ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Meigs rolled up nearly 500 total yards, and the Marauders won their first game in the year-old Holzer Field/Farmers Bank Stadium with a 56-7 win over the River Valley Raiders, Friday night. The 56 points, ties for the second most points in MHS history, as the 1969 Marauders posted 56 in a win over Coal Grove. The win marks the Maroon and Gold’s 18th in 21 tries over their Gallia County neighbor.
It didn’t take the Marauders (2-1) long to shift their offense into high gear. After forcing the Raiders (0-3) into a three-and-out on their opening drive, sophomore Kalieb Sheets hooked up with Ty Phelps on first down for a 44 yard gain. Three plays later Devon Cundiff plowed over from a yard out. The point after attempt failed but Meigs was on top 6-0 with 9:08 left in the first.
On second down after the Marauder score the Raiders fumbled and Phelps recovered for Meigs at the Raider 31. Three plays later Michael Davis hauled in a 25 yard scoring pass from Sheets to give the Marauders a 12-0 lead, with 7:32 left.
Once again the Raiders had a three-and-out and a short Raider punt gave Meigs the ball at the Marauder 39. Three plays later Sheets hit Davis, this time from 46 yards and another Maroon and Gold score. Sheets added the extra point for a 19-0 Meigs lead at the 3:51 mark.
On the ensuing kickoff, Austin Bradley bobbled the kick momentarily; he picked up the ball and went down the sidelines 95 yards for the score giving the Raiders some life. Devin McDonald added the extra point and the Raiders had pulled to within 19-7 with 3:33 left in the period.
The Marauders took the kickoff and put together a six-play, 50-yard drive the ended when Sheets threw his third touchdown pass of the first period. Sheets connected with senior Damon Jones from 14 yards out and the second period ended with the Marauders on top 25-7.
Jordan Hutton became the fourth Marauder to score in the first half when he took it over from 11 yards out giving the Marauders a 31-7 lead with 9:32 left in the half.
The Raiders, with the help of a 38 yard pass from Tyler Twyman to Kirk Morrow, drove to the Meigs 19 and looked to be in business. But the threat was ended when Austin Welch picked off a Twyman pass in the end zone.
Cundiff scored his second touchdown off the night with a six yard run with 2:24 left in the half. Jack Unbankes added another Meigs score with two seconds left in the half giving the Marauders a 44-7 lead.
With junior varsity and freshman playing almost all the second half the Marauders added a couple late scores. Freshman Trae Hood scored from 43 yards out, and Chris Lester added a 66 yard run with 5:21 left to close out the scoring on the 56-7 Marauder win.
“It’s exciting for the kids and everyone involved, the coaches the band and the fans,” second year Marauders head coach Mike Bartrum said when asked about the first win at Holzer Field/Farmers Bank Stadium. “Mr. Dingess came to me last year about started the tradition of singing the alma mater after a win which we did. We are very blessed to have great kids, coaches and band.”
The Marauders was led on the ground by Chris Lester with 97 yards on just six carries. Sheets added 71 in six tries, Hutton chipped in with 61 yards in 16 carries, Unbankes had 60 yards on nine carries, Hood added 52 yards on five carries and Lane Acree had one rush for 49. Sheets was 7-of-9 through the air for 128 yards and three touchdowns. Davis caught three passes for 92, Phelps grabbed three for 63 yards, and Jones caught two passes for 19 yards. Acree reeled in one pass for 19 yards in the triumph.
River Valley senior Austin Bradley led the Raiders with 85 yards on 21 carries, while Twyman was 3-of-5 passing for 60 yards. Morrow had one reception for 38 yards, followed by Mark Wray and Justin Bickers with one 11-yard catch apiece.
Meigs will play host to a very talented Trimble team next Friday, while River Valley will travel to Athens County to play Nelsonville-York next week.