Tigers still looking for first ECOL win

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
The Marietta High football teams runs onto the Don Drumm Stadium gridiron before a game against New Philadelphia earlier this season.

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times The Marietta High football teams runs onto the Don Drumm Stadium gridiron before a game against New Philadelphia earlier this season.

With hopes of reaching the playoffs very slim, the Marietta Tigers will try and finish the 2017 campaign with a winning record as they host an always tough Dover Tornado team Friday night at Don Drumm Stadium in an East Central Ohio League contest.

The Tigers likely feel like they let one get away from them last week when they led 20-13 at halftime only to see Cambridge score 14 unanswered points in the third quarter en route to a 27-20 win.

Senior running back Dominic Vanfossen ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches against the Bobcats and has now piled up more than 1,000 yards on the season.

Sophomore quarterback Corbin Alkire completed 10-of-21 pass attempts for 112 yards and a touchdown while Anthony Avendano returned a kickoff 83- yards for a touchdown in the Tigers conference loss to Cambridge which squared their season mark at 4-4 and dropped their conference record to 1-2.

The Tigers own wins on the season against Morgan (26-7), Warren (50-16), Williamstown (49-14) and River View (46-0) but have struggled of late, dropping four-of-their-past five games to the likes of St. Marys (63-19), Parkersburg (45-10) and New Philadelphia (49-14) in addition to Cambridge.

Dover comes into the contest with a 5-3 mark and a modest two-game winning streak after trouncing Cambridge (52-7) and Zanesville (40-7) the past two Friday nights.

Key players for the Tornados include quarterback Alec Sayre and receivers Ian Sexton and Owen Pollard.

WARREN (0-8) AT

LINSLY (7-1)

WHEELING, W.Va. — The Warriors have just two chances remaining to capture that elusive first win of the season beginning with Friday nights long road trip to Linsly to take on a Cadet team that has won seven straight games.

Last Friday night, the Tim Carver-coached Warriors fell at home to Weir (44-6), their third loss of the season to a West Virginia school.

The closest that Warren has come to a victory on the season was back in week five when they dropped a 17-14 decision to Oak Glen on a last second field goal.

Key players for the Warriors include quarterback Evan Gandee, running back Tyler Schafer and receiver Ronnie Hill.

Linsly dropped their season opener to Mogadore (28-0), but has not been beaten since with wins coming over the likes of Martins Ferry (7-3), Beaver Local (28-17), Carrick (42-18), Beallsville (53-0), Wheeling Central (21-13), Western Reserve (35-10) and River (34-14).

Players to keep an eye on for the Cadets include quarterback Wyatt Hirt, running back Nick Falbo and receiver Eli Petho.

FEDERAL HOCKING (0-8) AT WATERFORD (7-1)

WATERFORD — A pair of Tri-Valley Conference, Hocking division teams heading in completely opposite directions will do battle Friday night when the Wildcats welcome the winless Lancers to Waterford.

A week three loss to Fort Frye (23-19) is the only blemish on a near perfect campaign for head coach Eric McCutcheon and his Wildcats.

A win over FedHock will clinch a TVC championship for the second straight season for the green and white as well as secure their second straight playoff berth.

The Wildcats came away with a hard-fought 14-6 win last week at Southern, scoring the game-winning touchdown in the final period on a 10-yard run from quarterback Peyten Stephens who was actually playing running back at the time as Waterford used a full house backfield to power their way to the win.

Junior running back/linebacker Braden Bellville came up huge on both ends of the field as he ran for 110 yards on 18 carries and came up with an interception to end Southern’s hopes of tying the score late in the game.

Bellville has rushed for 1258 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season on just 148 carries while also hauling in 8 pass receptions for 232 yards and three more scores.

The Lancers come into the game mired in a slump that has now seen them drop their past 29 games with their last win coming way back in 2014 against none other than Waterford (16-14).

Key players for Federal Hocking include receiver Trevor Bell and running back Gavin Conkle.

Last season in Stewart, Waterford easily handled the Lancers 55-0.

FRONTIER (1-7) AT

MONROE CENTRAL (4-4)

WOODSFIELD — If the postseason were to start this weekend, Monroe Central would be in after reeling off three consecutive wins over Magnolia (31-19), Shenandoah (24-22) and Barnesville (36-14).

Now the rejuvenated Seminoles must win their final two games against Frontier and West Muskingum and then get a little help to stay in the top eight to qualify for the playoffs.

The ‘Noles struggled early on against a very tough schedule but have rallied to win four of their past five games behind the arm, legs and feet of senior quarterback Ryan LaFollette.

LaFollette has rushed for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns and completed 50-of-104 pass attempts for 839 yards and eight more scores while also handling the place kicking duties for the Jay Circosta-led Seminoles.

Joey Wise has proven to be a nice compliment to LaFollette in the ‘Noles backfield as he has rushed for 395 yards and three touchdowns while Cooper Rush (13-292, 4TD) and Zac Jones (11-263, 2TD) have developed into outstanding weapons at the receiver positions.

The Johnny Schmidt-led Cougars would like nothing more than to play the role of spoilers Friday night as they try to snap a losing streak that now stands at five dating back to their week three win at home against Ritchie County (22-6).

The young Cougars, who have been plagued by the injury bug throughout much of the season will likely rely on the young tandem of Logan Brookover and Noah Barnhart to provide most of the offense against Monroe Central.

Last season Monroe Central claimed what would prove to be their lone win of the season against Frontier as they blanked the Cougars 37-0 in New Matamoras.

BELPRE (3-5) AT

EASTERN (3-5)

REEDSVILLE — Another pair of TVC school will go to war in what figures to be a very evenly matched football game as the Golden Eagles travel to Reedsville to take on the Eastern Eagles

Belpre had playoff aspirations as recently as two weeks ago but back-to-back losses to Miller (21-0) and Valley (48-7) have them in need of a pair of wins just to end their season at .500.

Last week against Valley, Belpre managed just a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Tojzae Reams as the Golden Eagles were dominated from the start in a 48-7 loss.

Belpre managed just 177 total yards while Valley totaled more than 400, including 316 on the ground.

The Golden Eagles have plenty of weapons offensively including Reams and fellow running back Isaac Tulius as well as quarterback Brandon Simoniette.

Eastern comes into the game in a bit of a funk as well as they have lost their past three games to Waterford (35-8), Wahama (33-12) and Trimble (31-0) by a combined score of 99-20.

The Eagles are led by quarterback Nate Durts as well as running back Josh Brewer and receiver Sharp Favemyer.

Last season in Belpre, the Golden Eagles nipped Eastern 25-20.

MORGAN (1-7) AT

PHILO (5-3)

DUNCAN FALLS — The Raiders will make the short trip up Route 60 to Duncan Falls Friday night looking to upset a very solid Electrics squad.

The 2017 campaign has been a bit of a disappointment for head coach Derek Bragg and his squad as after a five- win season a year ago, the Raiders own only a week four win over winless West Muskingum (67-7).

Last Friday night Morgan managed to limit a very good Shenandoah Zeps team to just eight points but were unable to score a single point in an 8-0 loss in McConnelsville.

Wes Pauley rushed for 59 yards on 15 touches while Cole Earich totaled 46 yards on 10 carries.

Morgan quarterback Dakota Leopold completed 9-of-16 pass attempts for 80 yards.

Philo comes into the game on a bit of a down note as well as they dropped a 13-10 thriller last week to Maysville, a game that leaves them on the bubble for a playoff berth with winable games against the Raiders and New Lexington left to play.

CALDWELL (3-5) AT

BARNESVILLE (2-6)

BARNESVILLE — The 2017 football season has been one of ups and downs for a young Caldwell Redskin team that finds itself in need of a pair of wins in the seasons final two games to finish at .500.

After trouncing both Conotton Valley (53-7) and Frontier (42-26) in their prior two games, Caldwell traveled to Fort Frye last week looking to surprise the Cadets but instead came back home on the short end of a 33-0 shutout.

The Redskins have turned over the reigns at quarterback to freshman Tanner DeVolld while senior Drew Ivey is now the featured back in the Caldwell backfield.

The young ‘Skins could not muster much offense at all last week against a very good Fort Frye defense as they totaled just 114 yards and eight first downs.

Ivey managed to gain 63 yards on 21 touches while DeVolld completed 5-of-12 pass attempts for 20 yards.

Barnesville has lost three games in a row including a pair to PVC schools in Fort Frye (36-0) and Monroe Central (36-14).

The two schools did not meet in 2016.

WILLIAMSTOWN (4-4) AT CATHOLIC (0-6)

PARKERSBURG — After a tough, tough start to the season Williamstown will look to continue their resurgence as they travel to Parkersburg to take on the winless Crusaders.

Catholic has struggled with injuries and low numbers all season long and will need to play outstanding football to have any chance to knock off the Terry Smith-led ‘Jackets.

Key Catholic players include quarterback Alex Schriner, running back Jeb Boice and receiver Nick Stricker, as well as lineman Joel Stophel and Jalen Brunny.

The Yellowjackets got off to a very non-Williamstown like 1-3 start but have now won three-out-of-four to square their season mark at 4-4 with winable games against Catholic and Tolsia to close out the season.

Last week the ‘Jackets beat up on Wirt County (46-8) as quarterback Carter Haynes ran for one touchdown and passed for two more.

Haynes completed 7-of-9 pass attempts for 153 yards including touchdown strikes to Eric Brown and Colin White.

The Williamstown signal caller also ran for a team high 116 yards on 12 touches while Ty Moore and Evan Amos each added 38 yards rushing.

Last season Williamstown downed Parkersburg Catholic 41-12.

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