Updated Fri, Aug 30, 2013 10:11 am
The 2013 MVL football season kicked off in Crooksville Thursday night, as the Maysville Panthers needed a last-minute touchdown to defeat the Ceramics, 40-33.
Maysville head coach Craig Clark called the game “a survival of the fittest, but apparently nobody was fit because everybody was cramping up.”
None was truer for Crooksville, as senior quarterback/cornerback Austin Ebert sat out most of the second half due to leg cramps.
With the Ceramics hanging on to a 33-32 lead with under a minute to go in the game, the Panthers had a third-and-goal from two yard line, when running back Jordan Hayes fought his way in to the endzone to put the Panthers ahead for good.
It was a tough loss for the Ceramics, but coach Brent Gorby saw plenty of positives from his team.
“The kids showed a lot of heart and determination tonight. We just ran into a tough team with an explosive offense,” Gorby said.
Crooksville started off the scoring early in the game. Senior tailback Dylan Love took a handoff 98 yards for a touchdown, giving the Ceramics a 7-0 lead.
But Maysville came storming back with two quick scores of their own on a touchdown run by Chase Roberts and a TD pass from Jacob Miller to CJ Harris, giving the Panthers a 14-7 lead.
However, the Ceramics would not go to the half quietly, as they used a few big runs from Dylan Love to set them up for a last second, seven-yard touchdown to make it a 14-14 game heading into the half.
Coach Clark said he needed his team to be more focused in the second half.
“We had two turnovers, and some big penalties against us. I just told them to relax, and go play the game.”
Coming out in the second half, Maysville would quickly take a 26-14 lead after Jordan Hayes punched it in from a yard out, and one minute later, Eli Chambers intercepted an Austin Ebert pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Ceramics Dillon Chevalier returned it 85 yards, setting up a five yard touchdown run by Love to cut the Panthers lead to 26-21 in the third quarter.
Just when the momentum seemed to swing back into the Ceramics favor, the Panthers high-powered offense flexed its muscles once again, as Eli Chambers took a reverse around the edge, and would run 61 yards into the end zone to bump their lead to 32-21.
The Ceramics would come roaring back, however, when Nate Daniels rushed it in from six yards out, cutting the Panthers’ lead back to five heading into the fourth quarter.
After some big stands by its defense, the Ceramics moved the ball down the field with ease again, and took the lead again for the first time since leading 7-0 after Ebert ran it in from six yards out, giving Crooksville the 33-32 lead it had hoped to hold on to.
“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle (tonight). Coming into their house, and a great atmosphere; it’s always tough to open against a league opponent,” Clark said.
Dylan Love finished the game with 188 yards rushing on 19 carries with two touchdowns for Crooksville, while Jordan Hayes and Eli Chambers led Maysville offensively with 282 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns combined.
Crooksville next travels to Zanesville to take on Bishop Rosecrans on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Maysville will play its home opener as they take on the New Lexington Panthers Friday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m.