ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — For the second week in a row, the Meigs Marauders dug an early 14-0 deficit before putting together a strong second half as the Maroon and Gold defeated Nelsonville-York 32-14 in TVC Ohio football action Friday night at Holzer Field/Farmers Bank Stadium.
It was a wet, cold and windy homecoming for the Marauders, and it rained most of the first half. The all-day rains turned the turf into a muddy mess, which slowed down both teams’ passing games and left footing almost hopeless.
The Buckeyes, under interim coach Erich Dean, have been through a difficult two weeks with a change in coaching and some player issues. But the Buckeyes came out fired up and controlled the contest for the first 12 minutes or so of action.
Most of the first period was played in Marauder territory as Meigs couldn’t move the ball, and Nelsonville-York was having success running the ball against the Marauder defense. The Buckeyes took the early lead when Colt Yinger scored from four yards, Garrett Maidens kicked the extra point at the 1:03 mark of the first for a 7-0 lead.
Meigs found itself deep in its own territory to start the second period. On fourth down, Kaileb Sheets punted from the end zone was blocked and Matt Carter recovered for Nelsonville-York for the touchdown. Maidens added the kick and the Buckeyes were on top 14-0 with 11:47 left in the half.
The Marauders took the ensuing kickoff and put together an 8-play, 65-yard drive with Sheets breaking loose for a 33-yard scamper and a shovel pass for the score at the 9:03 mark to cut the Buckeye lead to 14-6.
The Marauder defense made a strong play with 2:58 left in the half, when Hunter Edwards was hit as he tried to elude pressure and fumbled. Cody Bartrum picked up the loose ball and went 59 yards for the score, cutting the Buckeye lead to two at the half.
The second half was all Meigs however, and the defense made adjustments and the offense started to move the ball. A Nick Combs recovery of another Buckeye fumble set up the Marauders go ahead score.
On third-and-2, sophomore Lane Cullums took a counter play 45 yards for the score while giving a Buckeye defender a ride the final seven yards of the TD. The run was no good but the Marauders went on top 18-14 with 4:08 left in the third.
Christian Maddox set up the next Marauder score after picking off an Edwards pass and returning it 15 yards. Three plays later, Colton Lilly scampered 35 yards to pay dirt. Bartrum added the extra points for a 26-14 Marauder lead with 8:08 left in fourth.
The Marauders closed out the scoring when Trae Hood plowed in from a yard out with 1:31 left in the game to ice the victory.
“Give Nelsonville-York some credit, they played their heart out.” Marauder coach Mike Bartrum said after the contest. “They have had a rough couple of weeks and they came and were ready to play. They were a class act. We started out slow again, we need to start quick and get some first downs and get the momentum early. They ran it down our throats in the first half, but give Coach Willford, Coach Olexa and Coach Swann credit they made the adjustments at the half.”
Meigs was led on the ground by Sheets with 58 yards in 14 tries, Cullums ran twice for 45 and Lilly three times for 4. Trae Hood added 38 in six tries. The weather hampered Bartrum throwing the ball, Cody was 5 of 15 for 61 yards. Sheets caught three for 50 and Lilly two for 11.
Hunter Edwards led the Buckeyes with 26 carries for 59 yards, most coming in the first half. Jakob Talbert added 42 in eight tries. The Buckeyes played without their outstanding running back Alex Mount was injured.
Edwards was two of six in the air for 31 yards. Aron Davis caught one for 26 and Talbert one for five.
Meigs in now 5-1 on the season and 3-0 in the TVC Ohio. Meigs will travel to Athens next week. Nelsonville-York drops to 1-5 and 0-3 in the conference.
Dave Harris is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing.