In Uhrichsville Friday night Sept. 30 the New Philadephia Quakers landed many blows to the Claymont Mustangs early and often.
The Quakers scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and then continued their assault on the end zone with three more scores in the second quarter. At the half New Philadelphia led 40-0 and then tacked on one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, during the running clock, to win easily over Claymont 47-0.
This was the first night of conference play in the East Central Ohio League, so the Quakers start the year 1-0 in conference play and move to 5-1 overall. The Mustangs snap a two-game winning streak and drop to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
New Philadelphia was led on the ground by junior running back Kye Crowthers who owned the end zone on Friday night. Crowthers scored four times from 1, 4, 11 and 35 yards out and rushed for 142 yards from the Quaker’s backfield.
Senior quarterback Logan Bitikofer tossed two touchdowns and was an effective 11-for-14 passing. A pair of dropped balls in the first quarter could have been sure touchdowns and would have made Bitikofer’s numbers nearly perfect, but the Quakers still had plenty of points and a comfy lead.
“We challenged our kids to come out and get a fast start and that is what we did tonight,” said New Philadelphia’s head coach Matt Dennison. “We asserted our will early on and had a great first half defensively as well.”
Bitikofer drilled a 24-yard pass to Jelani Walker for the Quakers’ first touchdown to get the scoring party started. Crowthers then started his blitz on the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown halfway through the opening quarter and then with just under a minute left in the first quarter, Crowthers scored again from 35 yards. (video) New Phila, with a impressive balance of running the pigskin and chucking it, led 20-0 after one quarter.
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Crowthers wasn’t done.
With 5:56 left in the second quarter Crowthers took a 14-yard run down to the 1-yard line and then on the next play he carried it across to put the Quakers up 26-0 as the extra point try was no good. (video)
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If you’re keeping score at home, that’s three TDs for Crowthers.
In the final 2:06 of the second quarter the Quakers put up two more touchdowns on Claymont before the half. Bitikofer hooked up with senior Lukas Kimble for a 23-yard touchdown on a 4th and nine play where the efficient quarterback nailed his tight end in perfect stride for the score.
Crowthers’ final score came with 1:40 left in the first half after L.J. Lowery came up with an interception to set up the Quakers’ offense deep in Claymont territory. The 1-yard bounce into the end zone before half by Crowthers put the Quakers up 40-0 at the break.
Claymont coach Thom Lesiecki made it pretty clear that tonight, the Quakers were just the better football team.
“They are just better,” said Lesiecki. “There’s a reason they play the teams they do. They are a very good football team. They are bigger and better then we were and they took it to us. We’ll need to learn from this.”
With the running clock moving quickly in the second half, there were not as many possessions. The Quakers did however tack on one more touchdown with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter when freshman Tayvon Anderson scored from a yard out. (video) The score put the Quakers up 47-0, which would be the score at the final horn.
1. Kimble’s touchdown came on a pretty call by Dennison and his staff. The Quakers had been using some crossing routes to set up big pass plays, but on the TD pass to Kimble New Phila saw something they could capitalize on and they did just that. After the game, Kimble’s teammates rewarded the strong tight end for his performance by giving him the dog tags, a New Philly tradition.
“We just ran him vertical and if he gets leverage we have a good chance of connecting on that play,” said Dennison. “He got the dog tags for the night.”
2. The New Philadelphia sideline erupted with excitement in the fourth quarter and it had nothing to do with scoring a touchdown. The Quakers marched out their second defense, or JV defense, against Claymont in the fourth quarter and it looked as though the Mustangs were finally going to get in the end zone when they sustained a drive inside the Quaker’s 30-yard line. Instead of giving up points the New Philadelphia youngsters held their ground and shut down the Mustangs’ drive, hanging onto the shutout.
“Our kids take a lot of pride in what they do and our young guys got a great opportunity to step up tonight and they did,” said Dennison. “It was fun watching those guys on offense and defense fly around and make plays tonight.”
3. For the Mustangs, coach Lesiecki said his team still has to focus on the big picture and get back to their winnings ways next week. The Mustangs still have hopes of making a run at the playoffs said Lesiecki. Claymont has River View (0-6), Meadowbrook (2-4), Coshocton (6-0) and Maysville (4-2) left on the its schedule.
“We can’t lose focus on what the big picture is here,” Lesiecki said. “The big picture is we want to get in the playoffs. We have four games left on our schedule that, if we do what we are capable of doing, you never know what’s going to happen.”
4. New Philadelphia played great on offense, but they also did pretty darn good on the other side of the ball. In the first half, the Quakers only allowed 10 total rushing yards in the first half and held Claymont under 100 yards of total offense for the game. Since the Mustangs have been averaging over 300 yards per game on the ground coming into the contest, that is quite the feat for the New Philly defense.
Man in Motion – OhioSportsTicket.com Player of the Game
Pretty easy pick this week. Our Player of the Game goes to Crowthers who bounced off tacklers and romped all over the field for a massive Friday night. Crowthers was a wizard at not forcing runs into holes that didn’t exist, rather he was patient at the first level of defense and then once he got to the next level he was a tough cookie to tackle.
Video of the Night
New Philly’s Lukas Kimble hauls in a 23-yard touchdown catch on gorgeous pitch and catch with his quarterback Logan Bitikofer.
— OhioSportsTicket.com (@OhioTicket) October 1, 2016