St. Clairsville did exactly what it wanted to do Saturday evening at Red Devil Stadium.
It got its first unit enough work to stay sharp and came out of the game healthy as head coach Brett McLean substituted early and often in the Red Devils' 56-26 victory against Dayton Jefferson.
"I was excited that we didn't mess around and we took care of our business early," McLean said. "We're healthy, we got a lot of kids into the game, which is important for our future."
St. Clairsville's Corey Ernest sacks the Dayton Jefferson quarterback Saturday at Red Devil Stadium.
The Red Devils, who were making their home debut, are now 3-0 and will certainly see a step up in competition this week. They go back on the road to Wintersville to meet fellow 3-0 squad Indian Creek as Buckeye 8 League play begins.
"It's a tough league schedule right out of the gate," McLean said. "The kids understand that and we're excited about getting through the non-league schedule."
The Red Devils didn't dig into bags of tricks against the Broncos. It actually went back to what worked last week against Brooke.
For the second straight week, seniors Matt Kinnick and Dan Monteroso hooked up on the first two plays the Red Devils ran from scrimmage for touchdowns. The latest two covered 58 and 26 yards, respectively. Zach Musilli was perfect on the first of his five PAT kicks.
"That's whay (Dan) is getting the opportunities (at the college level) that he's getting," McLean said. "We're going to cry when he goes, but we're going to highlight him as much as we can while we have him. But, (Monteroso) will be the first to tell you that it's a total team effort and Matt has to make the throw, protection needs to be there and they've just connected."
The Red Devils actually scored on all six of their possessions in the first half. Monteroso, who is bound for Boston College, would score twice more. He hauled in a 9-yard pass for a score and simply ran away from all 11 Broncos en route to a 55-yard punt return.
Before McLean officially emptied his bench, the lead swelled to 42-0 when Kinnick found junior Michael Ferns on what appeared to be a simple out pattern. Ferns made a move, ran over a Bronco and was gone for a 63-yard touchdown. Hayley Skukan was perfect on the first of her three PAT kicks.
Kinnick finished with a strong 5-of-7 for 169 yards. Junior speedster Jaylon Brown got into the act when he scored from 8 yards out. He carried just three times for 41 yards.
In the second half, the Red Devils scored on a pick six by Malik Gummer. He stepped in front of a Jefferson pass and raced 42 yards untouched.
The Red Devils' final touchdown was a 28-yard scamper by Ryan Busby.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Red Devils' first unit was impressive as it continually held Jefferson backed up in its own end zone. Its only first down against the St. C. starters came on a penalty.
Luke Smith, Corey Ernest, Cole Stephens, Ferns and Jerrid Marhefka turned in solid defensive games.
"We based our game plan a lot on what we saw from last year because we didn't receive a film until Thursday," McLean said. "I don't know if this series will continue, but Dayton Jefferson's kids played hard and were very respectful both times they've been here. We're hoping that we can get into playing some teams better for us in terms of geography."