Monday Muskingum County football flashback


By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

If you missed your favorite local football team’s first week, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered.

Muskingum County saw plenty of close games on a picture-perfect Friday night, but other teams were a little more offensively-minded than others. With coaches and players joining together for the first meaningful games of 2018, here’s a quick rundown of each area team’s performance in their opening bout.

Zanesville 32 – Newark 27

In the featured game of the week for Y-City News, the Blue Devils had to sweat out their arch-rivals for the second year in a row, edging out Newark with a big fourth quarter push.

Trailing at halftime, Zanesville’s offense came to life when quarterback Ben Everson connected for a trio of second-half touchdowns. Chad Grandstaff loves running the bubble screen and quick passes with a litany of athletic wide receivers, like Jerimiah Norman, Slade Norris and Casey Cassell, all of which scored on quick-hitting routes.

After falling 41-0 in 2016, Zanesville has responded with a pair of grind-it-out wins, topping the Wildcats 23-19 last season. Although there’s reason to celebrate for Grandstaff and his team, plenty of question marks popped up on Friday.

For starters, missed tackles and double-digit penalties show work still needs to be done. But for now, the Blue Devils will be riding high into Week 2.

Newark Catholic 17 – Maysville 13

The Panthers got their season underway on Thursday night, but getting things going a day early did not go in favor of Maysville.

Starting the game out with a 10-0 deficit at halftime, running back Caden Mercer made his best effort to get his team back out on top with a pair of touchdowns, but Matt Carlisle of the Green Wave connected on a touchdown pass with less than a minute left that gave Newark Catholic the win.

On two occasions, Maysville found itself in goal-to-go situations, but walked away with a zero on the scoreboard. Next week, the Panthers will meet Sheridan with their first conference game of the season.

West Jefferson 21 – Philo 16

Hunter Adolph did a little bit of everything for the Electrics Friday night, but his big game was far from enough to make up for a breakdown of rush defense. The junior quarterback accounted for 249 total yards, two scores and an interception.

The Roughriders tore apart Philo’s defense on the ground, pounding the rock 47 times for 292 yards. For comparison, West Jefferson only attempted 10 passes.

It’s clearly hard to judge any issues with the Electrics rush defense this early in the year, especially given the Roughriders’ ability to rack up yards on the ground. What is concerning is the rushing attack for Philo.

Averaging just 2.02 yards per carry on 39 rushing attempts, the lack of a rushing attack forced second-half passes for the Electrics, which only led the offense to a lone touchdown in quarters three and four. Philo will need a much more predominant push up front if they hope to take down Crooksville next week.

Meadowbrook 32 – John Glenn 26

The new year of the Little Muskies offense after the graduation of Justin Heacock got off to a fast start with a 14-0 lead at halftime, but the John Glenn defense could not hold in overtime.

Joseph Clifford got off to a hot start, racking up over 100 yards receiving and two scores before helping John Glenn pull away late in the third quarter with a 51-yard touchdown run. But, The Meadowbrook offense took over after the Little Muskies turned the ball over on downs with the opening possession of overtime and promptly scored on an 18-yard touchdown strike.

After a Final Four appearance last season, The Little Muskies will have a chance to rebound next Friday against Cambridge, whom they picked apart last season, 35-0.

East Knox 55 – West Muskingum 2

There’s little that can be said to put this game into perspective.

By halftime, the Bulldogs were out in front of the Tornadoes 49-0.

The only positive that came from the contest was a safety in the fourth quarter for West Muskingum.

Next week, the Tornadoes face New Lexington.

Tri-Valley 48 – Logan 7

A new coaching staff does not seem to have affected the reigning MVL-champions in Week 1.

On the first Logan drive, Tri-Valley’s Carson Simpkins picked off a Braeden Spatar pass and returned it for a score. It was that kind of night for the Scotties.

The game was well in hand by halftime, with Tri-Valley holding a 34-0 advantage. Starting quarterback Luke Fargus dominated from the get-go, finishing his night early after going 9-for-9 with 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Wide receiver Blayze Taylor hauled in seven passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively, the Scotties limited Logan to 53 yards passing. On the ground, the Chieftains did churn out 134 yards, but averaged just 3.2 yards per carry.