Monroeville (2-1) had another reason to celebrate Friday. The home crowd, which was celebrating the village’s sesquicentennial this week, also honored the 1978 undefeated FC-champion football team at halftime.
“It’s a quality win for us,” said Eagles coach Scott Stecher, who believes the games against Margaretta (1-2) are consistently good matchups. “I was pleased we came out on top like this.”
Senior fullback Adam Rogers led Monroeville’s offensive attack with 14 carries for 166 yards and four touchdowns. Three of his scores in the first half came after classmate Dominic Ruffing handled most of the carries on the same drive. Ruffing carried the ball 14 times for 123 yards.
Rogers capped a 62-yard drive and the Eagles’ first possession with a 4-yard plunge. The two-point conversion failed and Monroeville was on top with 7:37 left in the first period, 6-0.
Margaretta had one lead in the game, 8-6, with 5:03 in the same quarter. Junior running back Brycetyn Hedden had a 6-yard TD and the two-pointer. He ended the night with 18 rushes for 108 yards and two scores.
Coach Todd Pooch saw the Polar Bears struggle offensively and defensively for most of the game.
“They executed and we didn’t; that’s the bottom line tonight,” he said. “We told them they’re a physical team, well prepared and they’re going to come at you and that’s kinda what they did. They kept coming at us and we needed to respond better.”
Monroeville scored three more times before halftime.
With 17 seconds left in the first quarter, Rogers notched his second TD on a 6-yard run after a 77-yard drive. The Eagles managed to convert the two-point play with a fumble and subsequent recovery. That gave the home team a 14-6 lead.
Rogers had another short TD run when he took it in from three yards out with 8:49 left until halftime. Monroeville was up 20-8.
“Adam Rogers put the work in (during) the offseason. He lost at least 20 pounds; (he’s) probably the strongest guy on our team. Now that we have two backs, we can key on them,” said Stecher, who liked the way the offensive line came off the ball.
Junior wide receiver Anthony Dublo had his only reception of the game on a 7-yard pass in the end zone from senior quarterback Chayce Schaub with about 90 seconds left in the first half. The extra point attempt was no good, but Monroeville led 26-8 after the 70-yard drive.
Monroeville compiled 262 total yards in the first two quarters compared to 88 from Margaretta.
“Credit to our defense. They are an explosive offense, a big-play offense,” said Stecher, who praised the hard work of his assistant coaches to get the defense ready for Margaretta. “We put in a lot of work to get where we (are). The kids had a great week of practice even though we were in the heat.”
Schaub, with five minutes into the third quarter, decided not to throw the ball and scampered in for a 12-yard TD. The 88-yard drive featured a 62-yard run by Ruffing. Monroeville took a 33-8 lead with the score and extra point.
Margaretta’s Hedden had a 24-yard scoring run with 5:15 left in the third period. Margaretta started the drive on its own 40 after recovering a fumble on a punt. The Polar Bears cut the score to 33-16 with the successful two-point play.
Rogers had his fourth and final TD with 7:47 left in the game on an 83-yard run. He took the ball up the middle and was untouched after clearing Margaretta’s secondary. That made it 40-16.
Monroeville appeared to want to run out the clock with its final possession after starting deep in the visitor’s territory. Junior Isaac Cleary added the exclamation point on a dominating win with a 3-yard scoring run.
Follow Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger” and on Twitter at @Cary_reporter.
Margaretta 8 0 8 0 — 16
Monroeville 14 12 7 14 — 46
MON — Adam Rogers 4 run (two-point failed)
MRG — Brycetyn Hedden 6 run (two-point)
MON — Rogers 6 run (two-point)
MON — Rogers 3 run (two-point failed)
MON — Anthony Dublo 7 pass from Chayce Schaub (kick failed)
MON — Schaub 12 run (kick)
MRG — Hedden 24 run (two-point)
MON — Rogers 83 run (kick)
MON — Isaac Cleary 3 run (kick failed)