ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Don’t blame head coach David Tennant, and the Meigs Marauders, if they wished the football season was just starting instead on ending.
The Marauders seemed to be putting it together in the last couple games and dominated Alexander in a rare Thursday night contest, upsetting the Spartans 30-7 in front of a sparse crowd on a cold wet blustery night at Holzer Field/Farmers Bank Stadium.
The contest moved to Thursday evening to allow for live television coverage, was played after rain fell most of the last two days, and heavy winds and sharply dropping temperatures made conditions poor at best.
But the conditions didn’t seemed to affect the maroon and gold. Meigs rolled up 388 total yards, while holding the Spartans to 113 — with 67 of those coming on Alexander’s first offensive play of the contest,
Abe Lundy led the Marauder attack as the bruising 6-foot, 230 pound junior running back punished the Alexander defense with 135 yards in 23 carries and four scores.
The Marauders received the opening kickoff and on first down Coulter Cleland hit Landon Acree, who was seeing his first action in several games for 36 yards. The Marauders drove to the Spartan 33 before turning the ball over in downs.
On first down, Jordan Cantrell blasted up the middle and out ran the Marauder defense for a 67 yard score. Kyler D’Augustino added the extra points for a 7-0 Spartan advantage at the 9:08 mark of the first period.
The Marauders scored on the first play of the second period, when Lundy scored from the one to cut the Alexander lead to 7-6. That play was set up when Cleland hit Wyatt Hoover for 38 yards on third and nine from inside their own 20.
The Marauders received a huge break four plays later when a bad snap on a Spartan punt gave the Marauders the ball at the 11. Two Lundy runs, the last coming from four yards out gave the Marauders the 12-7 lead. Lundy then added the extra points and Meigs held a 14-7 lead with 8:56 left in the half.
Noah Metzger broke off a 42 yard run in the third period, but a Spartan defender punched the ball out of his hand and Alexander recovered at their own four. But the Spartans returned the favor when Cantrell fumbled on the next play and Matt Gilkey recoved for Meigs at the Spartan seven. Two plays later Lundy bulled over from the six, Lundy’s extra points made it 22-7 Meigs with just seven second left in the third period.
Senior quarterback Kyler Ashburn picked off a Kaleb Easley pass three plays later. Three plays later Lundy took a direct snap through the legs of Cleland and faked everyone out taking it 57 yards for the score. Meigs again went to their bag of tricks and kicker Caleb Burnem ran it in for the extra points for the 30-7 Marauder senior night win.
Seniors playing their final game for the maroon and gold included Jeffery Fitzwater, Tucker Smith, Cameron Burnem Tyler Wolfe, Landon Acree, Matt Gilkey, Ethan Watson, Drake Hall and Kyler Ashburn. As a salute to his seniors,Coach Tennant led all the seniors in uniform carry the ball as the Marauders ran out the clock.
Lundy led the Marauders with his 135 yards and four touchdowns, Metzger added 68 in nine carries, Jake McElroy added 24 in one carry and Cleland had 15 in four tries. Cleland was 6 of 15 in the air for 123 yards, Hoover had three receptions for 76 yards, Metzger two for 11 and Acree one for 36.
Cantrell; led the Spartans with 88 in 11 carries, Easley added 34 in 15 tries. Easley was six of 12 in the air for just three yards. All coming to six different receivers.
Meigs now owns a 30-5-1 mark all time against the Spartans, they finish the season at 2-8 and 1-5 in the TVC. Alexanders falls to 4-6 and 1-5.
Dave Harris is a sports correspondent for Ohio Valley Publishing