Our 117th Season
Compiled by Frank “Digger” Dawson
August 29, 2014
<1>In 1898, the greatest pitcher in baseball history, Cy Young, came to Patterson Field as a member of a professional baseball team from Carrollton, Ohio. Records are slim for Young on that day, but it is believed he pitched both ends of a double-header.
On this Friday night, another pitcher took the trip across Ohio Route 39, only in this case, it was senior quarterback Zade Dietz, who led the Carrollton Warriors to an impressive 44-2 win over a young East Liverpool Potter eleven.
While the Potters may never see the likes of Young, who went on to win 511 major league games, they have to be pleased that they won’t see Dietz again, who in two seasons vs. the Blue and White threw for 390 yards.
As a senior, Dietz added to his resume this year with another 117 stripes rushing on just seven carries, giving him 316 total offensive yards on this night, the most at Patterson Field since Robert Jackson’s 477 over St. Clairsville in 1998.
The game got off to a 7:30 start with the visitors’ excellent kicker, Daniel Leary, putting the ball in the hands of veteran ELHS senior Kade Reynolds who was tackled on his own 16. Seven plays later, the locals had regressed back to their own 12, and the tone of the game was set.
In spite of a Warrior fumble that placed the Potters on their own 21 with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter, the Blue and White failed to advance. An outstanding punt by sophomore quarterback Austin Mayfield put the visitors back to their own 21, but it wasn’t deep enough, as another Potter nemesis from 2013, Tyler Dodd, was the key ingredient in moving the ball to his own 44 from where Dietz called his own number, resulting in a 56-yard scoring sprint. Leary’s extra point attempt was blocked, and it was 6-0 with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter.
The next Carrollton score came following an EL punt and a spectacular reception by sophomore Adam Shaw off a tipped ball thrown by Dietz, setting his team up on the four. On the next play, Dodd took it to the house, and Leary made it 13-0 with 38 seconds left in the initial quarter.
Coach Eric McCort and his team would go on to score four TDs before intermission; the first on a quarterback sneak by Dietz, followed by a Dodd 34-yard run, then on an 83-yard bomb from Dietz to senior Avery Wilson, and finally Dietz scampered 30 yards with 18 seconds to play in the first half. On the scoring bonanza, Leary was four-for-four on conversion attempts, including a 34-yarder which was the result of an unsportsmanlike penalty following the final TD.
Carrollton’s only score came at 5:15 in the third quarter when Leary split the uprights to make it 44-0.
The Potters only score of the game came in the waning moments when Freddie Plum scored a touchback for his team, making the final score 44-2.
"In games like this one, you find out who really wants to play,” said new Potter coach, Josh Ludwig, following the game.
“Our kids stayed together and played to the very end. While I was disappointed that our offense didn’t score, I was pleased that we played to the very end.”
It was a difficult opener for first-year Potter coach, Josh Ludwig, who took over the reigns from his former boss, Rick Prescott. A member of the ELHS Class of 2000, Ludwig is the 47th football coach of the school’s football team. In addition, he is the eighth graduate of ELHS to hold the position.The others include: Alfred Johnson (interim) 2004, Pat McNicol 2005 – 2008, Bob Thayer 1996 – 2004, George “Pop” Kidder 1926, Ernest Bucher 1922, Edwin Wells, 1914, Arthur “Frick” Wallover 1910.
Under a new Ohio High School rule, if one team is ahead by more than 30 points, the game will be played with a running clock. Unfortunately, the majority of the fans were oblivious to this situation because the scoreboard was out-of-order.
PA announcer Brian Allen did a fine job, however, of keeping the crowd informed of the time to be played, as well as the action on the field.
Despite the lopsided score, offensive guards Jared Yanik and Dalton Corman, along with center Zach Gill played well, as did sophomore quarterback Austin Mayfield, who should be a good one with experience.
Senior Kade Reynolds, pound-for-pound, one of the best players ever to wear the Blue and White, deserves a great deal of credit for making the shift from quarterback to tailback. Look for big things from Reynolds before his final season.
Another Carrollton player the Potters will be glad to see graduate is Daniel Leary, who kicked three extra points and one field goal against the Blue and White in 2013. After seeing his initial extra point attempt blocked this year, Leary booted five consecutive PATs and one field goal in this one.