ZANESVILLE There's a cliche that says, 'all good things must come to an end.'
Unfortunately for St. Clairsville, the Red Devils realized that to be the truth Saturday evening inside John Sulsberger Memorial Stadium.
Despite the valiant return of Jaylon Brown, who had missed the last four weeks with a shoulder injury, the Red Devils lost no fewer than three more players to injury and found that to be just too much to overcome against a sound Coshocton squad.
The Red Devils finish their season at 10-2 after suffering a 47-21 defeat. Coshocton advances to Saturday's Region 15 championship game against Johnstown-Monroe, which dispatched Ironton in the other semifinal.
"We didn't bring enough duct tape with us tonight to keep us held together at the seams," St. C. coach Brett McLean said. "There were things that happened tonight that you fear could happen throughout the course of a football season, but we were fortunate enough to avoid those most of the year. But, it happened, and you have to deal with it."
On a night when Brown played like he hadn't missed a beat, accumulating 207 yards of all-purpose yards, the Red Devils had no answer for the Redskins' vaunted Wing-T as seemingly player after player went down to the turf with a serious injury.
"I don't ever make excuses because we believe the next kid (on the depth chart) will do the job when we plug them in there, and those guys gave us everything they could," McLean said. "We played a good football team, and I didn't think we could slug back-and-forth with them. It was frustrating not to be out there at full strength the whole night."
Taking advantage of a Red Devils defense, which started the game without senior Greg Parker and proceeded to lose sophomore Michael Ferns and Corey Ernest through the course of the contest.
The Redskins finished the game with 399 yards on 56 carries. They had two runners, Jacob Bresciani (26-211-3td) and Brandon Walker (18-133), surpass the 100-yard barrier.
"Our kids really stepped it up," Redskins coach Jim Woodrum said. "We were without our center (Drew McNichol), who is a two-time all-Ohioan tonight, but we had kids step up. We had to move kids all over the place and they came together and played a great game.
The Redskins, who struck first in the game, found themselves trailing, 14-7 after one quarter. St. C. erased the touchdown deficit on a 5-yard plunge by Brown and then junior Matt Kinnick hooked up with classmate Dan Monteroso on a 38-yard pitch and catch. Zach Musilli was true on the first of his three PAT kicks.
However, the Redskins never hit the panic button and caught a few breaks along the way.
A botched field goal try resulted in holder Dylan Ogle finding Tanner Cognion on a 10-yard pass for a touchdown.
"I thought that touchdown was a big turning point in the game," McLean said. "Our M.O. all season has been our offense needing to get out in front of people, and that was an opportunity. We didn't stop them and we had a chance to get the ball back and put them behind by a couple of scores."
The Red Devils marched to the red zone, but two sacks and a loss on a run resulted in eventually giving the ball back to the Redskins, who took the lead for good by marching 75 yards in 10 plays with Brescani getting in from a yard out. Brody Philabaum's third PAT of the half made it a 21-14 reading.
After holding the Red Devils on downs on their first possession of the second half, Coshocton cranked up its band once again when Walker carried in from 5 yards out.
The Red Devils still had a smidgen of life after Brown fielded the kick and went 99 yards, seemingly untouched, for the touchdown.
"We had to get to the point where we could get them out of their element and out of what they like to do," McLean said. "It never happened that way."
However, Coshocton's offense wasn't going to be stopped.
After returning the kick to the 40-yard line, six plays later Brescani was off to the races from 11 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Any idea of a comeback was snatched away when Coshocton lobbed the ensuing kickoff into no-man's land and pounced on the ball on the Devils' 38. Bresciani did the rest.
"We were still in the game at that point, but we didn't field the ball and they jumped on it is the best way I can sum it up," McLean said. "We figured they wouldn't kick it deep again, but they executed a great pooch kick."
St. Clairsville finished with 231 yards of total offense, while allowing 477 stripes. Kinnick finished 9 of 15 for 111 yards. Brown was his favorite target with 26 yards on four catches. He also ran for a team-high 82 yards on 16 totes.