MARTINS FERRY - Turnovers can be game changers. Five turnovers in the opening eight minutes can be fatal.
Martins Ferry experienced such a nightmarish fate Friday. Visiting Edison proved the beneficiary of the Purple Riders' ongoing generosity, posting an impressive and surprising 35-22 triumph at the Dave Bruney Football Complex.
All told, Martins Ferry totaled seven turnovers, four fumbles and three interceptions. The five miscues in the opening panel set the tone, one which had the Purple paddling upstream all night.
MAKING A STOP — Edison’s Jacob Ross (9) and Jevin Leggett stop a Martins Ferry runner while teammate Dylan Glasure looks on during Friday’s win.
The hosts moved the ball well, amassing more than 300 yards in offense. They, however, were continually stymied by their own mistakes.
"When you make seven turnovers you are not supposed to win. Our effort was there but we just made way too many mistakes," Dave Bruney offered. "Give Edison credit. They made the most of their chances.
"Edison has some real nice athletes and they performed well tonight. Edison was expecting a nice season this year but has lost a number of players due to various reasons."
Edision 35 Martins Ferry 22
Edison 14 7 8 6 - 35
Martins Ferry 0 8 7 7 - 22
E: Marcus 11 run (pass failed)
E: Tenannt 38 pass from Marcus (Springer pass from Marcus)
MF: Schau 11 pass from Flowers (Sutton run)
E: Pasek 10 pass from Marcus (Marcus kick)
E: Marcus 1 run (kick failed)
MF: Sutton 16 run (Burress kick)
E: Graziani 5 run (kick failed)
MF: Laughman 1 run (Burress kick)
RUSHING: Edison 43-172 (Graziani, 20-92 1 td, Marcus, 18-67 2 tds); Martins Ferry 34-209 (Sutton 19-141 1 td, Flowers, 4-36; Laughmann 6-16 1 td).
PASSING: Edison 9-18-148 2 ints (All by Marcus) Martins Ferry 10-21 130 yards 3 ints (Flowers 10-20 130 yards 3 ints; Styles 0-1).
RECEIVING : Edison (Springer 3-55 1 td, Tennant, 2-43; Pasek 2-17 td) Martins Ferry (Schhau 5-61 td; Styles 5-69).
FIRST DOWNS: Edison 13; Martins Ferry 19
PENALTIES: Edison 11-90; Martins Ferry 3-45.
FUMBLES/LOST: Edison 4/2; Martins Ferry 4/4.
The setback dampens Martins Ferry's playoff hopes. The Riders dropped to 5-3 and must visit unbeaten St. Clairsville Friday night. The Purple ends the season against ancient-rival Bellaire.
Edison, meanwhile, overcame manpower shortages to pocket just its second win in eight starts. The Wildcats have another tough test Friday, hosting Bellaire.
"I have never been more proud of a team. The kids really stepped up and played super against a very good football team. We have a lot of respect for Martins Ferry," Edison coach Mike McKenzie said. "Our kids have dealt with a lot of adversity, so that makes this win even sweeter.
"It was key we were able to run the ball when we had to in the second half. We were able to keep the ball out of their hands. I am really happy four our kids. They needed a win like this."
Edison took a 14-0 first-quarter lead, both touchdowns coming after Ferry fumbles.
Slick junior quarterback Nolan Marcus ran in an option from 11 yards out for the initial TD. Nolan, minutes later, found classmate Devan Tennant on a 38-yard scoring connection. Nolan drilled Rich Springer for the bonus points.
Ferry staged a mammoth 93-yard, 14-play drive to get back into the contest. All the yards came on the ground, save the final 11 as Eric Flowers found a wide open Cody Schau in the end zone with 5:59 left in the opening half. Junior slasher Marcus Sutton, who enjoyed a huge night, ran in the conversion for an 14-8 lighting.
Edison responded on its ensuing possession to regain momentum before intermission. The Wildcats marched it 70 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 10-yard scoring strike from Marcus to Josh Pasek. Marcus added the PAT for a 21-8 Edison lead at the half.
The Wildcats delivered a dagger in the late stages of the third quarter. Edison's Jacob Ross pilfered a Ferry aerial, giving the Jefferson Countians possession at the Purple 7.
Two Marcus carries, the last from a yard out, padded the Edison advantage. Springer caught the conversion pass from Nolan, giving the Wildcats a comfortable 29-8 upperhand with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
The Riders came back in quick fashion, needing just six plays to cover 65 yards to find the end zone. Sutton sprinted in from 16 yards out with 37 ticks left in the quarter. Arjay Burress booted the PAT to cut the deficit to 29-15.
The would be as close as Ferry would get as the teams traded touchdowns in the final quarter.
Edison did an effective job of maintaining possession in the fourth period by moving the chains on the ground.
"Our offensive line did a great job in the fourth quarter," McKenzie said. "We know Ferry has weapons so it was nice to keep the ball away from them."
Marcus enjoyed a productive night for the winners, completing 9-of-18 passes for 148 yards while also rushing for 67.