MINFORD — With a full house in Muletown anticipating the Minford football team’s home opener, the Falcons excelled — defeating visiting Chesapeake 41-7 to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
With the win, Minford evens up their all-time series with Chesapeake. In eight meetings, the Falcons and Panthers have now split those games 4-4 — with Minford winning the last three.
The Falcons offense set the tone for the game with their opening drive.
A five-play, 67 yard drive capped by a 29-yard Jeffrey Pica touchdown run gave Minford a 6-0 advantage just over two minutes into the game at the 9:58 mark of the first quarter.
A turnover on their next possession and a punt on the following stalled their scoring momentarily, before three-straight scoring drives in the final 10 minutes of the second quarter put the Falcons ahead 27-0 at the break.
Freshman quarterback Peyton Caudill connected with sophomore JD Matiz for a 16-yard touchdown at the 9:41 mark of the second quarter, putting Minford ahead 13-0 following a Myles Montgomery extra-point.
After missing his first XP attempt of the evening, Montgomery connected on five-straight point-after attempts on their last five scoring drives.
A Chesapeake turnover on downs in Minford territory with 3:33 to play until half gave them another opportunity. The Falcons came back with a five-play, 69-yard drive that saw Caudill evade Panther defenders for a 33-yard touchdown run.
On the next drive, a Chesapeake fumble — their first of three turnovers — gave Minford prime real estate with less than two minutes until half.
Four plays following the fumble, Pica found the end zone for the second time on a three-yard run to make it 27-0 Minford going into half.
“I think it took us a little while to get in a groove. We had a really good first drive, some mistakes on the second drive that cost us. For the most part, I felt like we’ve improved from last week,” Minford coach Jesse Ruby said, following the win. “The areas we wanted to get better, we saw that tonight.”
Pica amassed a game-high 125 yards on 13 attempts in the win. His longest run on the night was a 31-yard sprint up the Chesapeake sideline in the first half.
Tysen Kingery gave Minford its’ final points of the game — scoring from 34 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Falcons ahead 41-7.
Kingery totaled 55 yards on six carries in the victory. As a team, Minford rushed for 246 yards on 27 carries.
“They run the ball very, very well. They’re seeing holes — and it starts up front. I thought our offensive line did a nice job of blocking at the point of attack, coming off double teams and getting to the backers when they needed to,” Ruby said. “I thought Peyton did a nice job of reading when he needed to pull it, reading when he needed to throw it.”
Sophomore tight end Jackson Shoemaker caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Caudill — after a Chesapeake fumble again set Minford up in Panther territory.
The Falcon defense did its’ job during Friday’s 34-point win. Despite the Panthers running 49 plays and winning time of possession (27:22-20:38), Minford’s defense held Chesapeake to just 203 total yards and one touchdown.
Camron Shockley caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Harris with 1:16 to play in the third quarter. Shockley’s 50-yard kickoff return just four plays prior put the Panthers deep into Minford territory.
“The way the run their offense, it’s very assignment-oriented defensive play,” Ruby said. “You have to read your keys and you have to flow fast to the ball, because they can attack you on the perimeter and they’ve got a pretty good full back who can run up the middle. If you make any mistakes, they can get some big plays.”
Minford is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2019 — the year they started 5-0 and qualified for the Division V, Region 19 playoffs as the No. 6-seed.
They’ll seek a third-straight win to begin their ‘22 season next week at Wellston. The Falcons earned a 27-18 home win over the Golden Rockets last season.
“I want to see us improve on the things we’re doing,” Ruby said. “Getting more efficient on offense, trying not to have those plays that set us behind the chains.”
Chesapeake 0 0 7 0 — 7
Minford 6 21 14 0 — 41
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||203 (40-163)||371 (125-246)|
|Penalties||5 for 30||3 for 15|
|Time of Possession||27:22||20:38|
M — Jeffery Pica, 29-yard run (XP missed); 6-0 M 9:58 1Q
M — JD Matiz, 16-yard pass from Peyton Caudill (Myles Montgomery XP good); 13-0 M 9:41 2Q
M — Peyton Caudill, 33-yard run (Myles Montgomery XP good); 20-0 M 2:32 2Q
M — Jeffery Pica, 3-yard run (Myles Montgomery XP good); 27-0 M :40 2Q
M — Jackson Shoemaker, 8-yard pass from Peyton Caudill (Myles Montgomery XP good); 34-0 M 4:36 3Q
C — Camron Shockley, 15-yard pass from Jacob Harris (Jacob Spears XP good); 34-7 M 1:16 3Q
M — Tysen Kingery, 34-yard run (Myles Montgomery XP good); 41-7 M 11:50 4Q
Passing: Jacob Harris (C) 4/5 40 yards, TD; Peyton Caudill (M) 10/14 125 yards, 2TD
Rushing: Marcus Burnside (C) 15-80, Camron Shockley (C) 6-32, Ryan Martin (C) 5-19, Aaron Ross (C) 7-13, Curtis Brandenburg (C) 5-10, Jacob Harris (C) 4-9 Jeffrey Pica (M) 13-125 2TD, Tysen Kingery (M) 6-55 TD, Peyton Caudill (M) 2-48 TD, Mason Bradley (M) 3-17, Keagan Rowe (M) 1-2, Izaiha Robertson (M) 1-(-1)
Receiving: Ryan Martin (C) 2-20, Camron Shockley (C) 1-15 TD, Aaron Ross (C) 1-6; Mason Book (M) 4-37, Jackson Shoemaker 2-34 TD, Bennett Kayser (M) 2-34, (M), JD Matiz (M) 2-20 TD
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved