SCIOTOVILLE - The East Tartans (7-4) saw their turnaround season come to an end during Saturday's 27-14 loss to Beallsville (9-2) in an Ohio Division VI, Region 23 quarterfinal at Allard Park.
Before the game, East coach Todd Gilliland said he did not want to get into a high scoring game with the visiting Blue Devils and the halftime score of 7-6 was proof of the Tartans plan in action, but the team from Monroe County got over their first-half mistakes.
"I told my team half time that we were alright," Beallsville coach Dave Caldwell said. "We played really stupid and made some dumb mistakes in the first half but in the second we put an emphasis on the run game and took over the game."
East received the opening kickoff but was forced to punt and Beallsville quickly capitalized with 5-yard touchdown run from Grahamm Dauch that finished a 7-play, 59-yard drive and gave the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter. The subsequent extra point attempt failed.
The Tartans was forced to punt again, but the East defense stiffened and held Beallsville to a 25-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left.
The teams traded punts before the Tartans put together a scoring drive that was capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Justin Crager to Austin Elrod tying the game at 6-6. The extra point was good.
The Blue Devils drove the ball down to the Tartans; 2 on the subsequent drive, but with two seconds remaining in the second quarter East's defense preserved their first-half lead when Dauch was stuffed on the goal line on the last play of the half.
East was outgained by Beallsville by 40 yards in the first half, with Crager having a hand in 115 of their 116 total yards.
Beallsville received the second-half kickoff and showed dedication to the running game as they marched 60 yards over five plays and scored on a 12-yard rush from Brandyn Heath to take 13-7 lead after the extra point.
The teams exchanged punts after two unsuccessful drives and East's offense continued to struggle but Crager's fourth punt of the game was muffed and recovered by Elrod at the East 43-yard-line.
The Tartans drove to the Blue Devil's 39-yard-line but a Crager fumble was recovered by Dauch at the 30-yard-line, ending another scoring possibility for East.
Beallsville made the most of its opportunity, driving 70 yards over 10 plays and scoring on a 1-yard rush by Dauch making the score 20-7 with 6:53 left in the game.
East's offense sputtered as running back Cody Belveal was in and out of the lineup because of injury and was once again forced to punt after moving backwards five yards.
However, the Tartan defense kept the team's hopes alive as sophomore Tyler Bradford recovered a Dauch fumble with 5:16 to play.
The Blue Devils responded by forcing a turnover of their own when Heath intercepted a Crager pass with 4:22 to go.
The next play, Heath lost his handle on the ball and East recovered at their own 9-yard-line with 4:22 to play.
Three incompletions and a Dalton Secrest sack later the Tartans turned it over on downs giving the Blue Devils the ball on the 1-yard-line.
Beallsville capped their scoring with a Heath touchdown dive from one yard out giving the Blue Devils a 27-7 lead with 2:39 left.