Magnolia Outlasts Monroe Central
The Eagles’ Nick Priem returned to the starting line-up and tossed a pair of touchdowns,, and ran for another to help Magnolia win its first football game of the season, 19-14, over Monroe Central Sept. 30 in Woodsfield.
The Eagles took the opening kick and blazed down the field to the Seminoles’ 18-yard line. From this point, Priem tossed a screen to Chase Street, who would take it to the house; however, it was notified and backed the Eagles back to their own 29-yard line. Priem would then throw an interception at the four yard line.
The Magnolia and Monroe Central defenses held tough and forced back-to-back-to-back three-and-outs before the Seminoles started their final drive of the first period at their own 40 yard line.
Facing a third and long twice, the Seminoles gained a 31-yard run and a 15-yard pass to the seven yard line to end the first period.
After a six yard run to the one, the Blue Eagles’ Mike Hamrick and Sebastian Stickler each recorded back-to-back tackles for losses, setting up a fourth and goal at the five yard. Magnolia’s Chase Street put some pressure on the ‘Noles quarterback and forced an errant pass to give the pigskin back to Magnolia.
A motion penalty backed the Eagles to the two and a half, before Street carried numerous Seminole defenders for a three-yard gain. Facing a second and long, Priem dropped back and connected with Leo Herrick for a 94-yard pitch and catch down to the one-yard line. Priem, just back from a turf-toe injury, gutted it out and scored on a keeper to open the scoring. Patrick Mirandy, split the uprights to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead at the 8:49 mark of the second period.
Mirandy’s ensuing kick went into the end-zone for a touch-back. The Seminoles picked up nine yards on a QB keeper, and got a new set of downs after the Blue Eagles jumped off-sides. Street made a touchdown saving tackle on a 48-yard run.
It looked like the Eagles’ defense was going to stop the Seminoles once more in the red-zone after an incomplete pass and an Cameron Stillwagner tackle for loss of yards, forcing a fourth and 10 from the 20 yard line. However, Monroe Central took the lead with a 20-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion pass to grab an 8-7 advantage.
The Eagles went right to work after the ensuing kick, at the 34 yard line. Street rambled for 25 yards, and then a three-yard run down to the MC 39 yard line. Peau Halahingano and Brooks Parsons each caught a Priem pass, setting up a first and goal at the five-yard line with 2:06 left in the first half.
Magnolia fumbled, but recovered at the seven-yard line. A few plays later, the ball was resting on the one yard line. Facing a fourth and goal at the one, the Eagles was backed up five yards on a motion penalty. Priem raced to his right and hooked up with Herrick, but was stopped a little short and Monroe Central took over.
The Seminoles took a knee to end the first half and went into the locker room with an 8-7 advantage.
The Magnolia defense held the Seminoles to a three and out to start the second half and started its opening second half drive at the 40 yard line.
Street opened the drive with an 11-yard run, but the drive stalled when Priem was intercepted for the second time at 45 yard line.
The Magnolia defense held Central to another three and out and would begin its next drive at their own 18 yard line after the ‘Noles punt.
With the help of a Street block, Parsons ran 60 yards with 15 additional yards on a Monroe Central face-mask, taking the ball down to the 10 yard line. The Eagles were backed up once again on their second motion penalty in the end-zone. After a holding call against the Eagles that backed them up to the 28 yard line, Parsons reached the 11 on a reverse on a nice gainer. However, the Eagles couldn’t stick it in, and Monroe Central took over.
However, the Eagles’ Drew LeMasters would pick-off a ‘Nole pass to give the ball back to Priem and Co. at their 39-yard line with 4:21 left in the third period. But Magnolia would be forced to a three and out, with Monroe Central taking over at the 23-yard line. However, Stickler and Gage Adams would make back-to-back tackles for loss of yardage to force a three and out. On the Eagles’ next drive, Parsons looked like he was going to the house, but was tackled down at the Central 34 yard line.
Forced to a third and eight at the 32 yard line to start the fourth period, Priem connected with Street on a 32-yard touchdown screen pass to go up 13-8. It was the first time this season that Magnolia had led in the fourth period.
However, the Seminoles ran the kickoff back to the 16 yard line, six plays later they scored on a one yard keeper to get the lead back at 14-13 with 9:07 left in regulation. Parsons returned the ensuing kick to midfield, and Street rushed 13 yards to move the chains into Monroe Central territory.
However, the Eagles couldn’t respond and had to punt, which landed at the two yard line. However, the ‘Noles responded with a 15 yard pass play, but the Blue would strap up their helmets and go to work and forced a punt. Street returned the punt 25 yards to the 28 yard line. From there, Street, Parsons and Street moved the chains and was setting pretty at the 16 yard line. Priem hooked up with Herrick once more for another first down to five yard line with 4:22 left in the game.
Quite a few times earlier, the Seminoles stopped Magnolia’s scoring chances, but this time the Eagles offense was hoping for a different outcome. It looked bleak after a tackle for loss and a incomplete pass. However, Street looked like he was Superman as he flew over defenders for the go ahead touchdown, at 19-14, after the blocked PAT. Monroe Central, with 3:27 left, started its last drive 70 yards away after the ensuing kick. Five plays later, Monroe Central worked its magic and had a first down at the 22 yard line after passing interference.
However, the Eagles’ Herrick picked off Monroe Central to seal the victory for the Blue Eagles and give MHS Head Coach Dave Chapman his first MHS head coaching victory.
“It was definitely a team win,” said Chapman. “Chase showed why he is one of the better tailbacks around.. his running and catching the ball out of the backfield, were key… the two touchdowns he caught.. he just has the ability to make guys miss… and his speed got him into the end-zone. Our defense was superb all night, and we made the big stop at the end with the Leo Herrick interception to seal the victory. We made 12 tackles for loss of yardage and two interceptions,” added Chapman. “I thought Brooks played well running and catching the ball that set us up for a couple of scores, and Leo Herrick big catch and run early in the game got us going. I’m very proud of the guys in how we battled all night. It was very deserving for the guys, they all earned that win.”
Priem was 14-24 for 243 yards and two touchdowns, while Herrick grabbed three for 108 yards, Parsons hauled in six passes for 76 yards, Street grabbed four receptions for 41 yards, and Halahingano nabbed two passes for 12 yards. On the ground, Street totaled 85 yards, while Parsons tacked on 84 yards.
Defensively, Stickler led the way with nine stops, with five of them for loss of yardage, while Street hauled down eight Seminole ball carriers. Matthew Gaiser stopped seven, while Halahingano blasted six. Half of Stillwagner’s six tackles went for loss of yardage, while LeMasters made three tackles, forced a fumble and made an interception. The Big Blue will travel down river Friday to tangle with Marietta at Marietta College football field at 7 p.m.