**Ryan Schultz Photo
There is a sports quote that talks about putting your foot on someone’s throat when you’ve got them down.
Garaway adhered to that method when it faced Tuscarawas Central Catholic Friday, Oct. 23 in Sugracreek.
Garaway put its foot on the throttle, and proceeded to throttle the Saints at every turn, eventually putting their foot down at the end of the firs quarter to romp to a 54-13 victory in Inter-Valley action.
The big first quarter start that saw the Pirates put up a 35 through 12 minutes was exactly what Garaway head coach Jason Wallick wanted to see from his team.
“We had talked before the game about not giving them an ounce of hope,” said Wallick. “If you don’t give them an ounce of hope they won’t have a pound of success, and that is what we wanted to establish early on.”
Not only did the Pirates establish that early on in their 54-13 victory on The Hill in Sugarcreek, they made it a mandate pretty much throughout the contest.
From the opening drive, Garaway left little doubt as to exactly how dominant it would be on this night.
Garaway quickly took the ball to open the game and marched directly down the throats of the Saints, before quarterback R.J. Jacobs smashed in from the one to make it 7-0 after a Joel Honigford extra point.
After a quick Saints series saw them have to punt, Garaway freshman Brady Winters took a short pass and sped downfield, sliding past would-be tacklers as he came within a whisper of a long touchdown. Another Jacobs plunge from the one made it 14-0, and the route was on.
The Pirates got tricky after they stymied the Saints’ offense yet again, the tricky scoring play being set up by another long Winters play, this time a 40-yard run that got them to the one yard line again.
This time, Jacobs flipped the ball back to Ty Hamsher, who looked poised to bolt to the end zone, but stopped sort of the line of scrimmage and lofted a pass to Johnny Grant in the end zone for the 2-10 lead.
There was no ounce of hope to be found anywhere on The Hill for the Saints.
Another TCC punt after a three-and-out series, and Jacobs darted to pay dirt again to make it 28-0, and the first quarter hadn’t even come to an end.
By the time Jacobs found Winters on a little out pass that Winters turned into a 15 yard score with 1:34 still left in the first quarter, it was 35-0 and Garaway was imposing its will on the Saints.
“We were clicking early on both sides of the ball,” said Wallick. “We set the tone early on all three aspects of the game tonight. I was pleased that we kept playing hard throughout the night, no matter who was out there, and we kept coaching hard, because everything we do is a learning opportunity for us out there, and we want to take advantage of that.”
The Saints got their first big play of the game on offense when quarterback Dean Green did an impressive Russell Wilson impersonation, escaping a number of pursuing Pirates on third-and-17, and racing down the left sideline for a 29-yard pick-up. But that drive would quickly stall, and the Jacobs would find a streaking Carson Troyer down the middle of the field for a 47-yard scoring strike and a 41-0 Garaway advantage.
One stop of TCC’s offense later, and Garaway would end the half by producing a Winters 24-yard scoring romp that would give the Pirates a 47-0 bulge at the break.
Quinn miller’s 8-yard scoring run gave Garaway its final touchdown mid way through the third period, and with his team leading 54-0, Wallick began emptying the Pirates’ sideline, giving his starters a well-deserved rest of the night off.
TCC would take advantage of the second and third stringers, producing a pair of late scores. The first came at the end of the third quarter when Green ripped off a 45-yard sprint to the end zone, Logan Gonano’s extra point being blocked. The second would come in the fourth quarter when Logan Addleman plunged in from one yard out, to finish off the scoring, the scoreboard reading 54-13 in favor of the home team.
“I was pleased the way we came out ready to play football from the onset tonight,” said Wallick. “We don’t take anybody lightly. We are 5-4 now, and when we were 9-0, we didn’t take any team lightly.
They’ve got a few playmakers on that team, and we wanted to be very focused tonight. Our kids did a nice job of doing that.”
Sometimes statistics can hide the outcome of a football game. The stats on this night only made it all the more clear as to how dominant Garaway was.
The Pirates won the total yardage battle on offense 465-209. Garaway earned 9.12 yards per play, while TCC struggled to a nominal 4.3 yards per play.
Winters put together his finest effort of the season, toting 10 carries for a whopping 150 yards and a pair of scores. Winters also hauled in four catches for 98 yards.
Jacobs had an efficient night, completing 10-of-12 passes for an impressive 221 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes. He also ran the ball for 38 yards on 10 carries, adding a pair of touchdowns.
Troyer grabbed two passes for 68 yards and miller grabbed three balls for 45 yards while adding the rushing TD.
On defense, Ian Hershberger and Kody Stress both recorded five solo tackles on the night, while Hershberger received rave reviews from Wallick for his effort in the kick-off game.