LISBON, OHIO (WKBN) – The ninth-seeded Beaver Local Beavers offense only ran 34 plays in their game with twenty-fourth seeded Minerva in Saturday’s Division IV-Region 13 playoff game. Those 34 plays were all they needed to produce 343 yards in a 53-14 trouncing of the Lions.
The Beavers improved to 6-1 on the season and will advance to play the eight seeded Cleveland East Shaw Cardinals next Saturday night. The Lions fall to 0-7 on the season and will host Alliance in a regular-season contest next Friday.
Since the Beavers had battered the Lions 56-7 just a few weeks ago in a regular-season contest, there was reason to be concerned if the Beavers were focused on the Lions. The Beavers responded by scoring on their first four possessions and held a 26-7 lead with 10:48 remaining in the second quarter.
“We were. I thought our kids had a pretty good mentality during the week. I didn’t see a letdown, Beavers coach Mike McKenzie remarked. “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.”
The Beavers essentially put the game on ice just before halftime. Following an interception by the Lions at the Beavers 26, the Beavers defense stopped the Lions at the Beavers 8 with just one minute before halftime. The Beavers seized the momentum generated by their defense and converted a 92-yard screen pass from quarterback Tanner Johnston to receiver Dylan Moore. That gave the Beavers a 33-7 lead.
“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.”
“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 stated.
But they were done yet. The Lions would fumble the ball on their next possession at their 34. The next play, Johnston would throw a perfect over the should 34-yard strike to Caleb White to give the Beavers a 39-7 lead at halftime.
Johnston would connect on 9 of 14 passes on the night for 239 yards with 4 touchdown tosses. He also added 47 yards on the ground. Moore would catch 5 of those passes for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns. White would rush for 46 yards with 2 scores, and also catch that touchdown pass before the half.
“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 commented on 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 added.
Despite a running clock in the second half, the Beavers added two additional touchdowns, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth with just a minute remaining in the game. The Lions would also score on a 5-yard run with 5:45 left in the game.