Beaver Local - September 14, 2018
Displaying one of their most balanced attacks in several seasons, the East Liverpool Potters football team defeated Beaver Local in this one, 48-7, in front of some 5,000 enthusiastic fans at Patterson Field. It was masterpiece.
As a matter of fact, Coach Josh Ludwig and his offensive coordinator, Jason Duke, put together such a well-conceived plan that no one player stood out enough to be considered for the WTOV9 “Electrifying Play of the Week,” although Derrick Carter with a 64-yard TD run just before half-time made a strong case.
Beyond that, it seemed that everyone got into the act. In no particular order, it was Nick Woodyard with a pair of TD pass receptions of 12 and 19 yards, respectively, from QB Peyton Reed who also hit Timmy Neal from 18 yards out. In addition, Reed found the end zone on a nice run, as did second stringer, Nate Davis, toward the end of the game. A one-yard scoring plunge by reliable Lane Kopras early in the contest opened the Blue and White’s scoring, and the team never looked back.
Dominik Vallera was six-for-six from the conversion stripe before his back-up missed following the Potters’ final TD with 20 seconds remaining on a running clock.
For the Beavers under Coach Mike McKenzie, it was a rough night. With two of his best players, Donovan Garcia and Garrett Givens at subpar with injuries, things went downhill quickly after Kopras scored at 4:07 in the initial quarter.
It would be three-and-out for the Red on their next possession followed by a six-play EL drive capped off by a Reed-to-Woodyard scoring pitch from 12 yards out. The play was set up by a 43-yard sprint by speedster Carter.
Reed would find Woodyard once again to make it 21-0 with four minutes remaining before the break, but the half was not over. As the clock ran down the teams exchanged punts until a Potter fumble gave the ball to the visitors on the EL 26. One play later, Tanner Johnson found Hunter Saltsman for a score, and Chase Flati’s conversion made it 21-7 with 41 seconds left to play – not much time – wrong! With 27 seconds remaining Carter completed his 64-yard scoring run and Vallera was perfect again to make it 27-7 at the break.
The Blue and White never took their foot off the pedal in the second half, as they completely stymied the Beavers and scored three additional times. First, it was Reed on a 29-yard sprint to the house, half way through the third quarter, followed by the senior signal caller’s 13-yard pass to Neal. Vallera converted to make it 42-7, enough to invoke the “mercy rule”.
The final EL score came when backup signal caller, Nate Davis, scored his first varsity running touchdown with 20 seconds to play. The PAT failed, and it was 48-7 – the final.
“Our offense is light years better than last year!” EL coach Josh Ludwig proclaimed after the game. “We’re able to attack defenses to where we can score at any moment. It has a lot to do with our play makers, but it is also due to the play-calling and organization. Coach Jason Duke is an awesome offensive coordinator and we are lucky to have him.
“It’s nice to come home and play a complete game against our rival,” Ludwig concluded. “Our kids put in a great week of preparation and they came out here and did an outstanding job of playing within themselves. Every aspect was awesome tonight.”
The game featured two fine gentlemen at the helm: Coaches Josh Ludwig and Mike McKenzie are the type of individuals a parent should be happy to have their sons play for.
The crowd was the biggest most people could recall at Patterson Field dating back to the Licking Valley playoff game on November 6, 2010. A large contingent of alumni band members showed up and were greeted by retired director Don Caiazza and his wife Sharon.
Other notables spotted in the crowd included former Coach Bob Thayer and his wife Linda, who served for many years as the school’s girls’ track coach. Bill Maltarich, quarterback of the 9-1 1975 team, and faithful Stanley Ice was on hand. Ice, who was recently named a first-team member of the All-Time ELHS football team seldom misses a game. Other first stringers present on this night were Brett Green and Robert Jackson along with Coach Josh Ludwig.
No one deserved more credit for the success of the night than Eric McMahon who has taken over as the Patterson Field grounds keeper. The old place looked great, especially with the addition of hand rails in the center section, while the grass showed no effect from the heavy rains that prevailed earlier in the week.