But just 46 seconds in from the Mounties’ John E. Camp Stadium, that thought went out the window in the Firelands Conference opener for both teams.
The Eagles Isaiah Scheid answered a quick Mapleton drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown reception by Gage Scurlock from quarterback Logan Pharmer by taking a 90-yard kickoff return to the house to tie the game 7-7.
But after that, Monroeville was unable to slow Pharmer, the All-Ohio QB for the Mounties, who helped lead Mapleton to a 42-22 win over the Eagles.
The Mounties improved to 3-1 overall (1-0 FC) with the victory, while the Eagles fell to 2-2, 0-1.
Mapleton regained momentum following the Scheid kick return TD — and despite a couple scares along the way — the Mounties controlled the action.
Pharmer gave the Monroeville defense fits in both the run and pass games where he topped 100 and 200 yards, respectively. He accounted for all all six touchdowns for the Mounties, four through the air and two on the ground.
And if that wasn’t enough, Pharmer was flying around on defense as well. He sealed the game with a late interception in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Ethan Hartley was the primary benefactor of Pharmer’s gem. He had a ‘hat trick’ with three touchdown grabs (30-, 16-, 22-yards ) — all in the first half.
The Eagles had their chances, but couldn’t capitalize on them. They had touchdown runs of 40 and 45 yards called back on holding calls, both of which caused drives to stall out. Monroeville had hree turnovers on fumbles, and several key dropped passes to kill drives.
Eagles quarterback Chayce Schaub and running back Dominic Ruffing led the Eagles offense and were effective moving the chains — but couldn’t overcome Pharmer’s performance as they lost for just the fourth time in the last 20 years to Mapleton.
For Monroeville, Ruffing ran 28 times for 128 yards, with Schaub completing 12-of-22 passes for 133 yards that included a 19-yard TD pass to Anthony Dublo to close out the scoring. Scheid also caught four passes for 44 yards for the Eagles.
Pharmer was 16-of-29 passing for 292 yards, and ran 17 times for 110 yards for the Mounties.
Monroeville will host unbeaten South Central next Friday at Marsh Field in its annual homecoming game. The Mounties visit Crestview in a nearby rivalry game.
Monroeville 7 7 0 8 — 22
Mapleton 28 7 0 7— 42
MAP — Gage Scurlock 16 pass from Logan Pharmer (Ricardo Gamarro kick)
MON — Isaiah Scheid 90 yard kickoff return (Gunner Howell kick)
MAP — Logan Pharmer 49 run (Gamarro kick)
MAP — Ethan Hartley 30 pass from Pharmer (Gamarro kick)
MAP — Hartley 16 pass from Pharmer (Gamarro kick)
MON — Skyler Scheid 1 run (Howell kick)
MAP — Hartley 22 pass from Pharmer (Gamarro kick)
MAP — Pharmer 14 run (Gamarro kick)
MON – Anthony Dublo 19 pass from Chayce Schaub (Dominic Ruffing run)