Beaver Local brings out big plays in big win
CALCUTTA — The ninth-seeded Beaver Local Beavers utilized a quick strike, explosive offense to subdue the 24th-seeded Minerva Lions 53-14 in the first round of Division IV, Region 13 playoffs Saturday night.
The victory for the Beavers improves their record to 6-1. The Beavers will meet East Cleveland Shaw on Saturday on the road.
The win was the second over the Lions in this shortened season. The Beavers hammered the Lions 56-7 just three weeks ago.
“We were,” Beavers coach Mike McKenzie admitted his concern for a letdown entering the game. “I thought our kids had a pretty good mentality during the week. I didn’t see a letdown. But when we came out early, I don’t think we had that same energy level that we normally come out with. Part of that is a credit to Minerva.”
Minerva (0-7) has lost 13 straight and 57 or their last 58 games.
The Beavers scored on their first four possessions while only using 13 plays. But it was just a minute before halftime that the Beavers really put the game away.
With the Beavers ahead 26-7, and having just had a pass intercepted by the Lions at their own 26, the Beavers defense bent, but didn’t break. They forced the Lions to turn the ball over on downs at their own 8-yard line with just 1:15 before intermission.
That is when quarterback Tanner Johnston connected with Dylan Moore on a quick screen pass that Moore turned into a big play. Moore broke loose and outraced the Lions defense for a 92-yard touchdown and a 33-7 lead.
“I kind of debated whether or not we just wanted to get out of the half. But we ran the jailbreak screen to Dylan and he took it 92 yards,” McKenzie said.
“We needed that, because after that pick and they drove down and got so close, our guys were a little down. We weren’t giving up and we knew that one more score before the half would put the game away.” Moore said. “It was just a jail screen pretty much. It was wide open, everyone did their job. It was easy for me, it was just running.”
The situation got even worse for the Lions as they fumbled on the second play from scrimmage on their next possession. The Beavers quickly took advantage of the miscue as Johnston found Caleb White on a 34-yard pass down the middle of the field and a commanding 39-7 lead at halftime.
“Obviously, those two touchdowns in the last minute and fifteen were really big for us. It gave some cruising speed I guess you would call it,” McKenzie said.
The Beavers added two more touchdowns in the second half as White scored on a 35-yard run at the 7:39 mark of the third quarter, and Joseph Moore added a 10-yard run with just a minute left in the contest.
“We have a lot of kids that can go score, and catch the ball. Dorian Jackson has been kind of our, I don’t want to say forgotten receiver, but he hasn’t had as many stats as some of the other guys. But he had a nice touchdown catch tonight. We are blessed to have a lot of those guys,” McKenzie said of his many offensive weapons.
“Not one of us is a standout. They can’t just focus on one guy, they have to cover our whole offense. That’s the hardest thing to do for a defense,” Moore said.
The Beavers will face the eighth-seeded Cleveland East Shaw Cardinals (4-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday. at Euclid High School.
“I haven’t seen them,” McKenzie said. “We’ll have to go on the road and battle a tough team. It’s the next opponent up and we’re excited to be playing in the playoffs.”
“We worked so hard to get here and we knew this season was going to be weird. We’re happy to just be able to play one game, and we’re happy to make it through this season,” Moore said.
¯ East Cleveland Shaw played its regular season home games at Euclid after Shaw Stadium was condemned recently.
¯ East Cleveland Shaw has benefited from eight Cleveland Glenville players this season resulting in the team’s first winning season since 2011. The famed program was prevented from competing this season due to COVID, so Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. got the players placed with the Cardinals.
¯ Crestview split a home and home series with Shaw in 2017 and 2018.
¯ Minerva will close out the regular season the next three Fridays by hosting Alliance, Sandy Valley and then United. The game against United is tentative.
MINERVA: 7- 0-0-7–14
BL–Dylan Moore 33 pass from Tanner Johnston (Chase Flati Kick)
M–Ryder Hartshorn 1 run (Nick Chaddock Kick)
BL–Caleb White 11 run (Flati Kick)
BL–Johnston 61 run (Run Failed)
BL–Dorian Jackson 20 pass from Johnston (Kick Blocked)
BL–Moore 92 pass from Johnston (Flati Kick)
BL–White 34 pass from Johnston (Pass Failed)
BL–White 35 run (Flati Kick)
M–Jimmy Common 5 run (Chaddock Kick)
B–Joseph Monte 10 run (Micah Jones Kick)
First downs 11 4
Total Yards 225 343
Rushes-yards 45-200 16-104
Passing 25 239
Comp-Att-Int 2-11-1 9-14-1
Punts 3-38.33 1-26
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-47 1-5
RUSHING–Minerva, Ryder Hartshorn 11-73, Khail Louive 15-47, Jimmy Commons 10-23, Chace Martineau 3-21; Beaver, Caleb White 3-46, Tanner Johnston 5-47, Joseph Monte 5-18.
PASSING–Minerva, Brayden Costea 2-11-25-0-1; Beaver, Tanner Johnston 8-12-234-4-1, Logan Blissenbach 1-1-35-0-0, Austin Cline 0-1-0-0-0.
RECEIVING–Minerva, Zac Moore 1-15, Erick Murray 1-10; Beaver, Dylan Moore 5-143, Zane Kinsey 1-37, Micah Jones 1-35, Caleb White 1-34, Dorian Jackson 1-20.
INTERCEPTIONS–Minerva, Brayden Costea; Beaver, Noah Bowyer.
FUMBLE REOVERIES–Beaver, Noah Bowyer.