The Big Reds recovered from a slow start to eventually pull away from the homestanding Monarchs of John Marshall Friday evening and return to the All-American town with a 35-7 victory in hand.
Both teams started off slowly with each team stalling on their first three possessions. The Big Reds got it going on their fourth possession when they covered 65 yards over nine plays and lit the scoreboard first with a 17-yard touchdown run by senior Cody Albaugh late in the first quarter. The drive was costly for the Big Reds though as senior all-state linebacker and fullback Trace Sechrest had a defender fall across his legs awkwardly at the end of a five-yard run. He suffered a broken and dislocated ankle and will be out for the rest of the season.
The Monarchs evened the score midway through the second quarter. After taking advantage of excellent field position and starting a drive at the Big Red’s 36-yard line, they only needed one play as Monarch’s QB Justin Frohnapfel connected with Izak Babiczuk with 5:36 to go before halftime to knot the score at 7-7.
The Big Reds wasted no time reclaiming the lead, however, needing just :21 seconds. The Reds started their ensuing drive at their own 48-yard line. Senior QB Bobby Roth hooked up with classmate Trenton Wilson on a 49-yard connection giving them first-and-goal at the three-yard line. Two plays later Roth bulled his way in from a yard out for the score. After Cole Porter’s PAT, the Big Reds led 14-7.
The Big Reds’ defense held and gave the ball back to the offense with just under four minutes left in the half. The Big Reds drove down and tacked on another score with A.J. McCarthy did his best Randy Moss impersonation with a circus catch for a 17-yard touchdown reception. After another successful Porter PAT, the Big Reds took a 28-7 lead into halftime.
The Big Reds’ defense got into the scoring column in the third quarter when Wilson stepped in front of a Frohnapfel pass, possessed it at the 19-yard line and streaked 81 yards untouched to paydirt stretching the lead to 28-7.
For the final scoring drive, Porter got the drive going with a 52-yard scamper down to the 13-yard line. Fellow senior Kaleb Pitchford covered the final 13 yards for his first touchdown of the season. After Porter completed a five-for-five night on PAT’s, the score was 35-7.
Porter once again led the way on the ground with 16 carries for 107 yards. Roth completed seven-of-14 for 110 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Sophomore Colt Sechrest led the defense with 6.5 tackles. Junior Vince Patrone filled in more than adequately for the injured Trace Sechrest with 6.0 tackles. Chase Nolan once again set up residency in the opponent’s backfield with three tackles for a loss to go along with one sack. TJ Bell also recorded a sack of the quarterback.
The Big Reds currently sit in 7th-place in Division V Region 17 and will return home next Saturday for their Homecoming tilt against Cambridge. Kickoff is at 12:30.