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St. Clairsville Epitomizing Team Effort

Red Devils ran for 434 yards against Union Local

Photo by Scott McCloskey St. Clairsville’s Jacob Jordan ran for a team-high 103 yards last Friday in a convincing win over Union Local. The Red Devils host Wheeling Central on Thursday night.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — On paper, a matchup between 6-1 St. Clairsville and 5-1 Union Local looked like it would be one of the best football games in the area last week. In actuality, however, the Jets never stood a chance as the Red Devils ran away with a 55-7 win.

In the victory, St. Clairsville, now 7-1, ran for 434 rushing yards as a team. How the Red Devils managed that against a good UL team is anyone’s guess, as even coach Brett McLean is not sure.

“Honestly, I’m still scratching my head,” McLean said Monday. “We had a good game plan going in, but I never dreamt that we’d get that kind of total yardage for the night. I commend our offensive line coach and our o-line, they played well at all levels.”

It was not a case of one player carrying the load, either. St. C.’s leading rusher was senior Jacob Jordan with 103 yards. Drew Sefsick (77), Dino Burk (77) and Jacob Walker (53) all also finished with more than 50 yards, but 15 different Red Devils carried the ball against the Jets.

“One of our great benefits has been having some depth,” McLean said. “Not everybody is paying both ways and that’s keeping our kids fresh and helping us late in games. The more kids that are active and involved, I think the better off our team is.”

Friday’s performance put Jordan over 800 rushing yards on the season with 13 touchdowns. McLean said he has come a long way from splitting carries with this older brother Aaron two years ago.

“Jake has developed over his years with us,” McLean said. “He was toting the ball as a sophomore, splitting time with his older brother, now he’s become more of the workhorse and had a great offseason in the weight room. He’s also matured to understand and read the blocks that are ahead of him when he’s got the ball in his hands. He works to push through the holes and not try to make something out of nothing. I think it’s turned into a great senior season for him and hopefully he can stay healthy and finish it out.”

Friday’s big win over Union Local came just six days after the Red Devils handed Bellaire their first defeat of the season on. Oct 3. McLean said picking up back-to-back wins of that caliber show how well the Red Devils are executing down the stretch.

“We feel we were executing the way we should this late in the season without many self-induced errors or mistakes,’ McLean said. “We understand that every single week is a grind. We play another really, really good team this week in Wheeling Central.”

The Red Devils are not just clicking on offense either. Their defense has only allowed more than 14 points once this season and has held opponents to 10 or fewer points in five of their last six games.

“I’m proud of our defense for playing against a lot of different styles of offense,” McLean said. “From Bellaire, who will run it right down hill at you, to Union Local, who will spread it out, and then Wheeling Central has a million different things they’re capable of doing. It’s pretty stressful for that group right now but hopefully we can play sound football the rest of the way.”

The Maroon Knights will take the trip across the river to Red Devil Stadium on Thursday for a weekday game. McLean said it is late enough in the season know where teams know who they are and not a lot changes week to week.

“We’re at that point of the season in week nine where it’s just kind of polishing the car each week trying to get ready,” he said. “Wheeling Central gives us a lot to prepare for, we’re really impressed with them. There’s not been many chances to take a breath with our schedule. It just keeps on rolling at you.”

Offensive Player of the Week

Caleb Ratcliffe, Wheeling Central: Ratcliffe scored four times on just five catches, finishing with five receptions for 155 yards and all four of Central’s receiving touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week

Marcus Barnes, Magnolia: Barnes racked up eight tackles while also grabbing an interception and forcing a fumble. On offense, he ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Dylan Conley, Oak Glen: Conley scored Oak Glen’s first points against Brooke by recovering a blocked punt and taking it 40 yards for a touchdown.

Ground Gainers

∫ Isaac Ball, Cameron: Ball ran for 264 yards and two touchdowns as the Dragons improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season.

∫ Mark Liggett, Valley: Normally an offensive lineman, Liggett was the Lumberjack’s bell cow, carrying the ball 34 times for 93 yards and a score.

∫ Jacob Jordan, St. Clairsville: Jordan racked up 103 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries as the Red Devils rushed for 434 yards as a team.

∫ Riley Watkins, Lorenzo Ferrera, Wheeling Central: Watkins ran for 45 yards and a score as Ferrera had 77 yards and two touchdowns.

∫ Owyn Wise, C.J. Hannahs, Barnesville: Wise paced the Shamrocks with 233 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Hannahs added 71 yards and a score of his own.

∫ Nathan Bertolino, Harrison Central: Bertolino ran for 94 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Wyatt Reiman, Shadyside: Reiman ran for 108 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers’ first loss of the season.

∫ Chase McClurg, Gage Cline, Edison: McClurg ran for 118 yards and Cline gained 80 and scored a touchdown.

∫ Gavin Bozica, Elijah Mullins, Steubenville: Bozica ran for 107 yards and a score and Mullins added 57 yards of his own and found the endzone twice.

∫ Zebulin Kinsey, Toronto: On 25 carries, Kinsey ran for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Aerial Attack

∫ Colson Witcherman, Cameron: The sophomore only completed four passes, but that was all he needed as all four went for scores. He finished 4-of-9 for 146 yards and a quad of touchdowns.

∫ Brett Phillips, Wheeling Park: The Patriots finally returned to the field and Phillips put on a show. He completed 16-of-27 passes for 284 with five touchdowns and also ran for 53 on the ground.

∫ Michael Topfer, Wheeling Central: Half of Topfer’s passes went for touchdowns as he finished 8-of-10 for 232 yards and four touchdowns.

∫ Jake Heatherington, Bellaire: Heatherington completed 10-of-21 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown as the Big Reds knocked off Shadyside.

∫ Kabel Isaly, River: Isaly completed 11-of-13 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

∫ Phaeton Hill, Steubenville: Hill threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 8-of-17 passing.

∫ Santino Arlia, Madonna: Completing 10-of-25 passes, Arlis threw for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Mr. Everything

∫ Payton Neely, Cameron: Neely ran for 20 yards and a touchdown as a quarterback, caught two touchdowns for 44 yards as a receiver, snatched an interception on defense and returned a kickoff for a touchdown on special teams.

∫ Jy’Leik Johnson, Linsly: Johnson found the endzone three times in Linsly’s victory. He caught four passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns, including a 53-yard scoring grab. He also found the endzone on a 55-yard punt return for the game’s first score.

∫ Drew Sefsick, St. Clairsville: The senior completed 4-of-7 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 77 yards and two more scores.

∫ Kaden Johnson, Magnolia: Johnson had 40 yards rushing, 70 yards receiving and had nine tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack and forced two fumbles.

∫ Hayden Cassidy, Harrison Central: Cassidy threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 54 yards and another score in a victory.

∫ Spencer Bliss, Barnesville: Bliss ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns and returned a punt 65 yards for a score.

∫ River Thompson, River: Thompson caught four passes for 99 yards and a touchdown and also recovered a fumble for a touchdown on defense.

∫ Dominic Bousher, Toronto: Bousher scored twice, first on a 62-yard punt return and then later on a 5-yard run.

Good Hands Team

∫ Jerrae Hawkins, Will James, Wheeling Park: Hawkins caught five passes for 138 total yards and two touchdowns. James made six grabs for 94 yards and a score.

∫ Cam McAfee, Harrison Central: McAfee made seven receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Brodie Longwell, River: Longwell caught two touchdowns against Brideport, finishing with 67 yards.

∫ Ivan Buggs, Brenton Jones, Steubenville: Jones made three catches for 84 yards and Buggs had two receptions for 57 yards as both found the endzone once.

∫ Carson Yobbagy, Weir: Yobbagy caught two passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.

∫ Evan Quering, Madonna: On four receptions, Querying went for 39 yards and two touchdowns.

Wrecking Crew

∫ Colton Thomas, Erick Brothers, Trevor Howell, Jacob Stewart, Wheeling Park: Brothers, Howell and Stewart each had nine total tackles and one tackle for loss. Thomas racked up 11 stops including a sack.

∫ Tyler Wise, Brooke: Wise made seven total tackles with two tackles for loss.

∫ Jadyn Irizarry, Isaac Robinson, Indian Creek: Irizarry and Robinson both made 10 stops and Irizarry forced a fumble.

∫ Adam Dolata, Wyatt Haynes, Mateo Dimitrioski, Alco Smith, Brodie Selmon, Linsly: Dolata had eight tackles with three tackles for loss and a sack. Haynes made eight stops with one tackle for loss. Dimitrioski had seven total tackles with one for a loss and two pass breakups. Smith registered a sack and recovered two fumbles. Selmon made seven tackles and grabbed an interception.

∫ Clay Akers, Union Local: Akers made 10 solo tackles with two assists, including a tackle for loss.

∫ Michael Bunning, Travis Berry, Monroe Central: Bunning and Berry both made 11 tackles for the Seminoles.

Big Boot

∫ Aidan Forget, Wheeling Park: Forget booted five extra points through the uprights.

∫ Lucas Otto, St. Clairsville: The senior was Otto-matic, hitting on five point after attempts.

∫ Eli Tucker, Wheeling Central: Tucker connected on five extra points.

∫ Gavin Carpenter, Barnesville: Following the trend, Carpenter also made five point after kicks.

∫Austyn Roberts, Steubenville: Roberts blasted six extra points for the Big Red.

∫ Mason Montgomery, Edison: Montgomery opened The Wildcats’ scoring with a 32-yard field goal and later added two extra points.

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