River Pilots Lose Two Quarterbacks In Defeat
River hosted the Newcomerstown Trojans at Flannery Field Sept. 4 to open their 2009 season, but ball control and injuries plagued the Pilots that resulted in 49-7 loss.
Both the Pilots and the Trojans were playoff contenders last season. The Trojans have built on last season’s success, while the Pilots are working hard to fill some key positions lost to graduation and injuries.
It did not take long for the Trojans to take charge and put points on the board with an early safety for a 2-0 lead. A few plays later, the Pilots lost the ball back to the Trojans that resulted in a Trojan score.
The Pilots had yet to
advance the ball passed the midfield point. River quarterback Dylan Potts’ pass to Tyler Jeffers in the second quarter was intercepted and resulted in another tally for a Newcomerstown 16-0 lead.
Potts was sidelined with an injury near the end of the second quarter and gave way to back up quarterback Cody Caretti. Once again, the Pilot offense was held short of a first down and turned the ball over for a Trojan score on a 33 yard pass play. That, that made the score 22-0 in favor of the visitors.
With the Trojans leading 22-0, and with 9:06 left in the half, a River pass was intercepted and taken to the house for a 23 yard touchdown by the Trojans.
Just before the half, Caretti also was sidelined with an injury, bringing in freshman quarterback Tony Caldwell. Caldwell teamed up with Jeffers to advance the ball quickly down field in making three first downs. Caldwell seemed to have found a hole in the Trojan defense, but unfortunately, the advance was short lived as time expired, ending the half.
The second half of play started with the Pilots receiving the kick-off deep in Trojan territory. After three plays, the Pilots were unable to advance the ball and punted. The punt attempt was blocked and the Trojans once again capitalized on River’s misfortune, picking the football up and carrying it in for another touchdown.
After receiving the kick-off, the Pilots ran one play before losing the ball once again. With 7:32 left in the third quarter, Newcommerstown crossed the goal line to make the score 43 to 0.
In the final minutes of the game, River’s Greg Caretti scored on a two yard blast and Tanner Wright added the extra point.
The Pilots were led by freshman quarterback Cody Caldwell. He came in relief of Potts and Cody Caretti, connecting on 15 passes for 122 yards. However, he had two tosses intercepted. Jeffers caught nine passes for 80 yards and paced the Pilot defense with 11 solo tackles, two of which went for loss of yardage. He also added six assists. Austin McConn also had a nice defensive game, too. He put down eight Trojan ball carriers and assisted on four others, including three tackles that went for loss of yardage.
The Pilots, despite giving away the ball, had one more first down than Newcommerstown.
The Pilots will lick their wounds and be ready to make some noise against county rival Monroe Central at home Friday night. They will then cross the river to take on Magnolia Sept. 18 at 7:30 pm.