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Quick-Strike Red Devils Rout Piketon

November 9, 2012
By SETH STASKEY , Times Leader

LOGAN, Ohio - St. Clairsville doesn't need many plays, much space or a lot of time to make things happen on the football field.

The Devils (12-0) showed their bevy of weapons Friday night at Chieftain Stadium en route to a 59-27 victory against overmatched Piketon in the Division IV, Region 15 semifinals.

''We're going to the regional championship game and I couldn't be prouder of our kids,'' St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean said. ''We have to get focused quickly because we have a lot of work to do to get ready.''

Article Photos

St. Clairsville’s Jerrid Marhefka puts a move on Piketon’s Stephen Royster (22) and heads upfield Friday.

The victory puts St. Clairsville in the Elite Eight in the regional final next Friday against Johnstown-Monroe, which easily dispatched Ironton, 42-7, down the road at The Plains in Athens. The site will be formally announced Sunday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

''Johnstown was in this game last year and won it, so they're the veteran team in that regard,'' McLean said. ''They're the favorites and we're really going to have to go about our business well this week because we're going to be the underdog.''

Piketon finished its season with a 9-3 record. This was the Redstreaks' second appearance in the postseason and second time they were eliminated by a team from Belmont County (Bellaire,1997).

It was an offensive clinic for the Red Devils, who ran by Redstreaks defenders time and time again en route to scoring on their first nine possessions.

During the first half, St. Clairsville scored 38 points on 20 plays and its quick-strike ability was further demonstrated by three, one-play drives that covered 39, 46 and 39 yards.

''The kids are so amped up to get here, get on the field and get going that I think it was good for us offensively, but a little bit bad for us defensively,'' McLean said. ''We were just so amped up and hopefully, the more we play, the more they'll get used to that not losing their breath early on.''

The Red Devils owned a 28-20 lead but in the blink of an eye the score swelled to 59-20 before the Redstreaks added a window-dressing touchdown late in the contest. St. Clairsville didn't need to take the methodical approach because each time it had the ball, it did whatever it wanted.

The majority of the time, however, it was junior jet Jaylon Brown, who had his number called. Brown continued to ring up touchdowns, scoring six times on 11 touches and finishing with 186 yards.

"Our line up front was blocking great,'' Brown said. ''We played against a bigger team, but our line stepped up to the plate and did the job. I just have to run down hill and not just go outside.''

Along with Brown, senior quarterback Matt Kinnick was brilliant again. He threw 12 passes, but completed seven for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He found classmate Jerrid Marhefka on a 54-yard strike for one of those scores and then hooked up with Dan Monteroso on a 39-yard pitch and catch.

Junior place kicker Zach Musilli was perfect on a 7 of 7 PAT kicks and notched a 22-yard field goal at the first-half buzzer. Haylee Skukan added the final PAT to close the scoring the Red Devils.

St. Clairsville's first-string offense had two plays go for negative yardage and one of those was on a bad snap, which resulted in a loss of 6.

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