WEIRTON - The Potters spoiled the party.
The Potters tallied 40 points in the first half as the East Liverpool football team shut out Weir, 40-0, Friday night in the final regular season game ever at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
With the win, the Potters end the season at 1-9, and East Liverpool was able to snap an 11-game losing streak. The Red Riders are now 0-9 on the season.
East Liverpool’s Payton Newlun (15) hauls in a pass Friday against Weir at Jimmy Carey Stadium. (Photo by Jimmy Joe Savage)
"It's a different feeling than it has been for the past nine weeks," first-year East Liverpool head coach Rick Prescott said. "I'm excited for the kids. I'm excited for the kids, for our staff, our program, our school and our community. It's one win, but it is a step in the right direction."
After last week's 42-6 loss to Cleveland JFK at Patterson Field, Prescott said it was important for his team to pick up a victory at Weir.
"Yeah, like I said, we had to get this one for all of the kids who have stuck through the adversity and stuck through the long year with some of the major issues we have come across, but these kids, they hung in there and they played tough from the beginning of the game until the end of the game," he said. "They played tough all year given the circumstances they were dealt, but you know what, sometimes you have to go through some adversity to grow as a program."
The Potters recorded 20 points in each quarter in the first half.
"They came out, and they played like we have known they have had the capability to play all year," Prescott said. "They got excited to get physical with the other team. They were excited to try to maybe beat up on somebody, try to just get physically aggressive, and I think that is something we have got to continue to build on."
East Liverpool played a strong all-around game against the Red Riders. East Liverpool scored touchdowns in all three phases of the game.
"Absolutely, yeah, I think we finally put a complete game together in terms of our offensive game plan, our defensive game plan and even our special teams, which we extremely struggled on special teams early in the year," Prescott said. "It was nice to come in and put a complete game together."
Offensively, the Potters finished the game with 354 yards of offense. Senior signal caller Marky Thompkins led the way. Thompkins finished the game with 107 yards through the air and 106 yards on the ground. He accounted for four scores on the night.
Defensively, the Potters limited the Red Riders to three yards of offense, and they also scored on an interception return. A punt return for a touchdown, a 44-yard punt and four extra points highlighted the special teams' performance.
The Potters got off to a fast start.
East Liverpool drove 65-yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Sophomore Trevell Thompkins plowed in from 1 with 7:21 left to play in the quarter. The extra point sailed wide keeping the score at 6-0.
The big play on the drive was a 42-yard pass from Marky Thompkins to Mow Mow Thompson giving the Potters a first down at the Red Riders' 3.
After a Weir punt, East Liverpool began its next series at its own 46. Five plays later, the Potters added to their advantage.
Facing a 3rd-and-5 situation at the Red Riders' 30, Marky Thompkins found younger brother Trevell open in the middle of the field, and he caught the pass and rambled in for the score. The Potters went for 2, but the conversion pass fell incomplete, however, the Red Riders were called for roughing the passer giving East Liverpool another chance. This time, Kyle Mackey kicked the extra point making the score 13-0 with 2:35 left to play in the quarter.
Weir was forced to punt on their ensuing possession, and Thompkins raced through the Red Riders for a 41-yard touchdown, and Mackey's PAT made it 20-0 with 39 seconds still showing on the scoreboard clock.
The hosts' third series also ended with a punt, and the visitors took over at the Weir 33.
On the first play of the drive, Marky Thompkins weaved his way through the Weir defense en route to a 33-yard touchdown scamper. Mackey's conversion kick made the score 27-0 with 10:43 left to play in the second quarter.
After the two teams traded punts, the Red Riders took over at their own 26. For the first time in the game, the Red Riders' drive did not end with a punt, but Weir wished it did.
On the third play of the drive, East Liverpool freshman Kade Reynolds stepped in front of a Weir receiver for an interception, and he raced 42 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, but East Liverpool led 33-0 with 5:51 left to play before halftime.
The Red Riders were once again forced to punt, and the Potters took over at their own 49. Three plays later, Marky Thompkins scrambled 43 yards for a touchdown. Mackey's extra point sailed through the uprights and the Potters led 40-0 with 1:10 left to play in the first half.
Though the Potters played well throughout the game, East Liverpool was penalized 11 times for 100 yards. Weir committed five penalties for 24 yards.
"That's the thing, one thing we are trying to instill in our kids is discipline and understanding the right way to handle situations, and I think our kids understood that you lose with class but you also win with class as well," Prescott said. "That was our goal, and you know we got a little chippy there at the end but once I think we start to keep pushing this discipline they will understand there is a time and a place to react, and this obviously wasn't one of them."
Weir ends the season next week down at Tyler Consolidated.