WEIRTON - They had a blast at Jimmy Carey Stadium Friday night at the final football game in the 76-year old facility.
There were visits by numerous former Weir High athletes and coaches, there was a great halftime performance by the current Weir High Band and alumni, the senior athletes on the football, golf, soccer, band and cheerleaders were honored, and there was the largest crowd of the season. Since it was the final game at the venerable stadium, a giant fireworks display closed out the evening, but the 2011 Red Rider football team didn't seem to be inspired.
East Liverpool won its first game and final game of the season by 40-0 to end with a 1-9 record.
CLOSING NIGHT — Weir High’s Eric Piatt runs the ball during Friday’s final game at 76-year-old Jimmy?Carey Stadium. East Liverpool kept the Red Riders winless with a 40-0 victory.
-- Mike Mathison
Meanwhile, it was the ninth straight loss by the Red Riders this season and 12th consecutive setback over the past two campaigns. Weir High has won two of the last 29 games.
First-year head coach Jason Kekseo was at a loss to explain the lackluster performance by his Red Riders.
"I just don't know what to say," he said. "We came out flat and I don't know why. We had all this celebration going on, but we just didn't show up to play football tonight."
East Liverpool 40, Weir High 0
East Liverpool 20 20 0 0 - 40
Weir High 0 0 0 0 - 0
EL-T. Thompkins 1 run (kick failed), 7:21
EL - T. Thompkins 30 pass from M. Thompkins (Mackey kick), 2:35
EL - M. Thompkins 41 punt return (Mackey kick), :39
EL - M. Thompkins 33 run (Mackey kick), 10:43
EL - English 42 interception return (kick failed), 5:51
EL - M. Thompkins 42 run (Mackey kick), 1:10
RUSHING: EL, 38-249-3TD (T. Thompkins 16-42-TD, Williams 12-82, Yoho 5-21, M. Thompkins 5-104-2TD); Weir, 27-2 (Marshall 3-2, McLaughlin 9-30, Digiralomo 3-19, Piatt 3-18, Larch 5-(-42), Mills 4-(-25).
PASSING: EL, 4-5-107-TD(all by M. Thompkins); Weir, 2-9-5-INT (Mills 1-6-(-4), Larch 1-3-9-INT)
RECEIVING: EL, Thompson 2-58, Newlun 1-19, T. Thompkins 1-30-TD; Weir, McLaughlin 1-(-4), Ware 1-9
FIRST DOWNS: EL, 6, Weir, 6
FUMBLES-LOST: Weir 3-0
PENALTIES: EL, 11-91, Weir 4-25
The Potters (1-9) ran roughshod over the Red Riders just like the Brooke Bruins did a week ago in a 63-7 victory. They scored on their first four possessions and never looked back.
"Our goal was to get this one for our seniors and, really, everybody," said Potter coach, Rick Prescott, who also is in his first year at East Liverpool. "I thought we played hard and didn't quit despite going through a real meat grinder of a schedule this year. The kids bought into our offense and defense. Now, we have to build on the winning feeling we got tonight and have a good off-season."
Sophomore running back, Tevel Thompkins, who was the East Liverpool workhorse with 16 carries, got the Potters on the board with a 1-yard plunge to cap a 65-yard, eight-play drive on the opening possession of the game. Key play in the drive was a 42-yard pass from Markey Thompkins to Mow Mow Thompson that put the Potters on the Red Rider 3-yard line.
It was a Thompkins to Thompkins brother act that put East Liverpool's second touchdown on the board. Markey, the senior quarterback, hit Telven, the sophomore in the left flat. Telven Thompkins was wide open at the Weir High 20 and after making the catch turned and scampered to paydirt.
Kyle Mackey, who missed the first extra point kick, made this one and three others to add four points to the Potter total.
Weir High went three-and-out on the next possession and were forced to punt from their own 19. Senior Harley Mills kicked the ball to Marky Thompkins, who scooped up the bouncing pigskin at the Weir High 41 and zig-zagged down the field for the Potters' third touchdowns.
Marky Thompkins scored again on the first play of East Liverpool's next possession when he raced around left end on a keeper from the Red Rider 33-yard line.
Freshman defensive back, Kade Reynolds, got into the scoring column when he intercepted a William Larch pass on the Red Rider 42 and scampered down the sideline to the end zone.
Markey Thompson repeated the keeper around left end from the Weir High 42 for the Potters' final touchdown. That gave them a 40-0 lead and Prescott called off the dogs for the second half.
Weir High finished the night with two net yards rushing and had five yards passing for a total of seven yards of offense in all. Running backs, Hunter McLaughlin, Andy Marshall, Eric Piatt and Phillip DiGiralomo had 69 yards rushing, but quarterbacks, Mills and Larch were sacked a total of nine times for minus 67 yards.
Larch, a freshman, who started the first two games of the season returned to action for the first time since sustaining a broken collar bone in the second contest. He completed 1 of 3 passes and was intercepted once, but the rust showed as he had a lot of difficulty with the muddy turf slipping and falling several times as well as a couple of low snaps from center.
The Red Rider offense was so stymied thatit never made it across midfield. The closest they came was when Mills punted from his own 47 late in the fourth period.
On the other side of the ledger, Marky Thompkins led the Potter offense with 104 yards rushing and 107 yards passing. He scored twice on his five rushes and completed four of five passes, one for a touchdown.
In all, the Potters racked up 249 yards on the ground and 107 through the air.
"We started out in a zone defense, but the East Liverpool receivers got behind us," said Kekseo. "We switched to man-to-man, but that didn't work either as they outran us."
The Red Riders get one more chance to get that elusive win when they pull down the curtain on the season next week with a road game against another winless team, Tyler Consolidated.