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Muskingum Valley plasters Licking County 31-7

Tagged under: All-Stars, Beyond The Keystone, Game Photos, Gameday Hub, News

| June 17, 2023

Last night I made the drive to Heath, Ohio, to take in the Muskingum Valley at the Licking County All-Star game that was played at Swank Field. As usual, this one was hard-hitting and, for the most part, a clean game, but very one-sided, with the Muskingum Valley All-Stars winning.

Things went poorly right off the bat for the home side when Tri-Valley’s Tommy Williams pounced on a fumble on the opening kickoff, and one play later, New Lexington’s Lukas Ratliff threw a 37-yard TD pass to Zanesville’s Xavier Sowers. Sheridan’s Spencer Showalter added the point after the kick, his first of four, to make this a 7-0 contest.

The rest of the opening stanza would float by with three plays sticking out. First, we had a 7-yard run from Deuse Caldwell (Licking Heights) to move the chains for Licking County. Then we had the first of many sacks from the Musking Valley All-Stars, with Trintin Cottrell (Crooksville) planting Caldwell.on the turf. The final play was a fourth-down conversion by the Musking Valley All Stars.

At the 9:53 mark of the second quarter, Lane Hess, the second of the two Licking County All-Stars running quarterbacks, used his feet to pick up 11 yards on a fourth-and-one call. Hess would be pressured, but he used his quick feet to pick up 11 yards to again move the chains. A sack by Konya Williams (River View) helped get the defense back into a groove, with the drive killer coming when Mason Prouty (Tri-Valley) and Christian Ramirez (Zanesville) stopped Hess for no gain when he was forced to run due to heavy pressure again.

The game was virtually decided on the next MV drive. Jamal Watts (River View) got things going with an 18-yard run. From there, Ratliff connected with Spence Showalter (Sheridan) for 11 yards. The 8-play, 48-yard drive was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Hunter Rose (New Lexington) with 1:50 to play in the half.

Licking County would show some life when Caldwell threw into heavy traffic and Stuinaker some came down with the ball, made a nice little move to out run the defense for a 68-yard score. Max Durbin (Newark) made good on his point after kick to make this a 14-7 score with 55.2 seconds left in the half.

Watts would field the second half kickoff, break a weak tackle attempt, then go 85 yards for the MV touchdown to make this a 21-7 game just 0:16 seconds into the final half. LC would get a 10-yard catch from Colton Carr (Licking Valley) from Caldwell after the quarterback managed to avoid another sack. For LC, that was the highlight of the drive.

Hansel Holmes (Tri-Valley) would pick off a Caldwell pass late in the third quarter, but on the first play of the MV drive, they would cough up the ball after a completion, making the recovery for LC for Andre Baldwin (Watkins Memorial). The biggest play on the ensuing drive was made by the defense when Cottrell sacked Caldwell for a loss of 11.

A 41-yard Ratliff to Tatem Toth (New Lexington) set up the final score of the quarter, with Showalter making good on a 24-yard field goal, making the score 24-7.

The final score of the game came when Ratliff was able to avoid several tacklers on his way to a nice 40-yard touchdown to give us our final score of 31-7. The rest of the final frame would bring a sack of Hess, with Prouty and Carson Copeland (Morgan) teaming up to take Hess down for a loss of seven. Hess would get sacked two more times before the final gun sounded, with Ty Shawger getting the first and Cottrell capping off his big night with the final sack.


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