SARAHSVILLE - Monroe Central paid no attention to Shenandoah's homecoming as it shut out the homestanding Zeps, 48-0 Friday night.
The Seminoles started early and often on their way to a convincing defeat of the winless Shenandoah squad.
The Zeps were forced to punt on their first drive of the night. Lining up in what looked to be an attempt on fourth and 15, Zeps quarterback Danny Neuhart faked the throw and attempted to catch the Seminoles sleeping by delaying the punt. The Monroe Central defense didn't bite and broke through for the block and take possession on the Shenandoah 15-yard line.
Two plays later, Levi Brown waltzed in from 3 yards out for the first points of the evening. Josh Guiler polished off his first PAT of the night on his way to a perfect 5-5 on conversions.
On the next Zeps drive, Seminoles defensive back Derk Stephens intercepted a Neuhart pass. Levi Brown received the next two totes, but went down with an injury on the latter. He left the game for precautionary reasons, with an injury to his lower left leg.
"We came out and ran the ball. We lost Levi early and didn't want to take any chances," Monroe Central head coach Jay Circosta commented.
Four plays later, Chase Carothers reached for his first score as he took a hand off in from 6-yards out. The PAT left the Monroe Central lead at 14-0 with 6:17 in the first quarter.
Three minutes later, and with possession again, Noles' quarterback Korey Laffere connected on back-to-back completions to Carothers. The next play Laffere punched it in from 6 yards out.
The Zeps offense did pick up some steam at the end of the first period heading into the second as they manufactured a 14-play drive.
Consecutive incompletions halted that progress before the Seminoles took back over on downs.
They only got a chance to run two plays as Zeps Jesse Wikander hopped on a Monroe Central fumble.
"We moved the ball, and then all of a sudden, shot ourselves in the foot." exclaimed Zeps head coach Kaleb Lawrence. "We're there, just a step away; we just have to take it in certain situations."
Laffere reached pay dirt once more in the half as he scattered in from a yard out after a 28-yard preceding rush of his own. The score at the midway point sat at 28-0.
During the second half, Carothers reached for his second touchdown of the night less than 3 minutes into the half. Stephens snagged one of his two catches on the night from Lafferre for a late third quarter touchdown, and Zach Jorris capped off the scoring as the hard running offensive showing put on by the Seminoles stretched the margin to 48-0. In all, Monroe Central picked up 225 yards opposed to the Zeps, who accumulated a mere 39 yards.
Leading receivers were Carothers with 54 yards on 4 catches while Stephens hauled in 23 yards and a TD. On the ground, Lafferre netted 80 stripes on 10 carries, while Carothers picked up 50 on just as many attempts.
"It's good to be back in the win column but I still don't like the way we are tackling. We have kids playing in different positions so we have to focus on these things." said Circosta.
Next week the Seminoles take on the Shamrocks of Barnesville, who sat at 4-2 prior to this evening's game at Steubenville Central.
"We have Barnesville next week. Matt Johnson and his staff have done a great job this year, so we will get back to work." added Circosta.