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Football: St. C. Rolls by Huskies


September 22, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CADIZ - It didn't take Harrison Central long to show St. Clairsville it had come to play Friday night.

It took the Red Devils even less time to show that they were there for the long haul, too.

After falling behind 6-0 less than 90 seconds into the game, the Red Devils proceeded to reel off the final 42 to cruise to a 42-6 victory, a 5-0 record and continued ownership of the Coal Bucket.

"They're a helluva football team,'' Harrison Central coach Justin Kropka said. "St. Clairsville has good players everywhere, and I've been saying all week that I've not seen this much talent on one team, at one time, for any Buckeye 8 team since I've been coaching here."

The Red Devils, who've been as impressive defensively as they've been offensively all season, got caught a little bit out of position, according to Coach Brett McLean, and the Huskies made them pay when Rashaen Mitchell found Nate Olmstead on a 77-yard pitch and catch.

"That was a good play by them, obviously they saw something and the quarterback made a nice read and throw," McLean said. "The best thing about it was we didn't panic. We stayed calm, which is what you get when you've got seniors and veteran players. We knew we'd fight back."

It didn't take the Red Devils long to begin the fight.

Actually, it took 94 seconds before senior quarterback Matt Kinnick found classmate Jerrid Marhefka on a 15-yard scoring strike. Junior kicker Zach Musilli was true on the first of his six PAT kicks, giving St. C. a lead.

Jaylon Brown carried the ball 14 times and made the most of them. He averaged 15 yards a carry, finishing with 210 yards and he scored three times. His scoring runs covered 7, 34 and 27 yards. The final was a highlight reel run. Brown appeared to be stopped for a loss, but broke three tackles, cut back, hurdled a Husky and took it the rest of the way.

With the game still 7-6, Harrison Central hopped on a St. C. fumble deep in its own territory.

Working basically strictly on the ground, the Huskies moved to the Red Devils 9 with a first down in 13 plays. The next four plays, however, netted the Huskies a negative 23 yards, including a 22-yard sack of Mitchell by Derek Shunk.

"We had it rolling, but just couldn't score and that really hurt us," Kropka said. "Against St. Clairsville, little things become big things. I've said all along, St. Clairsville's defense is extremely underrated."

The Devils made the Huskies pay with the first Brown touchdown dash.

Just before halftime, Kropka admittedly "got a little greedy" because he knew the Red Devils were receiving the second-half kickoff.

A Mitchell pass was picked off by senior Dan Monteroso, who took it back 70 yards for the touchdown as he weaved his way through several Huskies and delivered a stiff-arm to the final would-be tackler.

"I knew we'd have trouble stopping them, so I went deep," Kropka said. "Monteroso made a helluva play and returned it on us."

St. Clairsville closed the scoring in the second half with a Kinnick 1-yard plunge and Brown's impressive final scoring jaunt.

"I think our athletes made big plays when we needed them," McLean said. "I think the first couple of quarters were great for both teams because both teams are going to be in the postseason when this thing is said and done. It was physical, but I can't be prouder of our kids. This is a good win on the road against a quality team."

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