Things are taking shape early in the high school football realm, but some teams continue to surprise themselves. Even with one game spanning two days [more on that later], Week 3 has come to a close. Find out what happened below.
Dover 21, Wooster 16
The thunder rolled through the area last night, but the Tornado didn’t arrive until this afternoon. Dover used their extra time, courtesy of a weather delay late in the third quarter last night, to figure out the Wooster defense. What started out as a night to forget with a lone touchdown in the half, thanks to an OShea Williams run, ended with a celebration in the afternoon sun. Receiver Nathan Ravine and quarterback Ayden Hall connected twice, one from 19 yards out to take the lead and the eventual game-winner going 72 yards. The Tornadoes added a little wrinkle to their offense on Friday, throwing in a few more runs than normal. But, as is standard in a Dover game, it was the passing game that made all the difference. Even with a late touchdown allowed, Dan Ifft’s team limited the Wooster offense when it truly counted. Things might get a bit easier next week, with a matchup against East, who is 0-3 to start the year, but have kept things fairly tight against both Perry and St. Vincent St. Mary in the last two games.
Sandy Valley 48, Tusky Valley 6
In the game of the week, things seem to get off to an interesting start when the Trojans took an early lead. Another slow start for Sandy Valley put the Cardinals in a bit of a hole early, giving up an early touchdown then turning the ball over. But the Trojans offense seemed to sputter after an injury to Tristan Tesch. Quarterback Cam Blair was all over this game again, scoring multiple touchdowns (six to be exact) and leading the way. Head coach Brian Gamble is happy with what he sees from his signal caller. The Cardinals now have all the momentum they need for a tough matchup heading into Week 4 against Indian Valley.
Indian Valley 14, Indian Creek 13
A team that always seems to win is dangerous. A team that battles and finds a way to win no matter what puts other teams on notice. The Braves came into Friday night facing their toughest matchup yet. In what head coach Matt Lancaster described as a great example of a high school football game, Indian Valley battled back after allowing a 75-yd touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage. Running back Zach Love stole the show for the Braves, even though it was not his best statistical night. The Redskins scored late, but after the Redskins scored a short touchdown run, Love burst through the Indian Creek offensive line and blocked the extra point, giving Indian Valley the eventual edge. Love finished his night with both of the Braves’ touchdowns, while freshman kicker Daniel Miller hit both all-important extra points.
New Philadelphia 49, Marlinton 22
Head coach Matt Dennison probably had to light a bit of a fire under the Quakers after a poor start. New Philadelphia trailed and made a few mental mistakes to kick off the game, but senior running back John Sciarretti erased the memories of a slow start, eventually tallying over 100 yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback Baron May hurt Marlington with his arm and legs, earning 238 yards through the air and 105 on the ground. The Quaker defense was unphased by their first real test against the team that could effectively pass the ball. Things look positive for New Philadelphia currently, however, perennial powerhouse Steubenville lies in wait for Week 4.
Ridgewood 54, Coshocton 14
No one is saying that the Ridgewood Generals are the best team in the area, but head coach John Slusser’s team needed sophomore quarterback Gabe Tingle’s services for only a lone half for the third-straight game. Ridgewood hopped out to a 41-0 lead at halftime and thoroughly showed why the Generals are likely playoff-bound once again. Tingle grabbed a few touchdowns along with Isaiah Lamneck. Following the game, Slusser said he was happy with the performance, but continues to challenge his team to do more and prepare for a time when the starters play more than just two quarters. The next stop is the Malvern Hornets, who picked up a 6-0 win in Week 3.
St. Thomas Aquinas 41, Claymont 2
Fans knew that St. Thomas Aquinas presented a new challenge for Claymont, but that challenge ended up being too much for the Mustangs. The Knights only yielded two points, with a bad snap going through the end zone giving Claymont the safety. Better days will come for orange and brown backers, but it has been a rough start to the 2019 season. Aquinas’ Asian Burt returned three punts for touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass as well. The Mustangs were held until 100 yards of offense, but Brody Rauch continues to establish himself as the workhorse, carrying the ball 13 times for 50 yards. Claymont hopes to right the ship against Buckeye Trail next week.
Garaway 41, Roosevelt (Wash, D.C.) 12
The Pirates left no doubt in this one after a 14-13 win last week against Bellaire. Matthew Mullen picked off a pair of passes and accounted for three touchdown receptions. Garrett Newsome has made a habit of scoring often this season, accounting for five passing and one rushing touchdown against the Washington D.C. team. Braden Yoder and Zack Bickford got into the offensive mix, with a pair of touchdown receptions. The Rough Riders had just three first downs for the entire evening. Up next are the Strasburg Tigers who will give the Pirates an interesting matchup with their run-heavy offense.
Orrville 40, West Holmes 10
Football is a game that can teach young athletes a lot about life and having perseverance. Those lessons are undoubtedly being instilled in the Knights following a rough defeat to last year’s state champion Orrville. Facing one of the toughest teams in their division and without two key players, West Holmes was worn down by Red Riders’ running back Marquel Parks. Missed opportunities in the first half spelled trouble for West Holmes, paired with Parks 258 all-purpose yards, including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half. Coach Zach Gardner will have plenty of content to use as teaching moments for his team, but there is still a lot of fight left in the Knights. A home-tilt versus the undefeated Mansfield Tygers does not make things easier.
Strasburg 52, Weirton Madonna (W.V.) 6
The Tigers’ unique run-only offense from last night picked apart the Blue Dons from the get-go. Strasburg accounted for 426 yards on the ground chewing over 30 minutes off the game clock. Lucas Lindsay carried the ball 12 times for a stellar 205 yards and four touchdowns. The biggest positive from Friday’s game might have been the fact that the Tigers were only penalized once for five yards. Weirton Madonna was limited to just 131 yards of total offense. Strasburg will be riding high into next week, but they will be facing Garaway in what can only be described as a tough draw.
Newcomerstown 26, Conotton Valley 0
Your feel-good story of the 2019 football season, the Newcomerstown Trojans have a winning record heading into Week 4. Blanking the Conotton Valley Rockets last night, the Trojans picked up big contributions from Gavin Weaver, Gavin Little, Wyatt Conner and Chase Bryant. The Conotton Valley offense has been stymied for much of the year, and Newcomerstown took advantage of a handful of miscues for their second win of the year. Their next opponent, East Canton, was blank 31-0 against Rootstown. Some players said they hope for a playoff berth in 2019, and those hopes don’t look to be too far fetched with this fast start.
Cambridge 14, Carrollton 0
The Carrollton Warriors offense is still searching for itself after a Week 3 defeat to the Cambridge Bobcats. Hurt on the ground with outside zone runs, the Warriors found themselves trailing after a trick play resulted in a 40-yard touchdown early. Quarterback Austin Colletti was under duress often, and even 21 penalties for Cambridge were not enough for Carrollton to find the edge in this one. Salem is on the schedule next and are currently undefeated this season.
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