Weirton - October 21, 2016
When a high school football team gains only four yards in 19 rushing attempts and is flagged 17 times for 180 yards in penalties, one would expect such a haphazard effort to end in a blow-out.
Not so fast sports fans, as the East Liverpool Potters were barely defeated by the Weirton Red Riders on this rainy Friday night, 11-7, at Patterson Field.
The balance on the scale was even more lopsided in favor of Tony Filbrito and his team as they ran off 74 plays to EL's 46 (counting punts) and out-gained the Potters 234 to 126 in total yards.
Weirton' only touchdown, which proved to be the game winner, came with 7:32 remaining in the contest, when Domenick Murphy scored from the two with the conversion making it 11-7.
The Riders had previously score on a pair of safeties. The first came when Austin Mayfield was dropped in the end zone attempting to pass on a play that originated on his own eleven at the 7:55 mark in the second quarter.
The big quarterback was sacked once again; this time with 4:50 remaining in the third quarter, once again from 11 yards out.Coach Josh Ludwig and his team were able to score their only TD on a 36-yard bomb to Noah Shaw 6:13 into the game. Dylan Kidder made it 7-0.
“I felt our defense did a pretty good job containing them," EL Coach Josh Ludwig told a group of reporters assembled on the muddy field following the game. "We put them in a good spot a lot of times. We had a few red zone stops and turnovers, but did exactly what we wanted to do tonight. We shut down the run and kept them from passing the football. We made them earn everything they had."
"I think the seniors left it all out there in a very emotional night. From week one to week nine, I don't think I've seen a bigger game from a team," Ludwig concluded."
It was senior night as 15 members of the team, who will be lost to graduation, walked from the end zone to the 50-yard line with their parents for their final appearance at the West End Park.
These included: Aaron Bombich, Dylan Kidder, Austin Mayfield, Zach Gill, Noah Shaw, Cory Cotter, Dakota Ice, Hayden Jackson, Evan Deringer, Freddie Plum, David Locke, Ryan Tanner, Jason Todd, Danny Wells and Zach Morris.
Following the game, a new tradition was started as the entire team walked the length of the field with their classmates to be greeted by their parents and the marching band at the north end of the field.
Coach Josh Ludwig was quick to recognize his coaching staff and their wives, for their dedication and their leadership.