LORE CITY - Monroe Central put the finishing touches on a solid season in dominating fashion Friday, handing visiting Buckeye Trail a 48-13 defeat in what is likely the Seminoles final game of the season.
White mathematically alive, a win by Campbell Memorial, the No. 8 rated team in Division V, Region 17, will likely keep Monroe out of the playoffs.
That didn't put the damper on the celebration in the Seminoles' locker room. Monroe finished 7-3. It claimed a share of the Pioneer Valley Conference championship. And it closed the season on a high-note.
Not a bad job for a team that battled through adversity and numerous challenges throughout the year."
"I'm extremely proud of our kids," Circosta said. "The adversity we experienced all year from before the season started until this week to finish 7-3 is a great season.
"They never quit and I'm extremely proud of them."
Monroe Central 48,
Buckeye Trail 13
Buckeye Trail0 7 0 6 13
Monroe Central21 14 7 6 48
M - C.Jorris 20 pass form Lafferre (kick fails)
M - Lafferre 1 run (Brown run)
M - Jorris 55 pass from Brown (Guiler kick)
B - Neely 1 run (Wilds kick)
M - Lafferre 15 run (Guiler kick)
M - Morton 14 pass from Lafferre (Guiler kick)
M - Sanger 5 pass from Lafferre (Guiler kick)
B - Dougherty 24 run (run fails)
M - Carothers 20 run (kick blocked)
RUSHING: Buckeye Trail 22-65-2td (Dougherty 11-49-td, Neely 6-4-td, Morton 5-12). Monroe Central 30-211-3td (Carothers 6-31-td, Lafferre 16-117-2td, Bronw 5-56, Schumacher 3-7).
PASSING: Buckye Trail 13-27-171-4x (Dougherty 12-25-130-4x, Starr 1-1-41). Monroe Central 6-16-135-4td (Lafferre 5-15-80-3td, Brown 1-1-55-td).
RECEIVING: Buckeye Trail 13-171 (Shipman 2-12, Beaver 4-78, Neely 2-34, Simmons 2-25, Kimble 1-2, Starr 1-22). Monroe Central 6-135-4td (Jorris 2-75-2td, Jones 3-15, Brown 2-2, Morton 1-14-td, Sanger 1-5-td).
FIRST DOWNS: Buckeye Trail 12. Monroe Central 15.
PENALTIES: Buckeye Trail 6-45. Monreo Central 10-56.
FUMBLES: Buckeye Trail 0-0. Monroe Central 0-0.
After losing nearly all of their key skill players to graduation, the season suffered a tough blow before the opening week when starting running back Curtis Nixon was lost to a knee injury. Injuries to other starters followed, including losing the services of 2-year starting center Chandler Carothers on Wednesday.
Freshman Tanner Potts assumed the role Friday, filling in nicely in Carothers' absence.
In typical Monroe fashion, it was its defense that set the tone in this one.
The Seminoles limited the Warriors to less than 100 yards of offense at the half, including just three rushing yards. Trail was unable to run the ball and while quarterback Morgan Dougherty threw for 130 yards, the 'Noles pilfered four passes.
"We wanted to get on them early and set the tone," Circosta said.
Offensively, it was the Korey Lafferre show again for the hosts.
The senior quarterback passes for 8 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 117 yards and two more scores.
A 20-yard toss to classmate Cameron Jorris got the scoring started early in the first. After Lafferre tacked on a 1-yard rushing TD it was sophomore Levi Brown who connected with Jorris for his second score on a 55-yard hookup to give Monroe a 21-0 lead after one.
Trail started the second quarter with its best drive of the game, capped by a 1-yard plunge from Tyler Neely to put the Warriors on the board.
But by the time Trail scored again on a 24-yard scamper from Morgan Dougherty, it was trailing 42-13.
"Our kids played hard like they've done every week but we have a tendency to not do the little things and when you do that continually, it makes it tough," Buckeye Trail coach Dale Broomhall said.
Lafferre later found both Gavin Morton and Aaron Sanger for short touchdown passes before Chase Carothers capped the 'Noles scoring in the fourth with a 20-yard run.
Corey Beaver had four receptions for 78 yards to lead trail. Dougherty led the ground game with 49 yards on 11 carries. The Warriors finished 4-6.
"Obviously, we'd like to continue playing and make the playoffs," Circosta. "But if not, we got to end the season on a positive."