Martins Ferry - September 28, 2018
When a high school football team falls behind by a score of 21-0 with 7:46 to play in the second quarter and they haven’t penetrated beyond their own 35-yard line, fans will usually expect the worst. Not so in this one – enter Jalen Moman, the Potters big fullback who had not played since Week One due to what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury.
With Martins Ferry kicking off, following a pair of TD receptions by Dasyn Hores (13 and 27 yards) off the arm of Jake Probst and another by Trent Rice of 18 yards, also thrown by Probst, Moman took charge. With the ball on the ELHS 28 he gained a total of 54 yards on runs of 9, 31, 13, and, finally, from the one to get his team on the score board. Derrick Carter with a four-yard run and Peyton Reed on a keeper contributed the rest of the yardage. Dominik Vallera split the uprights to make it 21-7 with 4:56 left to play in the first half, and the comeback was underway.
At this juncture, it looked as if Coach Josh Ludwig and his team would get even closer when, with less than three minutes to play in the second quarter, Noah Wheaton picked off a Ferry pass on his own 41 and took it to the house, but a roughing the passer call brought it back sending the teams to the locker rooms with Ferry upholding a 14-point lead.
The Riders’assault appeared to be picking up where it left off in the first half when it was deja vu all over again. This time Wheaton nearly duplicated his interception of the first half, only on this interception, there was no penalty, as he scored from 65 yards out with 8:37 on a third period clock. Vallera made it 21-14, but trouble was ahead for the Potter kicker.
After the Purple went three-and-out on their next possession, quarterback Peyton Reed called on a combination of Carter and Moman, along with throwing a nice completion to Timmy Neal, to score from 21 yards out with the young junior Carter doing the honors. Unfortunately the extra point was missed and it was 21-20.
Ferry displayed the championship caliber for which they are known, receiving the next kickoff and controlling the pigskin for 11 plays and a 27-20 lead on a Caleb Olsen 3-yard run. The extra point kick was blocked.
With 8:31 remaining, the Potters made it 27-26 on a six-yard run by Derrick Carter, but regrettably, the extra point was missed and the locals never got closer than mid-field as the game ended.
lockquotep>“We had our chances in the second half; unfortunately, we didn’t get it done as a unit,” East Liverpool coach Josh Ludwig said following one of the best games played at Patterson Field for many years.
“Nobody wants to get down early like we did. The kids kept playing and we were right there at the end with a chance. Unfortunately, a couple missed opportunities hurt us.
“You never want it to come down to the last play, then lateraling the ball like we were forced to do, but that’s the hand we were dealt,” Ludwig said. “You want to win when you have the chances.”
It was great to see Jalen Moman return to action following a serious knee injury in the season opener against Shadyside. Wearing a brace, the big fullback initially picked up a yard on the tenth play of the game. He returned after Coach Chas Yoder and his team went up 21-0 with 7:41 left to play in the second quarter, and what a difference he made picking up 88 yards on 16 attempts.
Derrick Carter led the Blue and White with 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 12 attempts. Caleb Olsen lead the visitors with 88 yards in 22 carries and what proved to be the go-ahead touchdown with 11:39 in the fourth quarter.
The team was treated to a nice Thursday night dinner by the mothers and L&B Donuts; looking forward to the final road trip of the season next week at Edison Local.