By Rick Thorp
Special to The Times
OLD WASHINGTON -Another year, another PVC title and playoff berth for the Ohio Valley's winningest coach.
Photo courtesy of Kate Fickell
Monroe Central’s Levi Brown (20) tries to elude a Buckeye Trail tackler Friday night.
Curtis Nixon threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns and Bryan Duffy caught seven passes for 119 yards and two scores Friday night as Monroe Central thumped Buckeye Trail, 34-12, in the regular-season finale at the Baker Activity Complex.
The victory capped a perfect PVC campaign for the Seminoles (7-3) and also sent Coach Jay Circosta's squad back to the postseason after a one-year hiatus. Monroe Central will hit the road for the Ohio Division VI, Region 21 quarterfinals against a foe to officially be
announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Sunday.
onroe Central 34, Buckeye Trail 12
Monroe Central 7 13 6 8 - 34
Buckeye Trail 0 6 0 6 - 12
M - Nixon 4 run (Potts kick), 6:42
T - Dougherty 1 run (run failed), 10:42
M - Schuerman 7 pass from Nixon (Potts kick), 5:40
M - Brown 1 run (kick blocked), :59
M - Brown 10 run (kick failed), 5:44
T - Tra.Pontius 3 run (pass failed), 11:56
M - Duffy 14 pass from Nixon (Brown run), 7:16
Rushing: Monroe Central 34-112-3td (Brown 22-75-2td, Nixon 11-49-td, Carothers 1-(12); Buckeye Trail 34-123-2td (Tra.Pontius 13-58-td, Dougherty 21-65).
Passing: Monroe Central 14-21-193-2td (all by Nixon); Buckeye Trail 12-26-108-x (all by Dougherty).
Receiving: Monroe Central (Carothers 1-9, Morton 1-2, Hooper 1-3, Duffy 7-119-td, Schuerman 2-27-td, Jorris 1-23, Brown 1-10); Buckeye Trail (Starr 6-62, Tro.Pontius 4-40, Douglass 1-10).
First Downs: Monroe Central 16; Buckeye Trail 13.
Penalties: Monroe Central 7-54; Buckeye Trail 8-78.
Fumbles-Lost: Monroe Central 1-0; Buckeye Trail 2-1.
Those games are slated to take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday. If, however, the Seminoles would end up traveling to Bellaire for the opening round, the game would likely take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Nelson Field. Bellaire would need to defeat Martins Ferry this afternoon for that to have a chance at coming to fruition.
No matter the opponent, or destination, Circosta said his team has plenty of work to do.
''We didn't play very well to be honest with you,'' said Circosta, guiding his school to the playoffs for the 13th time.
''We just didn't play well. I didn't think our running game was what it had been. I just thought we were out of sync.''
The Seminoles' vaunted rushing attack registered three touchdowns, but only totaled 112 yards.
''(Friday) wasn't our typical running night,'' Circosta added. ''That's why we had to pass the ball so much.''
But Monroe Central did it well.
Nixon was 14-of-21 and hit seven different receivers, mostly Duffy.
''He's a good receiver; a good possession receiver,'' Circosta said of Duffy, the 5-11, senior. ''I guess, overall, we did what we needed to do to win.''
The Warriors finished 4-6. ''I thought we played hard,'' Buckeye Trail head coach Dale Broomhall said. ''They're good. We hurt ourselves in the first half.''
The Seminoles took the opening kickoff marched 70 yards in 12 plays to score first on a Nixon 4-yard run. The first of two Tanner Potts extra points made the score 7-0.
Trail produced a 12-play drive of its own later in the quarter.