Prep football: Tigers blanked by top-ranked Zanesville 60-0
Zanesville is the top-ranked football team in Ohio Division II, and it showed Friday night at Don Drumm Stadium as the Blue Devils dominated Marietta in every phase of the game in a 60-0 rout.
Zanesville amassed 429 yards of total offense in the game. While it took the Blue Devils just under a minute into the game to put together a 51-yard touchdown drive, the Tigers finished the contest with the same amount of yards.
Zanesville quarterback Thomas Wibbeler threw for 219 yards and five touchdowns while Jamal Gladden, Darien Daniels and Leandre Crosby combined for 124 yards on 16 carries.
The Blue Devils picked up 13 first downs and did not punt in the contest.
The win gave Zanesville a perfect 10-0 record, the second undefeated regular season in Blue Devils history.
For Marietta, the loss dropped its record to 2-8, doubling last season’s win total. The Tigers have not posted a winning record since 2002.
Friday night, the Tigers were unable to capitalize on some opportunities.
“It’s been that theme all year,” said MHS head coach Adam Eichhorn. “We’re still just not at the point where we can capitalize when we’re in position, but that’s just part of growing. Those are the growing pains. The last couple years we didn’t have those opportunities, so that’s progress.
“Now the next step for us is putting it in the end-zone and getting those three and outs. It’s something to build on, that’s for sure.”
Marietta attempted an onside kick to open the game but it was recovered by Zanesville. A late hit gave the Blue Devils the ball at the Marietta 36-yard line before a 22-yard run by Gladden brought it to the 14. Wibbeler then connected with Jordan Church on a 12-yard pass before Gladden punched it into the end-zone from two yards out. Logan Graham’s kick made it 7-0.
Marietta lost eight yards on its ensuing possession and was forced to punt from its own 12, giving Zanesville good field position at the Tigers 43.
Marietta forced Zanesville into a 4th-and-5 situation, but a 12-yard completion from Wibbeler to Dar Stanford moved the chains. After a holding penalty negated a touchdown run on the next play, Zanesville immediately found the end-zone again on a 36-yard pass from Wibbeler to Stanford to make it a two-score game.
Marietta threatened on its next drive. Quinton Coffield got it started with a 9-yard carry, plus a facemask penalty, to put the ball at the Tigers 45. On 3rd-and-10, Coffield took the shotgun snap and faked a run before completing a pass to Chance Wright for a 9-yard gain.
Coffield then went up the middle for the one yard needed to pick up the first down.
MHS would get to the Zanesville 34 before Coffield was sacked for a 10-yard loss.
The Tigers fumbled on the following play, recovered by Zanesville, to kill the potential rally.
The Blue Devils made that turnover hurt as they responded with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Wibbeler to JT McFarland. Graham hit the PAT to make it 21-0.
After the Marietta offense sputtered again on its next drive, the defense rose to the occasion with a much-needed big play. Gladden was hit in the backfield and coughed up the ball, which Marietta’s Anthony Kimbrough fell on to set the Tigers up at midfield.
It looked again like the orange and black would finally dent the scoreboard, as Coffield made a nifty reception on a ball thrown into double-coverage by quarterback Trent Dawson for a 40-yard gain. Unfortunately for the Tigers, holding was called in the backfield to wipe out the play. Marietta ended up punting, and Zanesville countered with an 18-yard scoring strike from Wibbeler to Granger Long to extend its lead to 28-0.
Marietta would enter Zanesville territory only once more in the game, turning it over on downs as Zanesville’s D was nails.
The Blue Devils scored 32 unanswered points the rest of the way to cap their regular season in a big way.
For Zanesville, it’s on to the postseason as the Blue Devils will host a first round playoff game.
For Eichhorn and the Tigers, the 2013 season comes to a close. “It wasn’t what we wanted, what these kids wanted,” Eichhorn said. “When you look at adversity and teaching these kids life lessons, they hung in there. They battled the last three weeks, some of the toughest games that anybody would ever have to play. They battled and they went toe to toe. That’s what you’re proud of as a coach.”