Creek shoots down Jets

MORRISTOWN – Union Local head coach Bruce Stiles has to feel like a broken record as often as he’s found himself talking about his team shooting itself in the foot.

It’s definitely not lip service from the first-year head coach because the Jets have been going through ammunition with regularity during their three-game losing streak.

Victimized by five more turnovers and a lack of offensive punch, the Jets’ skid reached four as Indian Creek snapped its own two-game slide with a 33-14 victory.

“Indian Creek’s a good team and they played well and we made mistakes,” Stiles said. “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot offensively, but we’ll get back to work.”

The Redskins came to Belmont County looking at it as a “character game” after head coach Andrew Connor challenged his club all week. Obviously, it responded.

“This was more about us and making sure we didn’t let this (season) spiral out of control,” Connor said. “I thought we had a lot of energy early and that was big for us.”

The Redskins’ energy took over on its first possession after Union Local moved into enemy territory, but the drive stalled. Three plays following a Jets’ punt, Indian Creek had struck up its more than 100-piece band on a 28-yard Blake Roar burst. That was set up by a 62-yard carry by quarterback Jonathan Woodbury.

The PAT snap was botched, but holder Chris Mazar alertly scooped up the ball and found junior Zach Connor for the 2-point conversion.

“I think we did a good job of mixing our offense up and after that first drive, I thought our defense played well,” Coach Connor said. “I thought we controlled Union Local’s offense and got back to playing defense like we’d played early in the season.”

After a Jets’ 3-and-out, Connor dug into his bag of tricks. On a first down play on the UL 26, the Redskins found paydirt on a flea-flicker as Woodbury, who ran for 102 yards on 12 carries and passed for 66, found senior Corey Goodrich all alone in the back of the end zone. The PAT was wide and it was 14-0.

Roar, who wears a lot of hats for the Redskins, got back into the act with 4:50 to go before the half when he took a handoff and dashed to the end zone from 31 yards out. The PAT failed and the game was 20-0 at halftime. Offensively, he rushed for a game-high 104 yards on nine carries. He also had an interception.

“Our defense has been playing well all season and it kept us in the game in the first half for the most part,” Stiles said. “Mike Menges has done a tremendous job, but unless we get some offense going, the defense can only stop teams for so long.”

Any thoughts of a Jets’ comeback were quickly tainted in the third quarter.

Roar appeared to be hemmed in along the Redskins’ sideline, but weaved his way through the Jets’ defenders and raced 93 yards to the end zone. Lee Utt was perfect on the PAT and it was 27-0.

“We’ve been doing better on special teams the last couple of weeks,” Connor said. “This was just big for us to get back to playing Creek football.”

The decision to kick the ball deep was one that Stiles wishes he had back.

“That was a huge play,” Stiles said. “We decided to kick it deep to make Creek take it the length of the field with their style of play, but it probably wasn’t the best decision, was it? But, (Roar) made a heck of a play.”

After inserting freshman Shane Smolenak into the lineup at quarterback, the Jets’ offense got untracked somewhat. He engineered both UL scoring drives, which resulted in Jake Leishman touchdown runs.

The senior back, who ran for 87 yards on 10 carries, scored from 7 and 52 yards away in the second half.

Union Local was outgained by the Redskins, 455-176. The Redskins ran 66 plays compared to the Jets’ 46.

The Jets’ receiving corp was led by sophomore Demitree Turner, who caught 3 passes for 55 yards.

Both teams face stern tests in Week 8. The Redskins host once-beaten Martins Ferry, while the Jets welcome undefeated Shadyside.

Staskey can be reached at