RICHMOND - If fans at Cartwright Memorial blinked Friday night, they might have missed a touchdown or two. Seven touchdowns of 30 yards or more were scored in St. Clairsville's 56-27 victory against Buckeye 8 rival Edison.
''The effort was there for 48 minutes,'' Edison coach Mike McKenzie said. ''They simply made plays where they had more speed than us.
''We had a tough week this week. We had about 12 starters out. Our kids stepped up and played. I'm very proud of them and their effort all night long. St. Clairsville just had a few better athletes than us.''
St. Clairsville quarterback Matt Kinnick lets one go against Edison on Friday night.
Edison surprised the undefeated Red Devils to open the contest.
During Edison's opening drive, it converted two third-and-longs. The second was on third-and-13. Edison quarterback Nolan Marcus dropped back to pass and then swung back to his left to throw a screen to running back Chris Graziani and he set up his blockers beautifully and the play culminated in a 55-yard touchdown gallop for a 7-0 lead
St. Clairsville didn't waste any time in responding. The Red Devils needed one play and 13 seconds to counter and an onside kick attempt by Edison was easily handled by St. Clairsville at its 49-yard line. Quarterback Matt Kinnick dropped back to pass on the team's initial offensive play and found Dan Monteroso on a post route.
Monteroso cut against the grain which prevented two Edison defenders from getting proper angles and 51-yard strike tied the game.
St. Clairsville's quick-strike offense plagued Edison throughout the contest. The Red Devils needed 15 offensive plays in the first half to score 28 points.
The Red Devils' second possession was a little longer than its first as it took three plays and a Jaylon Brown 50-yard romp to score the team's second touchdown.
Edison wasn't prepared to back down from after building a 14-7 deficit. The Wildcats responded with an 18-play drive, the key play coming on fourth-and-15 from St. Clairsville's 28-yard line. A pass interference call on a Marcus pass intended for the end zone gave Edison the ball at the 14-yard line and a first down.
Marcus found receiver Rich Springer along the seam for his second touchdown pass of the evening. Marcus missed the extra point, and Edison trailed 14-13 at the 8:48 mark in the second quarter.
Edison entered the game with a puncher's chance, and McKenzie's squad definitely delivered a few body blows. Unfortunately, St. Clairsville proved too much.
The Red Devils rattled off four unanswered touchdowns, each of the big-play variety. Another Monteroso reception in the end zone was followed by a Michael Ferns' 17-yard romp and a 40-yard run from Brown just after half. Add a Jarrid Marhefka 60-yard interception return into the mix, and Edison was down 42-13 with 5:35 remaining in the third quarter.
''We reacted well to being down,'' St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean said. ''That shows the maturity of this team. We want to put our pants on each week and go full throttle the entire time. We have to learn that lesson. When you get down the road where we hope to be, you can't spot people points and try to work your way back into games.''
Springer added his second receiving touchdown for Edison after St. Clairsville's blitzkrieg. The Wildcats' receiver finished with 127 yards as the team's primary offensive threat.
''Overall, we did what we had to do to win,'' McLean said. ''I think it's great for us to be in an environment early in the game where we had to take punches. We haven't played a lot of four-quarter games this year.
''Are we upset or mad that we didn't play a certain way? No. This is a high school football game, and anything can happen''