Defense shines as Blue Lions trounce Red Devils, 42-6


COLUMBUS — It was a battle of two Division IV football programs on Friday night as the Washington Blue Lions (1-1) traveled to take on the Marion-Franklin Red Devils (0-2).

Washington entered the game with a 62-14 loss to London (2-0) in week one and a 39-20 victory over Western Brown (1-1) in week two, while Marion-Franklin suffered a 27-8 loss to Granville (2-0) followed by a 38-32 loss to Delaware Hayes (2-0).

Washington began with the ball and was forced to punt. The Blue Lion defense forced a three and out of their own to get the ball back to the offense.

Washington would turn the ball over on downs on the next drive, but the Blue Lion defense would force another three and out to get the ball back to the offense.

Marion-Franklin intercepted a Blue Lion pass on the next series.

The Red Devils had the ball in Blue Lion territory but a couple of negative plays forced them to punt the ball back to Washington.

The Blue Lions ended the opening quarter with Rocky Jones taking a screen pass over 50 yards and into the red zone. After a roughing the passer call got Washington inside the 10-yard line, back to back negative plays knocked them out of the red zone and the Red Devils forced an interception on third and goal.

Marion-Franklin would fumble the snap on the next play, setting the Blue Lions up inside the three-yard line.

Moments later, Gavin Coffman would score on a quarterback sneak and later converted the PAT to make it 7-0.

On Marion-Franklin’s very next offensive play, they converted a deep pass down the sidelines and inside the 25-yard line. The Blue Lion defense held tough by forcing a turnover on downs to keep the Red Devils from scoring.

After Washington also turned the ball over on downs, Marion-Franklin was set up just outside of the red zone. On the second play of the drive, Rocky Jones intercepted a pass and raced 76 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown. The extra point from Coffman made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Red Devils were just outside the red zone on the next drive when Charles Souther forced a fumble that was recovered by Gabe Perez.

Washington would turn the ball over on downs on the next offensive possession, but on Marion-Franklin’s first play of the next series, Logan Presley intercepted a pass and had a nice return to give the Blue Lions the ball in Red Devil territory.

Washington had the ball late in the half with a chance to score but unfortunately turned the ball over on downs. Marion-Franklin got the ball with just moments left in the half looking to get on the scoreboard, but a big sack from Donnell Tressler ended any hopes of a Red Devil score as the Blue Lions took a 14-0 lead into the half.

After a nice kick return by Marion-Franklin to start the second half, they mishandled the snap on the first offensive play and the ball was scooped up by Blue Lion Charlie Eplin who scampered 73 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good from Coffman to make it 21-0 just seconds into the third quarter.

The Red Devils would quickly respond with their first touchdown of the evening on a 29-yard rush.

On the next possession for Washington, Gavin Coffman made an audible at the line of scrimmage and hit Isaiah Haithcock deep down the sidelines and just outside the red zone. A few plays later, Coffman hit Haithcock in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard score. The two-point try was successful on a pass from Coffman to older brother Mason and the Blue Lions took a 29-6 lead.

Marion-Franklin was driving on their next possession and found themselves nearing the red zone. A fumble on an exchange between the quarterback and running back was recovered by Matthew Colflesh to end the drive and get the Blue Lions back on offense.

Coffman would pick up where he left off, hitting his brother Mason for a 67-yard touchdown strike deep down the middle of the field. The extra point was good to make it 36-6 which activated the running clock stipulation.

Mason Coffman would intercept a pass on the next drive, his 28th career interception which moves him up to second all-time in OHSAA history for career interceptions.

The end of the third quarter ran out with Washington still in control, 36-6.

The final score of the evening came from Blue Lion sophomore running back Andrew Young who scored from one yard out after breaking free on the previous play for a 35-yard gain to get the ball to the goal line. The PAT was no good to make it 42-6 which was the final score.

Unofficially, the Blue Lion defense forced a remarkable seven turnovers, three interceptions and four fumble recoveries, while scoring two defensive touchdowns and forcing several turnovers on downs.

Statistically for Washington, Young led the way on the ground with 77 yards on 10 carries including a touchdown.

Coffman was 9-for-22 through the air for 198 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Mason Coffman led the team in receiving with two receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown, followed by Haithcock with four receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown, and Jones with two receptions for 62 yards.

Washington (2-1) is back in action on Friday, Sept. 8 at home at 7 p.m. against Buckeye Valley (1-2)

Marion-Franklin (0-3) will travel to Briggs (3-0) at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8.

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