Meadville Tribune


November 9, 2013

D-10 FOOTBALL: Eagles end season with close loss to Oilers

FRANKLIN — After the game was over, Conneaut head coach Pat Gould walked down to the end of the field to congratulate Oil City head coach Matt LaVerde on a well-played contest.

“Your quarterback’s only a sophomore?” asked LaVerde.

“Yeah,” said Gould.

“Wow,” LaVerde responded, drawing the word out with a few impressed O’s.  

“So is your’s,” said Gould. “What’s the difference?”

As Gould walked away from this honestly friendly exchange he looked back over his shoulder with a grin. LaVerde, smiling, nodded back. The two coaches seemed to agree wordlessesly that although this was the first time that their teams have met on the gridiron, there is a good chance that it won’t be the last.

“It’s going to be a fun couple of years with those guys,” LaVerde said later.

Oil City claimed Round 1 between the two schools as the Oilers defeated the Eagles 24-21 in an outstanding District 10 Class AAA playoff fight at Franklin High School on Friday night.

“We played a good game,” said Gould. “The kids battled. We’re right there.”

Conneaut, which ends the season with a record of 7-4, certainly had its chances.

A late interception by Eagles senior Clay Bortner gave Conneaut the ball on its own 33 with 30 seconds left. The Eagles were able to get across midfield. However, a last-ditch, lateral-filled play with 2.3 seconds remaining ended up in the hands of the Oilers, sealing the win.

“It was a great game,” said LaVerde. “Those were two good football teams. We were evenly matched. In the first half, (Conneaut) won the turnover battle and they had the upper hand. We scored a touchdown right before the half, which was big. In the second half, we won the turnover battle, just barely. And we kicked that field goal and that, obviously, was the difference.”

Sam Wilson’s 30-yard field goal in the third quarter — the only score of the third quarter — did prove to be the margin. Otherwise, the two teams traded touchdowns.

Oil City did, however, outgain Conneaut 400-309, utilizing a tough passing attack in the first half and a strong ground game in the second half.

Oilers’ running back Kevin Daly carried the ball 23 times for 172 yards and rushed in a pair of touchdowns. And quarterback Jackson McFall had a big night. He was 15-for-24 passing — including 12-for-15 in the first half — for 161 yards and one touchdown.

“Too many passes,” said Gould. “They passed the ball extremely well. That hurt us.”

Conneaut was led by quarterback Hunter Merritt, who rushed the ball 20 times for 155 yards and carried in all three of the Eagles’ touchdowns. He also had a nice night throwing the ball, completing 10 of 17 tries for 104 yards.

“Hunter Merritt stepped up,” said Gould. “He played well. We passed a lot better tonight than we usually do. We passed a lot more than we usually do.”

Merritt got the Eagles on the board first, completing his team’s game-opening drive with a 38-yard touchdown run.

Oil City wouldn’t answer until the second quarter, finishing an 85-yard, 11-play drive with a 21-yard scoring strike from McFall to Logan Way. McFall was 6-for-8 for 73 yards during the drive.

Conneaut answered right back with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Merritt.

Then right before the half, Oil City worked deep into Conneaut territory and had a first down at the Eagles’ 2.

After three plays, the Oilers were still stuck at the 1. Finally, Daly ran it in off the left side to break the blockade and tie the game at 14-14 going into the break.

Oil City opened the third with an epic 15-play, 62-yard possession that ended with Wilson’s field goal.

Conneaut had a chance to answer on its next drive. On third-and-long, Merritt broke a 14-yarder down to Oil City’s 4, however Jesse Rice stripped the ball out of Merritt’s hands, giving it back to the Oilers.

Oil City then took that possession 96 yards on 11 plays, capping it off with a 20-yard touchdown run by Daly. Oil City now led 24-14.

Conneaut answered with a scoring drive of its own, highlighted by a pair of big third-down completions from Merritt to Taylor Williams. Merritt later scored on a one-yarder to make it 24-21 with 3:00 to play.

Conneaut’s onside kick didn’t go the full 10 yards before the Eagles grabbed it, giving possession to the Oilers. They held onto the ball until Bortner picked it off and returned to 23 yards to the 33.

The comeback drive for Conneaut fell short, however.

Oil City (7-4) now moves on to face defending state champion Cathedral Prep in a semifinal matchup this coming Friday. A site and time for the game will be announced later.

Text Only
  • District 1 District 1 girls enjoy day off

    It was a tense day for many of the teams participating in the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hawley scores District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey

    Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
    Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide