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Big Red shook, shut down by Quakers

New Philadelphia’s Logan Ortt runs out of Steubenville’s Aaron Ferguson arm tackle for extra yards in the game with Steubenville Thursday. (Contributed photo)

NEW PHILADELPHIA — A rare road appearance under the Thursday night lights just did not work out well for Big Red.

New Philadelphia dominated play on both sides of the ball, scored points off three Big Red turnovers (the visitors turned it over five times in all) and rolled to a 31-0 victory inside Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.

The loss was the first in four outings for coach Reno Saccoccia’s club, which was ranked sixth in the initial Ohio AP Division III poll. The Quakers, who were playing their initial home game of the season, improved to 3-1 and now lead their all-time series with Steubenville, 7-5-1.

“New Philadelphia is a good football team, but tonight we made them look a lot better,” Saccoccia said. “We got started on the wrong foot and stayed on the wrong foot for four quarters.”

Coach Matt Dennison’s Quakers wasted no time in taking control of the contest. After the defense delivered a three-and-out, New Philadelphia quickly marched 69 yards for its first score. It came on a 34-yard pass from Caden O’Neill to Caden Richmond, who was uncovered by the Steubenville defense.

Big Red’s next drive stalled at its own 39. The Quakers took over at their 41. After two running plays lost 5 yards, O’Neill broke the defensive containment and sprinted 64 yards for a touchdown. Elliott Warner’s kick made it 14-0.

Midway through the second period, Matthew Beach recovered a Big Red fumble at the Steubenville 15. Logan Ortt took it in from there, and the hosts had a 21-0 lead at the intermission.

In the opening half, New Philadelphia, which now has won two straight over Big Red, compiled 195 yards of offense on just 21 plays, while Steubenville has 97 on 27 snaps.

Steubenville started the second half with an onside kick that was recovered by Niko Suriano at the Quaker 49. After a couple of Nate McShan carries, a Cade Kernahan pass was picked by New Philadelphia’s Drew Dummermuth.

The Quakers struck again with 4:34 left in the third after recovering another Steubenville fumble. The score came on a 32-yard field goal by Warner.

Saccoccia’s club mounted a serious scoring threat on its next possession. Big Red moved from its 20 to the New Philadelphia 8. Kernahan powered the march with completions of 20 yards to Hakim Edwards and 33 yards to Aaron Ferguson. Unfortunately, Steubenville ended up turning the ball over on downs.

Big Red threatened again the next time it had the ball. Kernahan connections with Spencer Ostovich, Tylik Sims and Ivan Buggs moved the pigskin to the New Philadelphia 26. The Quaker defense delivered another interception and returned the pick to the Steubenville 8. Reise Meechan found the end zone from there to finish the scoring and kick-in the OHSAA running clock rule.

The winners finished with 245 rushing yards. Meechan collected 89 and O-Neill 81.

Steubenville was missing several starters on both sides of the ball, but Saccoccia said those injuries were not a key factor in the outcome.

“Tonight’s game was about the players that were on the field, not the players who weren’t,” he said.

Kernahan completed 17 of his 24 passing attempts for 184 yards. Ferguson had six grabs and Jared Roberts five.

Big Red, which entered the game averaging 262 rushing yards per game, could manage just 72 against the Quaker defense.

UP NEXT

Saccoccia and his team will look to rebound on Sept 25 when it visits Wheeling Park.

“We’ll get back to work tomorrow and try to fix the mistakes that we made tonight,” the veteran coach said. “We’ll work hard and try to be better next week.

“Going forward, we’ll see what we are made of now. We don’t always get what we want but sometimes we get what we need.”

New Philadelphia 31, Steubenville 0

Big Red 0 0 0 0 — 0

New Philly 14 7 3 7 — 31

NP — Richmond 34 pass from O’Neill (Warner kick)

NP — O’Neill 64 run (Warner kick)

NP — Ortt 15 run (Warner kick)

NP — Warner 32 field goal

NP — Meechan 8 run (Warner kick)

RUSHING: Big Red 27-72 (Ostovich 12-29; Sims 2-4; Bozica 1-5; McShan 7-22; Kernahan 4-8; Team 1-4); New Philadelphia 38-245-3 (O’Neill 6-81-1; Beach 2-0; Ortt 10-55-1; Meechan 20-89-1).

PASSING: Big Red 17-24-184-2int (all by Kernahan); New Philadelphia 2-4-33-1 (all by O’Neill).

RECEIVING: Big Red 17-184 (Ferguson 6-57; Roberts 5-50; Buggs 1-22; Hopkins 1-4; Francis 1-12; Edwards 1-20; Ostovich 1-6; Sims 1-13; New Philadelphia 2-33-1 (Richmond 1-34-1; Ortt 1-(-1)).

FIRST DOWNS: Big Red 13; New Philadelphia 12.

PENALTIES-YARDS: Big Red 1-5; New Philadelphia 5-32.

PUNTS: Big Red 2-42; New Philadelphia 3-35.

FUMBLES-LOST: Big Red 4-3; New Philadelphia 1-0.

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