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Warriors knocked out by top-ranked Meigs

From Staff Reports • Updated Nov 11, 2017 at 12:01 AM

DECATUR — Meigs County backed up its No. 1 state ranking on Friday night.

The Tigers were just too much for Happy Valley to handle in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs, handing the Warriors a 38-6 defeat.

While Meigs advances to face Rockwood in next week’s quarterfinal round, Happy Valley’s season ended at 8-4

Each team scored on its opening possession. Will Tittle’s 44-yard run to the 5 set up Brayden Sams’ eventual quarterback sneak from the 1 for the Warriors (12-0), but their second-longest run of the night was a 14-yarder in the third quarter by Dakota Cochran.

The game could have been closer as the Warriors threatened on other occasions, driving the ball to the Tigers’ 1 in the third quarter and to their 11 in the fourth quarter. Both times, they were denied on fourth down.

A tackle for loss on the first play of the fourth quarter stuffed the first of those possessions, and Martin Smith ran 90 yards for the game’s final points on the first play after the other denial.

“We talk all the time about how we know some teams are going to move the football on us,” Meigs coach Jason Fitzgerald said. “We’ve just got to get a stop before they get it in the end zone. I was really proud of our goal-line stand with us up 32-6. We could’ve taken the attitude that we’re going to win this game, so if we let them score it doesn’t matter. But we didn’t look at it that way. The kids took it as a challenge. That was a pride thing.”

Meigs managed 336 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns against a heralded Happy Valley defense. Aaron Swafford ran for 97 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 75 and two touchdowns.

Smith was Meigs’ leading rusher with 164 yards on 11 carries.

Happy Valley (8-4) ended up giving up 121 points this season, with the previous high in a game 27. Meigs has now allowed 125, still with a high of 27. That happened to be in a 21-point victory at Rockwood on Sept. 15.

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