Week 2 held some surprising scores early in the night, including a tight one between Sandy Valley and a convincing New Philadelphia win. With the regular season a fifth of the way gone (that’s a sad way of thinking about it) and some teams already establishing themselves as a force in the Tuscarawas Valley, time to rundown Friday night’s scores.
Indian Valley 42, Manchester 14
Machester’s Ethan Wright is a player who will be playing Division I football before long, but Indian Valley did all they could to limit his dynamic ability. Mason Love had a career night, picking off three passes, one in the endzone. Zach Love was a force to be reckoned with for the second-straight week, scoring from 62, 57 and eventually 43 yards out. Not only that, Ty Myers seemed to have his new quarterback role figured out with 182 yards and a score. The Braves are tired of all the talk of who’ve they’ve lost, and their answer to doubts has been a strong start to 2019.
Sandy Valley 41, Minerva 24
Sandy Valley was the only team that was (likely) going to beat Sandy Valley in this one. Minerva, on a crazy losing streak, came in ready to play, which almost seemed to stun their opponent early on. The Cardinals traded the lead with the Lions throughout the first half, with an interception return for a touchdown and a stellar game from quarterback Cam Blair, who accounted for 237 yards through the air, 121 on the ground and five total touchdowns. The Cardinals have plenty of time to reflect on what made this way too close for most of the game, but it’s safe to bet coach Brian Gamble will have his team watching plenty of film this week.
Ridgewood 51, River View 9
In a game that usually delivers on its promise to be a grind-it-out, jawbreaking affair, John Slusser and company must have wanted to make a statement early. Jumping out to an early 30-3 lead at halftime, quarterback Gabe Tingle and Isaiah Lamneck had a great connection, setting up the big night for the Generals. With two teams ahead that missed the playoffs last year in Coshocton and Malvern, the fast start is likely to pick up more speed.
New Philadelphia 37, Struthers 8
May to Joseph. That has a nice ring to it Quaker fans, right? Baron May and Jent Joseph was the key against a physical Struthers team, accounting for a pair of touchdowns. Things seemingly starting going New Philadelphia’s way early, after a snap sailed over the Wildcats punters’ head, given Matt Dennison an early 2-0 lead that grew from there. May has been on fire to start the year, adding two rushing scores as well. The Quakers could very much be for real this year.
Dover 33, Canfield 30
The Tornadoes had plenty of things working against them heading into an already monumental matchup against the powerful Cardinals. A slew of injuries limited Dover on both offense and defense, but head coach Dan Ifft seemed to have quite the plan drawn up. Aidan Hall hit Kade Ruegsegger for a 91-yard strike, and the defense held when they absolutely had to. Hall finished his night with five touchdowns and over 370 yards, while receiver Peyton Burris accounted for three of those scores. Recovery and rehabilitation is the focus heading into Week 3 with a 2-0 record.
Rootstown 52, Strasburg 20
A Week 1 win over the Conotton Valley Rockets seems like a distant memory for the Strasburg Tigers, who started off the night right with a Pick-6 on the first play of the game. Unfortunately, it was the last time they found the endzone until late in this one. Head coach Curtis Metzger said in the lead-up to the game, he knew things would be rough against a tough Rootstown unit. The skill of the Rovers certainly showed through Friday night. Strasburg hopes to turn things back in the right direction West Virginian team Madonna.
Coshocton 36, Claymont 28
Football is a lot like a pendulum, swaying momentum back-and-forth all night. That was the case for the Mustangs versus the Redskins. Claymont stayed in tight contention all night, with a couple of Brody Rauch touchdown rushes. But a late mistake hurt the Mustangs, with a poor snap deep in their own territory resulting in a safety that gave the Redskins the final right hook to finish the job. A balanced attack provided more offensive promise for down the road, but things might be tough next Friday night against an unfamiliar opponent in St. Thomas Aquinas out of Louisville.
Fairless 34, Tusky Valley 21
A defensive touchdown early that cut into an early Fairless lead was not enough for Tusky Valley down the stretch. Falcons quarterback Ethan Brindley accounted for over 200 yards through the air and two scores, with the Tusky Valley defense giving up over 400 total yards. As for the Trojans, a valiant effort from quarterback Tanner Phillips and running back Noah Love, who combined for 218 yards and one score, was not quite enough. Four turnovers is a tough pill to swallow.
TCC 41, Grove City Christian 7
Alex Price wears No. 2 like Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan, and his gunslinging against Grove City Christian seemed like there was some kind of similarity. The senior quarterback picked up four touchdowns with 325 yards on 15-of-21 passing. There was a lone blemish with an interception, but a 36-point win can help you look past that. All told, the Saints allowed just 155 yards. The penalty bug bit a little hard with nine infractions, but discipline can be taught in practice over time.
Buckeye Trail 20, Newcomerstown 7
There were positives for the Trojans in this one. Coming off their first win in 25 attempts, Newcomerstown hung in with Buckeye Trail, but an offense that sputtered at times kept them behind throughout. Wyatt Conner accounted for 75 yards on 15 carries, while Jack Parry earned 92 yards on 14 rushes. The Trojans will wrap their wounds and regroup for the winless Conotton Valley Rockets.
Coventry 27, Carrollton 7
Senior Colby Moore earned a score late with under five minutes left, but an offense that struggled all night put the Carrollton Warriors in a tight spot. Calvin Dudley hit Kenton Duty for 45 yards on the very first play, and the Comets rode things out smoothly from there. For the second-straight week, the Warriors have kept a team within striking distance early but were unable to put points on the board. Carrollton faces Cambridge next week, who they picked apart in 2018, 41-7.
Tuslaw 18, West Holmes 17
Everything about West Holmes’ performance Friday night was about grit. From the loss of starting quarterback Peyton McKinney to a torn ACL this week to working to stay with a playoff team from last year while losing another playmaker in Brady Taylor, who was carted off the field. The Knights got off to a slow start offensively, which could be credited to a different quarterback under center. However, coach Zach Gardner will likely not make excuses for the team. Int he final three minutes, the Mustangs drove over 90 yards for the game-winning tally. This one will sting for more than jus tone week. Next up, last year’s state champion, the Orrville Red Raiders, who are fresh off a 54-7 demolishing of Akron North.
Malvern 52, Conotton Valley 14
The Malvern Hornets ran rampant like they were getting chased by winged insects … see what we did there? Accounting for 259 yards on the ground as a team, Malvern wasn’t only efficient in that aspect. Quarterback Derk Hutchison went 8-for-11 for 209 yards with a pair of touchdowns, including an 81-yard connection. Conotton Valley struggled mightily, as quarterback Braden Caldwell accounted for nearly all of his team’s yards. While he picked up 134 yards on 10 carries, a poor passing showing (4-for-14 for 65 yards, one pick) limited the Rockets success. Football is a team game, remember, so do not put this solely on the senior’s shoulders. Next week holds an interesting matchup against Newcomerstown next Friday.
Big Games Outside Z-Country
Mentor – 38
St. Ignatius – 31
Wadsworth – 20
Wooster – 17
Marlington – 34
Kent Roosevelt – 10
Orrville – 54
Akron North – 7
Massillon – 55
GlenOak – 13
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