Beaver Local - September 23, 2016

When a team rushes for only 54 yards and is socked with 175 yards in penalties, one would expect a negative result. However, in the words of British author, Robert Charles Lee, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” And in this case, it was not a cat, rather a group of Beavers, fighting Beavers to be exact, who gave the East Liverpool Potters all they could handle until the fourth quarter when an unheralded senior, David Locke, made his presence felt with a dramatic interception off the arm of Logan Bouscher, and the cat was out of the bag.

The turning point came on the 98th play of the game with the Beavers leading 13-7, chugging on all cylinders to the EL 30 when, with a little over nine minutes on the clock, Locke stepped in front of the ball and rambled to the 17-yard line. At this juncture, an eight-yard gain by QB Austin Mayfield set up the big senior quarterback’s scoring strike to Zach Gill, his second TD of the night. Dylan Kidder’s conversion kick then put the Blue and White up 14-13 with 8:29 remaining to play.

Coach Jeremy McElroy and his crew didn’t exactly roll-over-and-play-dead, however, as the Red and White commenced a nine-play drive that took them just across the 50 where they were held by the Potters on a fourth-and-nine situation.

For a moment it looked as if the visitors had made the correct decision not to punt, as they sacked Mayfield on first down, but on the next play the senior quarterback fired a 53-yard scoring bomb to Gill to make it 21-13, following Kidder’s conversion.

The Beavers could do little with the ensuing kickoff, once again turning the ball over to Coach Josh Ludwig and his crew with 2:59 left to play – enough time for Mayfield to take it to the house from the 39 with 1:45 on the clock as Kidder’s kick made it 28-13, which would be the final score.

There was never a dull moment in the game, as the two teams racked up 630 yards of total offense between them with the Beavers rushing for 240 yards while Mayfield passed for 285 stripes in 16 attempts. His first TD came on his team’s initial possession 9:30 into the game when he found Gill from the seven.
Beaver Local then tied the game on a Michael Clendenning three-yard plunge with 36 seconds left to play before the intermission. Drew Theiss converted.

Torey Calio scored for the visitors on a 74-yard drive with the 4:09 left to play in the third quarter, but when the conversion kick hit the right upright, the Potter lead, which they would not relinquish, held up by one point, 14-13.


“It really feels good for these kids to finally win,” East Liverpool coach, Josh Ludwig said. “We always believed in them and tonight they believed in themselves. That’s how we won."

“Austin was huge in the second half,” the happy Potter coach said while standing among a crowd of fans along with the marching band in the center of Patterson Field. “I know the confidence is there now. If we can just eliminate some mistakes going forward, I think we can put some wins up,” said the third-year mentor."


Zach Gill became the first receiver in Potter history to catch three touchdown passes in a game and Mayfield became the ninth quarterback to throw three. The others were: 1922, Chuck McConville vs. Lisbon; 1960, Kenny Cunningham vs. Struthers; 1967, Mike McVay vs. Cleveland St. Joe; 1968, Dan Cunningham (on three occasions: Cleveland West, Boardman and Alliance); 1986, Pat Burson vs. Salem; 1989, Kevin Smith vs. Niles; 1996, Anthony Coles vs. Southern Maryland; 2000, Sean Yanni.vs. Buckeye Local.

Gill ended with eight catches for 168 yards, also a record. Pass reception leaders for a single game are as follows:

(3) 1992     Nate Boyd      vs. Nordonia                     6 for 150 yards
(4) 1996     Jeff Wright    vs. Southern Md.               6 for 148 yards
(6) 2001     Brett Green    vs. Buckeye Local             5 for 136 yards
(2) 2001     Brett Green    vs. Beaver Local                4 for 160 yards
(5) 2010     Andrew English vs. Youngstown East    5 for 143 yards
(1) 2016     Zach Gill vs. Beaver Local                       8 for 168 yards                                   

In addition, Gill is now among elite company with those who have had the most catches in a single game:
-(2) 1982         Jim "Boddie" White vs. Salem                        8 for 100 yards
(2) 1984           Mike Rickerd  vs. Wintersville                       8 for 62  yards
(2) 1987           Rick Jennings vs. Beaver Local                     8 for 72  yards
(1) 1989           Shawn Long  vs. Canton Central                   9 for 89  yards
1989           Shawn Long   vs. Oak Glen                           5 for 105 yards
1989           Shawn Long   vs. Niles                                   6 for 67  yards
1990           Jerry Barnes  vs. Buckeye South                   5 for 42  yards
1991           Tim McGeehan  vs. Salem                             5 for 66  yards
1991           Tim McGeehan  vs. Weirton                          6 for 37  yards
(2) 1992           Nate Boyd    vs. Weirton                               8 for 129 yards
1992           Nate Boyd    vs. Nordonia                             6 for 150 yards
1996           Jeff Wright   vs. Southern Maryland              6 for 148 yards
1997           Jeff Wright   vs. Buckeye Local                     5 for 115 yards
2001           Brett Green   vs. Buckeye Local                     5 for 136 yards
2001           Brett Green   vs. Beaver Local                       4 for 160 yards
(1) 2006           Tony Metsch   vs. Niles                                  9 for 43  yards
(3) 2006           Tony Metsch   vs. Weirton                              7 for 95  yards
2010           Andrew English vs. Youngstown East           5 for 143 yards
(2) 2016           Zach Gill vs. .Beaver Local                            8 for 168 yards

The game also saw the Potters compile the second most team yardage by pass in a single game. (285 by Mayfield, seven by Peyton Adkins for 292):
1952     268 yards       vs. Martins Ferry
1955     228 yards       vs. New Philly
1959     266 yards       vs. Toronto
1959     223 yards        vs. Bellaire St. John
1967     264 yards        vs. Dayton Dunbar
(3) 1968       289 yards       vs. Cleveland West
1989     246 yards       vs. Canton Central Catholic
(4) 1992       266 yards       vs. Nordonia
1992     233 yards       vs. Buckeye Local
1994     244 yards       vs. Beaver Local
(1) 1996       304 yards       vs. Southern Maryland
(2) 2016       292 yards       vs. Beaver Local

Mayfield became the fifth leading total offense individual single game leader with 323 yards (285 passing and 38 yards rushing:

 (2)1996 Anthony Coles         vs. S Maryland            376 yards
 (6)1996 Anthony Coles         vs. Salem                     321 yards
 (3)1998 Maurice Brown       vs. Steub Big Red        364 yards
 (1)1998 Robert Jackson         vs. St. Clairsville         477 yards
 (4)2008 Willie Leavell           vs. Salem                     332 yards
 (5)2016 Austin Mayfield       vs. Beaver Local         323 yards

Mayfield also moved into the third spot for the most yards passing in a single game

1924 Chuck McConville              14 for 25 vs. Salem unrecorded yds
 (4) 1952 Clair Williams                      10 for 19 vs. Mart'n Ferry 268 yds
1955 Jim Potts                              8 for 12 vs. New Philly   228 yds
1960 Kenny Cunningham            14 for 19 vs. Ygstn Rayen   206 yds
1967 Earl Diddle                         11 for 19 vs. Dayton Dunbr 264 yds
(2) 1968 Dan Cunningham                10 for 17 vs. Clevd West   289 yds
1984 Paul Ice                               17 for 28 vs. Wintersville 191 yds
1989 Kevin Smith                        13 for 20 vs. Oak Glen     215 yds
1989 Kevin Smith                        21 for 30 vs. Canton Cent  246 yds
1989 Kevin Smith                        13 for 22 vs. Niles        186 yds
1989 Kevin Smith                       12 for 27 vs. Wheeling Pk  197 yds
1990 Drew Cooper                      13 for 21 vs. Weirton      197 yds
1992 Tim McGeehan                   13 for 25 vs. Buckeye Lc   233 yds
(5) 1992 Tim McGeehan                    15 for 29 vs. Nordonia     266 yds
1994 Chad  Smith                        16 for 38 vs. Beaver Lcal  244 yds

1996 Anthony Coles                    13 for 15 vs. Southern,Md  304 yds
1997 Maurice Brown                    6 for 15 vs. Salem        207 yds
2010 Marky Thompkins               11 for 18 vs. Martins Fry  172 yds              
(3) 2016 Austin Mayfield                  16 for 25 vs. Beaver Local 285 yds

 The ELHS victory put the series at 20-18 in favor of the Beavers, dating back to the initial contest in 1962.

Both marching aggregations put on great shows with the drum corps from each band dueling on the practice field behind the press box during the third quarter.

The Beavers’ student body resembled a Barry Manilow concert with a bevy of flashlights.

The Potters followed the lead of teams from the southern portion of the country as they warmed up without pads because of the intense heat