to punt and a nice return by Eubanks coupled with a personal foul on the Muskies gave the Colts the ball at their 42-yard line.
Hupp completed passes of 17 and nine yards to junior Tye Griffith fueled a 58-yard drive which culminated in a short pop pass from Hupp to senior Romeo Dorsey covering five yards for a TD.
Milam’s extra-point pulled the Colts within 21-14 with 1:50 left in the third quarter.
A sack by senior Hayden Loy forced JG to punt, and a booming kick by junior Colt Emerson had Meadowbrook starting from its 13-yard line.
Hupp picked up 19 yards on the ground and had a 49-yard gainer on a quick hitch pass to Eubanks helped the Colts advance quickly, and Hupp scored on a fourth-down from a yard out followed by another Milam PAT kick which forged a 21-all deadlock with 6:49 to play.
The game came down to the final possession for each side, with John Glenn driving from its 36 to the Meadowbrook 18 – the big play a 28-yard gainer by Gilcher – before the hosts turned the ball over on downs.
Starting at its 23, Meadowbrook made the most of its last chance and drove down the field on runs of 18 and 12 by Bopp and a 22-yard pass from Hupp to senior Damen Launder, with Bopp getting the go-ahead score on a 19-yard run around the left side with a dive into the end zone.
Milam was “money” on the point-after for the final point of the game, and Dorsey sealed the deal with an interception on the game’s final play.
“Our guys never lost their cool,” said Coach Norman in a postgame interview. “We got down to business and made the adjustments we needed, including a few personnel changes that sparked us.”
Hupp completed 11-of-17 passes for 182 yards with two TDs and two INTs. Eubanks caught five passes for 132 yards and Bopp rushed 12 times for 77 yards.
Gilcher led JG with 40 carries for 152 yards while Morgan was 6-of-13 passing for 56 yards, with Emerson catching four for 43 stripes.
Volleyball: Lady Colts Lose Heart-Breaker
to Tri-Valley in D-II Regional Semifinals
By Jeff Harrison
A tremendous season came to a heart-breaking end for the Meadowbrook Lady Colts as Tri-Valley rallied from a two-set deficit to register a five-set victory – 23-25, 21-25, 25-13, 25-21 and 15-12 in the OHSAA Division II Regional Semifinals at Heath High School on Thursday.
Coach Kelly Zehnder’s squad finished the season with a sparkling 24-2 record, having claimed the Division II Sectional and District titles as well as the Muskingum Valley League Small School crown along the way while finishing sixth in the OHSVCA D-II state poll. Both of the Lady Colts’ losses came at the hands of Tri-Valley, which had won the regular season match by 16-25, 25-18, 25-14 and 25-19 scores.
After losing two close sets, Tri-Valley stayed alive with a convincing win in the third set; evened things up in the fourth and then jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the fifth set before holding on for the three-point win.
Cami Black capped an outstanding season with 15 kills, boosting her season total to 373. Megan DeVillez and Taylor Sichina both contributed 11 kills while Kendyl Cannon had seven.
Ella Jefferis handed out 39 assists, giving her 2,283 for her career with one season left as she pursues the school’s all-time assist record. Cannon had two aces to lead in serving.
Black and Karly Launder led the defense with 23 and 21 digs, respectively followed by Mylee Arnold with 12; Cannon with eight; Jefferis with seven and Mila Norman with six.
For Tri-Valley – making its first trip to the regional since 2004 – Abby Stanford collected 18 kills, Eva Dittmar had 16 while Hannah King and Lexy Howe each added 10. Aubrey Fritter dished out 27 assists and Elle McLoughlin had 25.
Katya Liber led the defense with 20 digs while Howe had 19 followed by King with nine and Fritter with eight.
In the other semifinal, Columbus Bishop Hartley defeated the MVL’s third regional semifinalist – Sheridan – by 25-21, 25-17 and 25-19 scores. Sheridan finished the season with a 20-7 record.
Bishop Hartley swept Tri-Valley in the championship match on Saturday – 25-13, 27-25 and 25-23 – to advance to the D-II “Final Four”. Hartley improved to 22-6 while Tri-Valley bows out at 25-2.
Meadowbrook junior outside hitter Cami Black received first team honors on the OHSVCA All-Ohio Division II Volleyball Team.
The Lady Colts were well-represented on the District 12 Volleyball Coaches Association All-Star Team.
Junior Cami Black received “Player of the Year” honors in Division II and Kelly Zehnder was tabbed “Co-Coach of the Year” along with Tri-Valley’s Leigh Ann Longaberger.
In addition to Black, Lady Colts’ junior Ella Jefferis was a first team selection while junior Kendyl Cannon received second team honors.
Juniors Mylee Arnold and Megan DeVillez were honorable mention selections.