Mason County rolls to 68-7 over Green Devils –
By Mark Carpenter –
The high school football regular season in Kentucky starts one week earlier than here in Ohio and that turned out to be not so good for Coach Justin Schmitz and the North Adams Green Devils club program. Filling in a gap in the Mason County schedule, the Green Devils traveled across the river last Friday night to battle the Royals in the opener for both teams.
The night turned out to be all Mason County as the Royals scored early and often, putting up 44 points in the first quarter on their way to a 68-7 romp over the Devils.
Even with the lopsided outcome, Coach Schmitz saw his kids make a lifetime memory.
“Our kids ran out of the locker room tonight after halftime and got a standing ovation from every single North Adams fan in the stands,” said Schmitz. “The fans were cheering, shouting, and ringing their cowbells. It was really special to see that show of support and that’s a memory that myself and our players won’t soon forget.”
As far as the game itself, it was pretty much decided in the first 12 seconds of action. The Royals took the opening kickoff to their own 40 and with one pitch to the right that running back Malkolm Devine took untouched to the end zone, the rout was on. A two-point conversion run by Seth Chambers made it 8-0.
The first North Adams possession of the game ended in a turnover, one of five on the night for the Devils, when quarterback Josh Cramer’s third and 12 pass was intercepted by Mason’s Austin Blake. It only took the home team two plays this time to find the end zone on a two-yard TD run by Chambers and a two-point conversion that made it 16-0 less than two minutes into the game.
The Devils got their initial first down on a personal foul call on the Royals, but were eventually forced to punt and Mason’s Leevi Dunaway returned the kick 60 yards for a score and a 22-0 lead for the home side. On their next possession, the Devils chose to go for it on a fourth down play from their own 22, failed, and the Royals took one play, a 22-yard scoring pass from Carson Brammer to Dunaway and a Devine conversion run made it 30-0, still not even five minutes in.
The Royals then recovered an onside kick and scored on their first snap on a 37-yard Devine run and with the score now 36-0, the officials chose to institute the running clock.
A 32-yard scoring run by Tykeise Henry closed out the first quarter Mason onslaught, but early in the second stanza, after a pair of North Adams fumbles, the Royals got touchdown runs of one yard from Brammer and Chambers to go to the halftime break with a commanding 60-0 advantage, for the Royals a new scoring record for a first half of play.
For the Green Devils, the third quarter turned out to be their highlight as they controlled the ball on a 10-play, 68-yard drive to chalk up their first points of the 2017 season. A lot of that yardage was handled by the runs of R.D. Ruggles and with 5:08 left in the third period, quarterback Montgomery Myers took it in from five yards out. Senior Jake Kendall booted the extra point to make it 60-7.
“We came out of halftime down by a lot,” said Coach Schmitz. “In years past coming out with a lopsided scoreboard, we limped out of the locker room with our heads hanging down, but tonight we had those cheers waiting for us. Our players and staff had great communication at the half and made some key adjustments on offense. We got back to basics after the break and started moving the ball consistently and got those first points. R.D. Ruggles really stepped us for us in the third quarter.”
“Montgomery Myers did a great job leading us after the half from the quarterback position. He had a lot of growing up to do quickly this week as a freshman. I was very pleased with the maturity he showed tonight.”
The Royals would get a scoring run from Mason Baxter in the final quarter to close out the big win in their season opener.
“Our kids are finally learning how to overcome adversity and fight back instead of laying down after they get smacked in the mouth,” said Schmitz. “They all realize that they are playing for a whole lot more than just themselves. That life lesson will carry these kids further than lesson they will ever learn.”
The winning Royals were paced by Devine’s 157 yards rushing, while North Adams got 26 rushing yards from Myers and 24 from Ruggles.
The Devils look to rebound from their opening loss when they hit the road again this Friday night, Aug. 25, for another tough task, traveling to Cincinnati Country Day for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The first home game for North Adams will be on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Freedom Field in West Union when they host the Southern Buckeye Warriors in the Southern Ohio Independent League.
North Adams 0 0 7 0 –7
Mason County 44 16 0 8 – 68
MC- Devine 60-yard run (Chambers run)
MC- Chambers 1-yard run (Henry run)
MC- Dunaway 60-yard punt return (conversion failed)
MC- Dunaway 22-yard pass from Brammer (Devine run)
MC- Devine 37-yard run (conversion failed)
MC- Henry 32-yard run (Chambers run)
MC- Brammer 1-yard run (Brammer pass to Blake)
MC- Chambers 1-yard run (Chambers run)
NA- Myers 5-yard run (Kendall kick)
MC- Baxter 1-yard run (Jones run)