NEW MATAMORAS -On a cold, rainy night in New Matamoras, the Monroe Central Seminoles spoiled "Senior Night" for the Frontier Cougars in a 44-0 victory Friday.
The Seminoles chewed up 363 total yards of offense in the game to Frontier's 69. Monroe Central also won the turnover battle 5-2 and committed just one penalty.
The Monroe Central offense had the Cougar defense on its heels early and often in the first half. Thanks to two fumbles and a blocked punt, three of the Seminoles' first four drives began in Cougar territory. The Jay Circosta-led Seminoles took advantage, capitalizing with touchdown runs of 13 yards by Chase Carothers and five yards by Korey Lafferre.
KATIE PARKS Special to The Times
Frontier QB Jordan Jefferson, right, tries to avoid Monroe Central pass rusher Josh Guiler (55) Friday night
"You always like to get off to a good start," Circosta said. "We gave up a big 20 yard gain early, but overall our defense shut 'em down. We got the ball back and got on the board early. We came up with a couple of turnovers early. We were kind of able to do what we wanted."
Frontier head coach Todd Bradford agreed that the beginning of the game set the tone.
"We really struggled there at the beginning," Bradford said. "It's a game of field position. We knew they were gonna be a good football team. We just had to capitalize on things and we didn't. That's part of the game."
Monroe Central 46, Frontier 0
MC 13 25 6 2 - 46
Frontier 0 0 0 0 - 0
Chase Carothers 13 run, Josh Guiler kick, 2 1st.
Korey Lafferre 5 run, kick failed, 0 1st.
Gavin Morton 37 pass from Lafferre, conversion failed, 10:59 2nd.
Lafferre 87 run, conversion failed, 8:19 2nd.
Bryan Duffy 10 pass from Lafferre, kick failed, 0:39 2nd.
Chandler Kuhn 25 interception return, Guiler kick, 0:22 2nd.
Carothers 5 run, kick failed, 8:59 3rd.
Safety (Snap out of end zone), 8:24 4th.
Team stats: Rushing:
MC: 34-186; Frontier: 25-18; Passing: MC: 9-13-177-0; Frontier: 6-17-51-2; Total yards: MC: 363; Frontier: 69; First downs: MC: 11; Frontier: 4; Penalties/yds: MC: 1/10; Frontier: 2/16; Fumbles/lost: MC: 1/1; Frontier: 4/4; Punts/avg: MC: 3-31; Frontier: 6/28.8
Individual stats: Rushing:
MC: Lafferre 10-110, 2tds; Carothers 9-34, 2tds; Cameron Jorris 1-9; Joey Schumacher 8-11; Aaron Sanger 3-5; Frontier: Taylor Merckle 10-22; Jared Howell 6-9; Passing: MC: Lafferre 8-12-157-0, 2tds; Zach Jorris 1-2-20-1; Frontier: Jefferson 4-12-10-1; Mitch Reynolds 2-5-41-1; Receiving: MC: Morton 2-74, 1td; Mike Jones 2-57; Duffy 2-24, 1td; Carothers 1-5; Frontier: Metheney 1-41; Merckle 2-4; Salazar 1-2; Josh Kirkbride 1-2; Howell 1-5
Frontier at River at 3 p.m. Saturday; Buckeye Trail at Monroe Central at 7 p.m. Friday
After jumping out to a 13-0 lead, Monroe Central kept attacking. With 10:59 left in the second quarter, Lafferre hit Gavin Morton on a 37 yard touchdown strike to up the lead to 19-0.
After forcing a three-and-out, Monroe Central got the ball at its own 13. Field position didn't matter in this case, as Lafferre busted up the middle for an 87 yard touchdown run.
Overall, Lafferre had 110 rushing yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. The senior was also 8-of-12 passing for 157 yards and two more scores. If the dagger had not already been delivered with a 25-0 lead, it certainly was right before halftime, as Monroe Central scored 13 points in 17 second span.
With 39 seconds left in the half, Lafferre hit Bryan Duffy for a 10 yard scoring strike. On Frontier's ensuing possession, the Seminole defense got pressure on quarterback Jordan Jefferson who, in an effort to throw the ball away, was picked off by Chandler Kuhn. Kuhn ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown to make the score 38-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Monroe Central would tack on eight more points on a Carothers five yard touchdown run and a safety.
Circosta was impressed with the way his team has persevered through adversity this season.
"We've had a tremendous amount of sickness and injury," Circosta said. "So we've just had to kind of piece things together. I give the kids a lot of credit. They did what they had to do to win."
To go along with Lafferre's big game, Carothers chipped in 34 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns. Morton was the leading receiver in the game with 74 yards on two catches and a touchdown.
For Frontier, Jefferson was 4-of-12 passing for 10 yards. Mitch Reynolds took center snaps in the second half and completed 2-of-5 passes for 41 yards. Merckle was the Cougar's leading rusher with 24 yards on 10 carries.
The Seminoles improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the PVC. They will look to claim a share of the PVC title when they host Buckeye Trail next week.
Frontier slipped to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the PVC, and will travel to take on River next week looking to play spoiler against the playoff hopeful Pilots.