Philo out muscles Maysville, 14-13, for vital late-season victory


Philo wide receiver Carson Stottsberry looks for space to run against Maysville defender Quentin Stottsberry. The Philo receiver played a crucial part in the teams win.

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

With just 1:17 left on the clock, Maysville quarterback Cole Tompkins rolled to his right, tucking the ball close to his body as he looked for an open running lane on a two-point conversion attempt. Following a handful of nice sweeps earlier in the fourth quarter, he was looking for the go-ahead score.

Philo linebacker Brock Luburgh had other plans.

As Tompkins cut inside past a diving Luburgh, the junior linebacker got just enough of the leg of the Maysville quarterback to stop him short of the goal line. It was the final stand needed for Philo to pull off one of the more grueling victories in the Muskingum Valley League this season.

Electrics coach Dirk Lincicome could barely contain his excitement, and Luburgh jumped into his coaches outstretched arms. For Philo, it was a taxing win, but one that was needed at such a crucial moment in the season.

It was rough at times, but it was enough to get the job done.

“Any kind of positives you get on Friday night, you build from them,” Lincicome said. “You gotta be able to build off of the negatives, too. We learned a lot about ourselves tonight. There were some things we did well and some things we didn’t do well.”

The Panthers patented run-it-down-their-throat approach was in full effect, as a combination of six different ballcarriers went for a combined 238 yards on the ground. Caden Mercer led the team with 12 carries while racking up 50 yards and a score, while running back Hayden McGee locked up the first touchdown of the night for Maysville.

The running attack was nearly non-existent for Philo at times, registering just 66 yards on 26 carries. But sharp decision making from Hunter Adolph and Aaron Philip led to an air attack that burned the Panthers in crucial moments, like on a second quarter, 70-yard touchdown strike to Carson Stottsberry from Adolph.

The junior quarterback dropped the ball perfectly over two defenders, while the receiver broke away from the pack for the score.

Late in the game, Adolph connected with Philip on a wide receiver screen, and the backup quarterback/receiver cut between two defenders for a red-zone score. Lincicome was impressed with his team’s late-game determination, especially one unit that rarely gets enough credit.

“We had to put the game on the shoulders of our offensive line,” he said. “I don’t know what the stat sheet will say. I know they had a lot of rushing yards with what they do. That’s what they’re built for. I know they didn’t have very many passing yards and we were able to go up in the air quite a bit and take advantage of some looks they gave us.”

Maysville linebacker Easton Smith was all over the field defensively, securing seven total tackles. However, a lack of turnovers hurt the Panthers, who were unable to wrestle the ball away from the Electrics.

With the win, Philo earns vital playoff points with just two weeks remaining. Trailing both New Lexington and John Glenn, the Electrics will likely stay behind the Muskies, who earned an upset victory over Tri-Valley, but could shuffle past New Lexington, who was blown out by Sheridan.

With a loss for Fairland as well, Philo could be on the cusp of slotting into a playoff spot with just two games in front of them. Maysville, meanwhile, now falls to 4-4 this season.