Monroe Central fends off Caldwell
Someone forgot to tell winless Caldwell that it was supposed to lose.
Monroe Central came into Friday’s home opener against the Redskins coming off a huge victory against rival River.
The Seminoles don’t lose at home. And they certainly don’t get beat by one-dimensional offenses. Coach Jay Circosta’s teams generally feasts on run-only teams.
So Circosta was none too thrilled with his team’s performance in a hard-fought 15-8 win that was far more difficult than many expected it to be.
“You’re dealing with kids,” Circosta said as Monroe improved to 3-1, staring at a road contest against Fort Frye next week.
“We were coming off a big win against a good football team in River and they are kids.
“Don’t take anything away from Caldwell because they played hard.”
Caldwell’s offensive philosophy was simple. Line up with a full-house backfield, direct snap to either Andrew Minosky or Caleb VanMeter and run.
Seldom did the play call go outside the tackles.
The Redskins attempted only three passes, completing one.
They simply lined up behind a sizable offensive line, ran down hill and dared Monroe to stop them.
The ‘Noles only failed once to do so when VanMeter ripped off a 32-yard touchdown run with 6:11 to go in the third quarter. VanMeter tacked on the 2-point conversion run and just like that, the winless team with no chance had all the momentum and an 8-7 lead.
Monroe needed desperately to answer before things got out of hand.
The Caldwell players and their fans were riding high at that point.
On the next play, Cameron Jorris answered the call.
Korey Lafferre dropped back and fired a perfect bullet to Jorris, hitting the senior in stride. Jorris outraced the defense 73 yards for a touchdown. Lafferre tacked on the 2-point run and just like that, Monroe was back on top.
“It’s not easy being 0-3 and having to go through what we’ve went through but these are tough kids,” Caldwell coach Josh Perkins said. “That play was huge. Monroe always finds a way to make a big play when they need it.
“We have a great group of kids though. We will regroup.”
Caldwell had another opportunity to get back on top.
Tyler Willey picked off a Lafferre pass and set his teammates up at the Monroe 19-yard line. Three plays later and the ‘Skins had 1st-and-goal from the 9.
VanMeter was stuffed on three straight plays, twice in the backfield on huge stops from Jake Schuerman.
On 4th-and-goal, a Caldwell pass was deflected and the scoring threat was averted.
“That touchdown and that defensive stop were huge,” Circosta said.
“That just shows you how fragile we are. “(Dylan) Shapley went down early and then Lafferre was banged up and we really only had one person to carry the ball.”
That was Levi Brown, who picked up the bulk of his 71 yards on the ‘Noles final drive that stretched across midfield before being forced to punt.
Caldwell got the ball back with less than 3 minutes but the ‘Skins 2-minute offense was unable to generate any yardage.
Lafferre finished with 72 yards rushing, including a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Minosky had 63 yards for Cadlwell; Van Meter gained 85 on 19 carries.
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