Talk about setting the tone for a game. After the Garaway Pirates did their thing and shut down the Newcomerstown Trojans’ offense in the opening possession of their week-nine Inter-Valley Conference showdown on Friday, Oct. 20, The Trojans were forced to punt.
It might have been wise to keep it out of the hands of Garaway junior Brady Winters. Winters grabbed the punt and ripped through 11 Trojan punt defenders, twisting, turning and finally sprinting his way to a 72-yard touchdown on the punt. His effort jump-started a fun night for the Pirates, who dealt Newcomerstown a 53-15 defeat.
While the punt return didn’t add to Garaway’s total yardage numbers by evening’s end, Garaway did plenty of damage otherwise, racking up a whopping 540 total yards. Dawson Ley threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns while Winter averaged 17 yards every time he touched the ball on the ground. He piled up 152 rushing yards that helped the Pirates amass 307 yards rushing.
After the big kick return, the Pirates stumped the Trojans a second straight time, forcing a punt. Garaway drove down, and Ley rambled into the end zone on a 14-yard scamper to make it 14-0 after Peyton Miller’s extra point.
Newcomerstown showed some fight by going on a three-minute drive that culminated with a 14-yard Gavin Weaver to Nick Lengyel touchdown strike to trim Garaway’s lead to 14-7.
Neither team could push across a score the rest of the first period, but just over one minute into the second quarter, Winters took a Ley hand-off and reeled off a stunning 50-yard touchdown to put the Pirates up 21-7.
A quick stop by Garaway’s defense gave the ball back to the prolific offense, and that resulted in Ley finding Austin Fearon for a 14-yard score. The second-quarter fun continued after Garaway got the ball back quickly and Ley hoisted a scoring strike of 22-yards to Peyton Miller.
Before the half would end, Ley would continue to chuck TDs, finding Winters on a 33-yard touchdown with 2:38 to play in the half to give the Pirates a quite comfortable 39-7 half-time lead.
A half-time delay that allowed both school bands to perform didn’t cool off Ley, who started the third quarter by hoisting a touchdown strike to Peyton Miller for a 46-yard TD and a 46-7 edge. As the third quarter wound down with the play clock now on continuous running mode, Braden Yoder took over and powered his way in from the 5-yard line for a 53-7 Garaway lead.
The Trojans would get a late score off of Garaway’s back-ups when Wyatt Conner plunged in from 3-yards out. Then he added the two-point conversion to make the final score 53-15.
After giving up the early first-quarter score, Garaway’s defense stiffened, and the starting crew held the Trojans’ offense in check, led by Dillon Donaldson, who was all over the field racking up eight solo tackles. Kory Stress wasn’t far behind, making seven solo stops, while Dylan Hershberger and Miller added four apiece.
Offensively for Newcomerstown, Chase Bryant caught six passes for 103 yards, good for a 17.2-yard average per reception. Lengyel added two catches for 49 yards. Conner rushed for 113 yards on 23 carries while Weaver was an efficient 11-of-16 passing for 167 yards.
In addition to Ley and Winters’ impressive numbers, Braden Yoder added seven carries for 82 yards, Ley rushed three times for 38 yards and Ethan Miller reeled off an impressive 21-yard gainer on his only carry of the night.
Winters ended up catching five balls for 76 yards, Miller hauled in two passes for 68 yards with an impressive 34 yards per catch and Jaydon Miller caught three balls for 33 yards.