Brown out in St. C.
Bellaire head coach Jose Davis cautioned his team all week about St. Clairsville’s ability to ring up points in a hurry.
Seeing is believing for the Big Reds, who got a first-hand look at the Red Devils’ explosiveness Friday night at Red Devil Stadium on Homecoming.
The Red Devils had no fewer than five scoring drives that lasted three plays or fewer en route to a convincing 58-14 victory against the Big Reds.
“We talked all week about not being able to give up the eight-second touchdown drive and we gave them up tonight,” Davis said jogging off the field. “Our season is no-where near over and we’ve got to re-group and get back to work.”
Davis and the rest of the Big Reds might have nightmares about Red Devils’ junior speedster Jaylon Brown, who ran around and through the Big Reds to a tune of 224 yards on 19 carries and he scored five touchdowns.
Brown also got involved in the Red Devils’ passing game to a tune of three catches for 99 yards and another touchdown.
“The name of the game is wrapping up and tackling,” Davis said. “In football, if you can’t tackle, you can’t win and basically we didn’t tackle well.”
All told, Brown finished 323 yards of offense and six touchdowns.
“Jaylon is really coming into his own,” said Red Devils’ head coach Brett McLean. “It’s neat to watch him and how he’s progressed. I can’t believe the night he had. I guess we should have gotten him another yard (receiving) somewhere.”
Brown opened the scoring with an 88-yard touchdown reception from Matt Kinnick. On the next Red Devils’ drive, he plunged in from a yard out. After another Zach Musilli PAT, it was 14-0 Red Devils.
“Those penalties were mental errors and we’ve got to get those corrected or those could eventually come back to really haunt us,” McLean said. “We had big play after big play and we’re nullifying them ourselves. That’s not in character for us, but I think we got a little over excited.”
After the Big Reds made it 14-7 reading on a 61-yard, untouched scamper by Nick Maffe, the Red Devils went back to Brown a couple of possessions later.
Brown ripped off a 65-yard scoring jaunt early in the second quarter and delivered a stiff arm of a Big Reds’ defender at about the 20 yard line before racing the rest of the way.
The Big Reds drove into the red zone on the ensuing possession, but a sack from Jay Gossett on fourth down gave the ball back to the Big Reds.
An 11-play drive, which included three Red Devil penalties that negated lengthy or scoring plays, was capped with a 26-yard field goal by the steady Musilli.
The Big Reds showed their character and answered the Red Devils three with a six pointer. Junior quarterback Spencer Badia, who faced pressure much of the night, found Quinton Crosby for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Dalton Conroy’s placement made it 24-14 with just 66 ticks showing before halftime.
St. C. senior Dan Monteroso – the Boston College bound wide receiver – returned the kick deep into Big Reds’ territory. He then caught back-to-back passes for 26 yards to the 2 and from there, Brown finished the drive with another touchdown, making it a 31-14 reading at the break.
“This was a good team effort because it was a fist fight early,” McLean said. “We need tested like that and I am glad it happened. We need to be able to show character in those situations.”
The Red Devils scored on their first two plays of the third quarter. Brown went 63 yards for another touchdown and Kinnick found senior Jerrid Marhefka for a 42-yard pitch and catch.
Senior Haley Skukan – who chose the white rose which made her Homecoming Queen at halftime – was perfect on three PAT kicks in the second half.
Brown capped his day with a 4-yard plunge with less than four minutes to go in the third.
The Red Devils added a final touchdown in the fourth when senior Justin Callarik scored from 44 yards out.
Kinnick was effective again throwing the football. He completed 11-of-19 passes for 233 yards. He was picked off for the first time this season when Big Reds’ senior Nick Patrone pilfered an aerial in the first half.
Monteroso caught six balls for 80 yards, while Marhefka made two grabs for 54.
The Big Reds’ vaunted passing game was held primarily in check. Badia completed 8-of-22 for 96 yards. He was picked off twice. Crosby caught four balls for 72 yards. Maffe led the ground attack with 80 yards on five carries. Hunter Westlake added 48 yards on four carries.
Along with the aforementioned Gossett, St. C’s defense received strong play from Luke Smith, Michael Ferns, Corey Ernest, Marhefka, who had an interception; Titus Lepic, who had an interception and Derek Shunk.