ALBANY, Ohio — Meigs broke open a close game with 20 third quarter points while shutting out Alexander in the second half en route to a 41-15 win over the Spartans in TVC Ohio football action Friday night.
The win breaks the Marauders four-game losing streak. Meigs ends their season with a 4-6 mark overall and a 2-4 mark in the Ohio Division. The Spartans finish the year at 1-9 and 0-6.
The injury-plagued Marauders went into the contest with a depleted roster and had two more key players on the shelf for the contest. Junior tailback Lane Cullums and sophomore end Zach Bartrum both dressed but didn’t play for Meigs.
But sophomore Cole Adams and junior quarterback Zach Helton provided the spark for Meigs. Adams, who was seeing his first extended playing time in the offensive backfield, rushed for a career-high 132 yards in just 17 tries. Helton carried 15 for 122 yards and scoring three touchdowns and throwing one for Meigs.
The Marauders received the opening kickoff and Christian Mattox gave the maroon and gold field position with a 36 yard return. Six plays later Helton kept it on a fourth and goal from seven yards out. Layne Acree added the kick for a 7-0 Marauder lead at the 9:33 mark of the period.
The Spartans came right back to take a 8-7 lead with big Chace Harris blasting over from the three. Harris added the extra points to give the Spartans an early 8-7 advantage.
Meigs drove inside the Spartan 15 later in the period, but Adams coughed up the football with Alexander recovering at the Meigs 17. The Marauder defense held the Spartans to a four and out and sophomore Matthew Brown was able to get a hand on Harris’s punt, the punt traveled 13 yards giving the Marauders a first down at the Spartan 30. Four plays later Adams scored from three yards out to give Meigs the 13-8 advantage.
Meigs with their two minute offense working to perfection scored with 1:11 in the half to take a 21-8 lead into the locker room at the half on a three yard run by Helton. Meigs drove 64 yards in six plays with Helton completing passes of 29, 12 and 10 in the drive, which just took 53 seconds of the game clock.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half quarterback A.J. Marks cut off tackle and went 65 yards for the score. Brendan Niggmeyer added the extra points and it was a 21-15 Meigs lead.
Meigs then took advantage of short scoring drives and good defense to put the contest away. Two plays after the Spartan score Helton hooked up with Mattox on a 37 yard scoring toss. Adams added the extra points and a 29-15 Marauder lead.
The Spartans had good field position after a short Meigs kick and a Marauder penalty. On first down Harris blasted for 40 yards to Meigs one foot line. Two straight run by Harris lost two yards and on fourth down Helton picked off a Marks pass in the end zone to end the threat.
Alexander again drove deep in the Marauder territory, but on fourth and three from the Meigs Marks fumbled the snap from center and Brown recovered for Meigs. On first down Mattox hit Jared Kennedy for 69 yards to the Spartan four. Helton scored on the next play for a 35-15 Marauder lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, the squib kick bounced high in the air, and Adams picked it out of the air for Meigs. On first down Mattox and Caruthers hooked up for a 34 yard pass play to the two. Helton scored the game’s final points at the 3:20 mark of the third with a two yard run and a 41-15 Marauder win.
Adams ran 17 times for 132 yards to lead Meigs, Helton added 112 on 15 tries. Helton was 12 of 12 in the air with two interceptions for 130 yards, Mattox was two of two for 103 yards. Mattox caught five passes for 88 yards, Caruthers added four for 54, Kennedy three for 85 and Adams two for six.
Marks led the Spartans with 109 yards in 21 tires, Harris the Spartans 6-foot-3, 225 battering ram of a back carried 15 for 94. Marks was seven of 17 in the air for 55 yards, Harris threw twice with an interception. Conner Kimbrough caught three passes for 39 yards and Stone Markins-Irwin three for 19.
Seniors finishing their career at Meigs included Cody Bartrum, Tyler Bachtel, T.J. Williams, Freddie Hill, Layne Acree, Trae Hood, Adam Cotterill, Keaton Huffman, Tyler Shull, K.J. Tracy and Jared Kennedy.
Dave Harris is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.