By KIM NORTH
For The Intelligencer
ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Senior Night is always a special moment for athletes, whatever sport they may be competing in.
St. Clairsville's 15-member class has had a memorable four-year career in which they became the first to advance to the state playoffs in each of its four seasons.
Friday night at Red Devil Stadium, seniors accounted for all but six of St. Clairsville's points in a 41-7 rout of visiting Union Local in Buckeye 8 action.
"This senior class is tough to see go," St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean said. "You never know from here on out. You could be on borrowed time ... it could be the last time you're going out on the field with them.
"I want to honor them. They are a great group of kids. I certainly hope that they keep their heads level and get ready for next week. It's been hard for us to keep ourselves down and not look ahead to what's coming for us, but we really don't know anything right now and won't until after Martins Ferry and Bellaire play (today)."
Fleet-footed senior tailback Jaylon Brown got things rolling for the Red Devils on their first two plays from scrimmage. Lining up in the wildcat formation, Brown took the first direct snap and went left where he found a seam. A shifty move at the UL 40 and he was off to the races untouched for a 61-yard scamper.
Following a Jets (3-7) punt, Brown took the direct snap and went around right end from 47 yards without a UL player laying as much as a fingertip on him. The two TD sprints took nine and eight seconds, respectively.
Union Local cut the deficit in half with an 11-play, 74-yard drive that was capped by Tater Blake's 1-yard leap into the end zone.
However, that was as close as the Jets got as Brown ripped off a 68-yard scoring jaunt on the Red Devils' second play of their third possession. That scoring drive took 44 seconds.
Sophomore linebacker Jake Stewart, who returned to the lineup after missing two weeks with injury, pounced on the first of three UL fumbles to give the Red Devils the ball at the Jets 16. On the second play, Michael Monteroso rolled right and fired a strike to Ben Coleman at the 10. Coleman carried a defender to the 1 before spinning his way across the goal line.
"We're clicking on all cylinders right now," McLean said. "It was a great job of play calling by the coaches, especially early in the game. Without giving too much away, we've got some things we can do."
On the opposite sideline, first-year UL coach Bruce Stiles, who coached at St. C. for 12 years before leaving after last season, was in a bittersweet mood.
"I'm very disappointed in the way we came out and played in the first quarter. There's no excuse for it. We didn't compete at all," he said.
"I'm happy for St. Clairsville in the fact that they are going on to the playoffs, and hopefully our kids will realize what a playoff-caliber team looks like."
Senior placekicker Zach Musilli also got into the scoring act as he drilled a pair of field goals (35 and 25) and five PATs, while junior wideout JC Coleman hauled in a 70-yard scoring strike from Monteroso.
Brown, who didn't carry the ball after early in the second quarter, finished with six carries for an eye-popping 197 yards and three scores.
St. Clairsville totalled 332 yards of offense, with 237 on the ground. Monteroso was 8-for-13 for 95 yards and the two scores.
The Jets, meanwhile, managed 193 yards, with 117 of that on the ground behind 90 by Dunfee.