St. Clairsville Upends Meadowbrook
BYESVILLE — Successful football — regardless of the level — has been built on the same recipe since the sport was founded.
The majority of the ingredients include: run the football, take care of the football, control the line of scrimmage and play good defense.
St. Clairsville placed a check mark next to each of those Friday evening on Eugene Capers Field and the end product couldn’t have turned any better for the Red Devils.
Behind an astounding 437 rushing yards, St. Clairsville simply punched Meadowbrook in the mouth over and over again en route to a convincing 49-22 victory.
“Our offensive line just kept pounding and pounding away until we wore on them early in the half,” St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean said. “Give our coaches credit for being patient and give our kids credit. I couldn’t be more proud of how everyone handled this game because we knew how big this game was.”
The Red Devils ran 69 offensive plays, all but three were of the rushing variety, their first unit scored on every possession except just before the half when they opted to kneel to run out the clock, and they helped themselves by being opportunistic defensively to pounce on two Colts fumbles in the first half.
“Our defense creating those turnovers early in the game was a huge difference in allowing us to get some separation,” McLean said. “I don’t know how many times anyone can stop (Meadowbrook) on offense, so that was a huge momentum builder for us.”
The Colts had moved into Red Devils territory on the first possession, but the drive came to an abrupt end when junior Noah Trubiano came up with a fumble recovery.
From there, St. C. simply went to work. Riding the grinding legs of senior Brady Kolb, while mixing in the speedy Justin Heatherington, the Red Devils marched 72 yards in 15 plays, chewing almost five minutes off the clock. Jake Bolyard was perfect on the first of his seven PAT kicks, making it 7-0.
The game appeared to be headed toward a track meet, similar to what developed in Belmont County last season. Meadowbrook answered with a touchdown of its own in just two plays. Scrambling away from a rush, talented senior quarterback Davis Black found Brady Blattner all alone behind the defense for an 83-yard touchdown. The pass for 2 was good and the Colts were on top.
St. Clairsville, however, was unfazed by the Meadowbrook answer. It simply went back to work. Working behind the offensive line of Javon Lyons, Avery Henry, Trey Delguzzo, Chase Espn and Austin Angus, the Red Devils went to Kolb for four consecutive rushes.
Then Heatherington got involved and did the rest. He ripped off the first of his three touchdown runs, covering the final 47 yards.
The flood gates officially opened basically for good on the ensuing drive. Black found his brother, Addy, who — without being hit — fumbled the ball and senior David Mellema came up with it.
Kolb found himself back in the end zone just eight plays later on a 16-yard burst.
“I have such a short memory, on game night, of what exactly happened, so I really need to watch the film, but I know I was proud of how patient we were running the ball,” McLean said. “We squirted through with some big runs, but a lot of it was 4 yards, 5 yards, 3 yards.”
McLean was spot on with that. Heatherington, who rushed for a career high 207 yards on 20 carries, scored twice on runs of 50 yards to complement his aforementioned long score.
Twice in the second half, the game was pushed into OHSAA mercy rule, but each time Meadowbrook answered with a score. However, St. Clairsville simply was not going to be stopped.
Heatherington and Kolb each scored an additional touchdown in the third quarter. Kolb finished with 183 yards on 33 carries and three scores.
“Both of our running backs are very unselfish kids,” McLean said. “We talked to them early in the season and said, ‘look guys, we only have one football, so you have to be patient and take advantage of your carries and touches.”
Senior quarterback Dustin Carrothers found classmate Craig Bober for the final Devils touchdown. The 6-foot-5 wide receiver climbed the ladder in the back of the end zone for a 21-yard score.
While the Red Devils offensive clicked, the defense got after Davis Black. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 239 yards and three scores, all of which went to Blattner, who caught five passes for 190 yards.
“St. Clairsville didn’t stop us,” Meadowbrook coach Jeff Twiddy said. “We turned the ball over too many times and did some stupid things, offensively. We flew up field and didn’t do our job (defensively). We have a lot of things to fix.”
St. Clairsville 49, Meadowbrook 22
St. Clairsville 14 14 14 7 — 49
Meadowbrook 8 0 6 8 — 22
S — Kolb 2 run (Bolyard kick)
M — Blattner 83 pass from D Black (A Black from D Black)
S — Heatherington 42 run. (Bolyard kick).
S — Kolb 16 run (Bolyard kick)
S — Heatherington 50 run (Bolyard kick)
S — Heatherington 50 run (Bolyard kick)
S — Kolb 1 run. (Bolyard kick)
M — Blattner 26 pass from D Black (pass failed)
S — Bober 21 pass from Carrothers (Bolyard kick).
M — Blattner 32 pass from D Black. (A Black pass from D Black).
Rushing: St. Clairsville, 66-437-5td (Kolb, 33-183-2td; Heatherington, 20-207-3td; Carrothers, 4-(-1); A. Jordan, 3-8; Mihalic, 2-12; J. Jordan, 1-25; Balgo, 1-2; DaRe, 1-2; Team, 1-(-1)). Meadowbrook, 18-50 (Ferguson, 11-47; D. Black, 7-3).
Passing: St. Clairsville, 2-3-30-td (all by Carrothers). Meadowbrook, 9-16-239-3td (All by D. Black).
Receiving: St. Clairsville, 2-30-td (Bober, 1-21-td; Storer, 1-9). Meadowbrook, 9-239-3td (A. Black, 2-18; B. Black, 1-16; Blattner, 5-190-3td; Norman, 1-15).
First Downs: St. Clairsville, 23; Meadowbrook, 10.
Fumbles: St. Clairsville, 0-0; Meadowbrook, 2-2.
Penalties: St. Clairsville, 1-10; Meadowbrook, 1-5.