If Marietta High had more football players like Quinton Coffield, it would be tough to beat.
The 5-foot-8, 138-pound senior rushed for 151 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown run of 72 yards in a 60-18 Tiger setback to Dover at Don Drumm Stadium last Friday night. He also had one pass reception for 15 yards, and, yes, he completed one throw for nine more at the quarterback position.
Coffield also played in the defensive secondary, and pretty much played his heart out all in the contest.
Photo courtesy of Karen Henthorn
Marietta High’s Spencer Frum (41) is downed by a Warren tackler. Frum is one of 15 Tiger seniors who will be playing their last game against Zanesville Friday night.
Problem is, football is a team sport, and one player can't do it all.
Coffield needs help, and he's going to need lots of it when Adam Eichhorn-coached MHS (2-7 overall, 1-3 East Central Ohio League) hosts Ohio Division II's top-ranked and undefeated Zanesville High (9-0, 4-0) in a season finale (for the Tigers) this Friday at 7 p.m.
Underdog Marietta might have believed that New Philadelphia and Dover were formidable opponents in prior games. Now, it gets to square off against the cream of the crop in D2.
"We probably have one of the toughest three game stretches to close out a season as anyone in the state," Eichhorn said. "Our guys have embraced the never give up attitude the last two games and we expect that to continue this week against Zanesville."
The Chad Grandstaff-coached Blue Devils are coming off a 71-0 dismantling of River View in an ECOL game at John D. Sulsberger Stadium last Friday evening. Five-foot-11, 190-pound senior QB Thomas Wibbeler completed 6-of-6 passes for 189 yards and five touchdowns while 5-10, 175-pound senior Jamal Gladden had 158 total yards with three TDs and a pick-6.
J.T. McFarland, Jordan Church, Dar Stanford, Granger Long, Leandre Crosby and Deaunte Goins each had a touchdown grab for the winners.
"They will have a lot of similarities to Dover in terms of what they will do both offensively and defensively," Eichhorn said.
No doubt, ZHS is expected to use its game against Marietta as a tune-up for the upcoming playoffs.
To say that MHS has its work cut out for itself would be an understatement.
Against Dover, Marietta freshman Aaron Elliott added 106 yards on 11 carries and one TD run of 68 yards late in the fourth quarter. Senior Brent Huck chipped in with a 29-yard field goal in the opening period.
"Our execution last week (vs. Dover) was some of the best we've had all year," Eichhorn said. "If we can carry that over and continue to fight to the end, we have the ability to compete with and give ourselves a chance to beat Zanesville."
No matter what happens against Zanesville, Marietta will finish with another losing football campaign. The Tigers have not enjoyed a winning season since their one and only playoff run 11 years ago in 2002.
On the bright side, though, MHS, in 2013, was one win better (and maybe two if it beats ZHS) than it was last year. Both of the Tiger victories were against winless opponents (Morgan and Rosecrans).
Overall on the Marietta senior football players....
"This will be the last game for 15 seniors," Eichhorn said. "This is the largest senior class since I have been at MHS. We will be losing a lot of great athletes and leadership. The last few weeks, we have really witnessed that leadership shine."