Saturday morning's season opener for the St. Clairsville Red Devils' boys soccer team was a long time coming.
Head coach Gary Watt was anxious to get onto the field in a real game to see if his team could put some answers with their question marks.
The Red Devils found some, but certainly not all in their 4-2 victory against John Glenn on the turf at Red Devil Stadium.
T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Jarret Helms gets possession of the ball during the Red Devils’ season opener Saturday morning at Red Devil Stadium.
"We showed ourselves pretty good especially since we weren't sure what was going to happen because we lost so many players from last year," Watt said. "We had some guys step up who were playing a new position. They came through for us and played solid. We didn't answer all of our questions, but the way people stepped up is encouraging and overall I feel like this is a good start for us."
The Red Devils' defense was stout against the Little Muskies. The two goals St. C. allowed both came on penalty kicks. The first was for a handball in the box and the second came in the second half for a push.
"That was a little bit of inexperience," Watt said. "The handball was just a reaction and those things happen. Obviously, those things can bite you in a low scoring game, but we scored four and were able to overcome that."
After John Glenn grabbed the 1-0 lead, the Red Devils' offense went to work.
Senior Brock Ferrell tallied with 31:09 remaining in the first half off of a free kick from 35 yards out after a tripping call was enforced against the Little Muskies.
Five minutes later, the Red Devils had a lead they wouldn't relinquish when Jimmy Cash took a pass from Ferrell and scored on a break away in which he deked a player and found the back of the net.
The lead swelled to 3-1 with 9:44 to play in the first half when Ty Boone scored his first goal of the season off an assist from Cash.
A little more than eight minutes into the second half, John Glenn made it a one-goal game, but the Red Devils' defense stayed strong and Boone capped the scoring with a game-icing goal with 16:34 left to play.
"Ty was in a new position for us and he stepped up and played great with the two goals," Watt said. "I expect him, Zach Oliver and Jimmy Cash to all score a lot of goals for us this year. It was nice to see that they were able to finish."
After waiting so long to start the season, the Red Devils really crank it up this week as they host Tyler Consolidated on Tuesday and also play on Thursday.
"This was a good start," Watt said. "I am glad we waited to start (the season) because it gave us some extra time to develop. We had a bunch of scrimmages two weeks ago and then just practiced last week. We look a lot different already."
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org