Martins Ferry Gets Win Over Buckeye Local
YORKVILLE — Chas Yoder couldn’t have scripted his first game as head coach of Martins Ferry’s storied football program any better. The defensive coordinator during the final years of Dave Bruney’s elongated and decorated career, it was no surprise that the Purple Riders didn’t miss a beat on that side of the ball Thursday night in his debut.
Yoder’s defenders came up with a pair of huge defensive plays in the first half that resulted in 14 points and combined that with an offense that piled up nearly 400 yards in rolling past Buckeye Local, 42-6, on the natural grass surface inside World War II Memorial Stadium.
“I’m happy with our defense and our offense is coming along,” Yoder said amidst a huge celebration. “We still have a lot of things to improve on, but overall I’m really happy with how our kids played together.”
Purple Riders defensive end Richard McFarland hauled in a deflected pass that led to a Jake Probst 11-yard scamper around right end and the first of seven Cody Olson PATs made it 7-0 less than four minutes in.
Martins Ferry found itself deep in its end of the field on its next possession after the Panthers’ Jacob Moffo picked off a pass and returned it 23 yards to the 17. On fourth-and-6 from the 13, quarterback Seth Richardson found tailback Jacob Zanes in the left flat, but the athletic Olson was there to stop him a yard shy of his destination.
“Richie’s interception set us up for our first touchdown and Cody’s tackle was huge,” Yoder said.
“It could’ve easily be 7-7 at that point, but we made the plays when we had to. Richie had a good game and we’re proud of his effort.”
Martins Ferry made it 14-0 early in the second quarter after Buckeye Local suffered a bad snap in punt formation. Nate Boxley, a 5-9, 225-pound bruiser, bulled his way in from 5 yards out. He would add a 2-yard TD run later in the quarter as the lead grew to 21-0 at the half.
It didn’t take the Purple Riders long to add to that margin as fleet-footed senior Mason Goddard took an inside handoff around right end. He reversed his field and picked up a couple of key blocks in completing a 47-yard scoring jaunt 80 seconds into the third panel.
When Probst found Dasyn Hores from 11 yards out later in the quarter to make it 35-0, it also instituted the 30-point mercy-rule for the remainder of the contest.
Backup quarterback Logan Smith ran in from 6 yards out to complete Martins Ferry’s scoring.
The Panthers avoided the shutout when Seth Richardson connected with Shayne Christian from 20 yards away. The PAT was blocked.
Caleb Olson paced a balanced rushing attack with 78 yards on nine carries. Boxley added 48 on a dozen trips. Probst passed for 145 and Hores had 95 stripes and the aforementioned touchdown.
“We have a lot of new guys up front. We have a lot of new faces,” Yoder said of the offensive line that featured senior Ian Terrill (center), sophomore Evan Carpenter (guard), junior Donte Lewis (guard) and senior tackles DeAndre Pugh and Shane Krob. “We have a lot of new starters and we needed an effort like that from them tonight. They looked really good.”
The loss was the 33rd straight for Buckeye Local, a stretch that goes back to week 8 of the 2014 campaign when it defeated East Liverpool, 22-14. However, second-year coach Roger Herbert saw some good things despite the final score.
“We had some missed opportunities, but I thought we had a good gameplan. Hats off to Ferry. They ran the ball well and we had a few misses that were alignment issues. We’ll get those taken care of.
“Offensively, we’ve got to be a little more creative,” he noted. “We hung around early, but they just grinding on us … laying on us. They are a big, strong team. Just cause coach (Dave) Bruney left, they didn’t forget how to play football and lift weights. they’ve got a great weight program and we’ve got to get there eventually.”
Buckeye Local finished with 159 yards on offense, with 93 of that coming on the ground. Christian had 38 yards on three carries and also caught four passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
∫ A moment of silence was held prior to the game for 2004 Buckeye Local graduate and football player Joe Nieb who passed away this week due to a heart attack.
∫ The second half was played with five officials after Greg Sanders was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after becoming ill.