The River Pilots scored in every quarter, including 21 points in the fourth period, to knock off Glouster Trimble 45-15 Nov. 7 and advance to the regional final in Ohio Division Six against Malvern in Steubenville Friday night.
Tyler Brooks started the Pilots on the right foot when he took a handoff by junior quarterback Dylan Potts and out ran the entire Trimble defense for an electrifying 73-yard run to pay dirt.
There was no more scoring in the first period, but the Pilots added seven more in the second on a Brooks two yard blast. After two successful point after kicks by the sure-footed Tanner Wright, the Pilots had raced out to a commanding 14-0 advantage.
However, Tremble scored a safety on a blocked Pilot punt in the end zone and caught a 23-yard pass to narrow the gap to 14-9 at the break.
The Pilots — cool, calm and collected — scored 10 unanswered points in the third on a Wright 23-yard field goal and a Brooks two-yard run for a 24-9 lead.
Trimble would not go away and scored early in the fourth on a five- yard run but the Pilot defense rose to the occasion and blocked the conversion kick. Cody Caretti recovered the onside kick, and three plays later, Brooks found pay dirt, turning on the jets in a 48-yard run with a pass from fullback Jordan Clegg. Another Trimble punt led to a Brooks 30- yard scamper.
Brooks scored again when he picked up Trimble punt that no Trimble player had touched and ran unchallenged 37 yards to sew it up with 1:52 left in the game.
Brooks carried the load for 182 yards and four touchdowns for the Pilots, while Clegg and Taylor Potts added 71 and 52 yards, respectively. Dylan Potts threw 11 passes, completing seven for 94 yards. His passes went to Taylor Potts for 52 yards, Daniel Starr for 38 yards and to Tyler Brooks for four yards.
Wright was perfect on seven PATs, but credit holder Cody Caretti for putting the ball down nicely each time.
The stingy Pilot defense — led by Clegg, J.D. Duke, Tyler Jeffers, Travis Wells, Joey Asturi and Jeremy Corrick — held Trimble to a mere 25 yards on 25 carries,and eight first downs. River gave up only two yards to Trimble’s top rusher with 1,200 yards on the season.
Wells led the defense with seven solo tackles, four assists and three quarterback sacks. Duke had eight solo tackles, two assists and three quarterback sacks, while Clegg blasted seven Tremble runners on solo tackles and added three assists and two tackles for loss of yardage.
The 12-0 Pilots, the top defensive team in Division VI, will now face Division VI top ranked offense squad, Malvern, in Steubenville this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
River High School will be selling pre-game tickets for the playoff game with Malvern on Friday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be held at Harding Stadium in Steubenville. All pre-sale tickets are $7. Tickets at the gate will be $9. There are no special prices for senior citizens or students. Tickets will be on sale Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and on Friday from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.