URICHSVILLE - When you're only promised 10 opportunities to play, coming out on top is the only thing that matters.
St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean certainly buys that idea and he's even more of a believer after Friday night's game at Claymont Stadium.
The Red Devils scored in the middle of the fourth quarter and then posted a goal-line stand inside of two minutes for a hard-earned 24-21 victory against the Mustangs .
"There are no style points," McLean said. "You just have to win. We had to persevere though a lot of things because we put ourselves in some bad situations, which we have to fix."
St. Clairsville (1-0), which is the defending Division IV state runnerup, broke in new players at several positions, but when the going got tough, it went to senior speedster Jaylon Brown.
Brown scored three touchdowns, including two on the ground and he caught a 68- yarder. All told, he finished with 168 yards on 27 carries.
The Red Devils found themselves with their backs squarely planted against the wall as the fourth quarter began and they stared up at a 21-17 deficit.
St. C. took a lead with 10:09 to play when Brown waltzed into the end zone from 6 yards out. Zach Musilli was perfect on his third PAT of the night, making it 24-21.
From there, the Red Devils turned it over to their defense.
St. Clairsville's defense allowed 21 of the Mustangs' points in the second quarter, including a touchdown on the final play of the half.
The Devils dug in when they had to.
After Claymont was forced to punt, the Mustangs hopped on a fumble during the return at the Devils' 27.
Behind Keaton Herron, Tim Zurcher and Hunter Striker, the Mustangs moved the ball down to the 13-yard line with a first and 10.
Two plays later, they were at the 4, facing a third-and-1. St. C. stuffed Stryker for a loss of a yard and then stopped him at the line of scrimmage once again, taking the over on downs.
Brown got free for a big gain and St. C. was able to run out the clock for the victory.
"This was a very physical game and I knew it would be," McLean said. "It's just the style of football that's played and we're getting back to that style ourselves."