A first half scoring explosion lifted host Newcomerstown to a 44-13 rout against Tuscarawas Central Catholic in Inter-Valley Conference action Friday night at Lee Stadium.
Head coach Eric Brock was upbeat after the game saying, I was proud of how our kids played. It was a good win for a young team and I hope we can build on it.
The Trojans (3-4, 1-2 IVC) got started quickly, putting up a trio of touchdowns in the opening quarter to bolt out to a 21-0 lead.
Trae Garlando got the Orange and Black on the board with an 18-yard scoring run after a bad snap on a Saints punt gave Newcomerstown the ball on TCCs 30-yard line. Ben Smiths first of five extra points made the score 7-0.
Central Catholic fumbled on its next possession and the Trojans set up shop at the visitors 10-yard line. Chandler Shryock had the honors this time, hitting paydirt on a nifty run from the eight-yard line.
Later in the quarter, Newcomerstown put together a 60-yard drive that ended with Garlando breaking tackles and hurdling players, aka Peyton Hillis, on a 25-yard scamper.
Our offensive line did a good job all night, said Brock. They blocked well for our runners and gave our QB time to throw. It was one of their best outings of the year.
Newcomerstown tacked on another 17 points in the second stanza to take a commanding 38-7 lead by halftime. The scores included a 32-yard field goal by Ben Smith; a 20-yard pass from freshman QB Austin Zufelt to Matt Ayres; and a two-yard TD toss from Zufelt to Shryock.
Brock commented, Austin is developing well in his position. He is very intelligent, makes smart plays, and has been very consistent.
The Trojans were on top of their game defensively as well. Central Catholics lone score in the first half came on a one-yard run by Michael Lawless.
Ayres was a beast on the gridiron with two sacks and four tackles for al loss, in addition to being in the backfield to cause general mayhem. As Brock noted, It was his best game of the season.
Cole McVay helped limit the Saints scoring by intercepting a pass in the end zone after they had driven deep into Trojan territory.
The Trojans also got an interception thanks to a double team effort with Shryock deflecting a pass that was then grabbed by Garlando.
We did an all-around good job on defense, said Brock. Trae played well as did Austin Stringer, our freshman linebacker, who does a good job reading the offense and making plays.
Neither team scored in the third quarter with Lawless crossing the goal line in the fourth period with a three-yard run for TCC (1-6, 0-4 IVC).
The Trojans got their final TD on a broken play that could make it into the Trojan playbook as a legitimate one. After Cody Hall got stopped at the line of scrimmage, he instinctively turned to flip the ball to Chris Yoho, who took it in seven yards for the score.
Newcomerstown racked up 363 yards of offense, including 160 yards on the ground with Garlando leading the way with 93 yards on eight carries. Zufelt hit on 10-of-23 passes for 203 yards, including a pair of touchdown strikes. Shryock finished with six receptions for 89 yards, including a TD grab.
The Saints accumulated 250 yards of offense, including 142 on the ground and 102 through the air on a 12-for-20 throwing effort with two interceptions.
The Trojans travel to Strasburg this Friday to take on the Tigers. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
Central Catholic 0 7 0 6 - 13
Newcomerstown 21 17 0 6 - 44
N-Garlando 18 run (Smith kick)
N-Shryock 8 run (Smith kick)
N-Garlando 25 run (Smith kick)
N-FG Smith 32
N-Ayres 20 pass from Zufelt (Smith kick)
TCC-Lawless 1 run (Pruni kick)
N-Shryock 2 pass from Zufelt (Smith kick)
N-Yoho 7 run (kick failed)
TCC-Lawless 3 run (kick failed)