Football: St. Clairsville KOs Colts
From Division IV, Region 15 Playoffs, 35-0
By Jeff Harrison
For the second year in a row, the St. Clairsville Red Devils ended the postseason for the Meadowbrook Colts, this time by a 35-0 score in the OHSAA Division IV, Region 15 semifinals at Indian Valley Braves Stadium in Gnadenhutten on Friday.
St. C. also sidelined Meadowbrook last year, rallying from a 28-0 deficit to win by a 42-28 score.
The win boosts second-seeded St. C. to 12-1 on the season and into the Region 15 Championship Game against top-seeded Bloom Carroll (13-0). Bloom-Carroll advanced with a 35-6 victory over fourth-seeded Heath in the other semifinal on Friday.
Meadowbrook finished the year with a fine 10-3 record, establishing a new school mark for wins in a season. Coach Steve Norman’s squad, the No. 6 seed, defeated Vinton County (64-34) and John Glenn (28-21) in their first two playoff games.
Meadowbrook hit a big play on its first series – a 33-yard pass from senior QB Josh Hupp to senior Damen Launder – but the Colts eventually turned the ball over on downs at the St. C. 27-yard line.
From there, the Red Devils embarked on the game’s first scoring drive, covering 73 yards in seven plays.
Senior back Jacob Jordan took a screen pass from junior QB Andrew Vera – pressed into starting duty with talented senior Drew Sefsick out with an injury sustained in last week’s game – and Jordan scampered 40 yards to the end zone.
Senior Lucas Otto nailed the point-after kick, giving the host Red Devils a 7-0 lead with 5:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Neither side mounted much offense during the next few series, with Meadowbrook senior Romeo Dorsey making a couple of big defensive plays including a fumble recovery on the last play of the first quarter and a pass deflection on a fourth-and-four at the Colts’ nine-yard line with 3:42 left in the first half.
Meadowbrook again failed to get untracked offensively and St. C. took over at its 40 with 2:50 on the clock.
Five straight runs by Jordan had the Red Devils in the end zone for a second time – the payoff coming on a 22-yard run through a gaping hole off the right side. Otto’s PAT gave St. C. a 14-0 upperhand with 51 seconds on the clock and an interception by senior Jaren Starks ended the first half.
St. C. quickly widened the gap to 21-0 at the outset of the third quarter, with Jordan tallying his third TD of the night on a 43-yard burst. Otto’s kick followed and the Red Devils were in command with 9:57 remaining in round three.
The Red Devils put the game on ice late in the third period, with Jordan scoring “six” on a 17-yard run. Otto was true on the placement and the lead had ballooned to 28-0 wth 1:55 left in the quarter.
The game’s final score came with 1:27 to play, with Vera hitting freshman Tyson Pastor for a 16-yard TD and Otto kicking the PAT for the final 35-0 score.
St. C. finished with 429 total yards, including 323 on the ground and 106 through the air. Jordan closed with 23 carries for 187 yards with three TDs while Vera ran seven times for 42 yards and Shields added 39 on nine totes. Vera completed 7-of-12 passes with two TDs.
Meadowbrook, which averaged more than 400 yards per game, was limited to 168 with 95 passing and 73 net rushing. Hupp was 8-of-27 with one interception, with Eubanks catching four passes for 34 yards and Kahle Flowers landing three for 28. Bopp ran for 64 yards on 13 attempts.
St. C. had a 21-11 edge in first downs and the Devils were penalized 10 times for 100 yards while the Colts drew 11 flags for 80 yards.
St. Clairsville boosts its all-time series lead against Meadowbrook to 15-2.
The Colts are well-represented on the OPSWA All-Eastern District Division IV squad.
Senior quarterback Josh Hupp was selected as a Tri-Offensive Player of the Year along with Avery Henry of St. Clairsville and Colt Emerson of John Glenn; senior linebacker Brady McManaway was named Defensive Player of the Year; and Steve Norman was named Co-Coach of the Year with John Glenn’s Matt Edwards.
Joining Hupp and McManaway on the first team are senior receiver Damen Launder, senior offensive lineman Hayden Loy, senior defensive back Hunter Eubanks and senior punter Aiden Reis.
Second team selections were senior offensive lineman Marshall Dyer, senior linebacker Kahle Flowers and senior defensive back Zane Maguire while honorable mention picks were Bailey Kuhne, Trevor Mahle and Romeo Dorsey.