EAST LIVERPOOL - Bragging rights belong to the Beavers - again.
The Beaver Local football team made the most of its opportunities en route to a 21-0 victory over East Liverpool in the two team's season opener in the latest addition of "The Game" Friday night at Patterson Field enabling the Beavers to take home the first Red, White and Blue Bowl traveling trophy.
The game was the 50th anniversary of the series between the two rivals. With the victory by the Beavers, series is now tied at 17 wins apiece. The Beavers have won 11 of the last 14 meetings, including the last two.
East Liverpool's Stefan Yoho runs with the ball Friday against Beaver Local. (Photo by Jimmy Joe Savage)
The shutout was the first since Beaver Local blanked the Potters, 14-0, back in 2004.
The victory was also the first at Beaver Local for first-year head coach Jeremy McElroy. McElroy, who was 1-29 during his three-year tenure as head coach at Lisbon from 2008-2010, replaced Rich Wright at the helm of the Beavers. Wright resigned in the spring after 14 years as the school's head coach.
"Well, it's a rival, so it is great for the kids and great for the community," McElroy said about what beating East Liverpool means to the Beaver Local program. "We have got a great community that comes out and supports our boys and does anything for our boys, and this is our way to repay them."
The loss was the Potters eight-straight at Patterson Field dating back to the 2009 season. Despite the loss, the Potters are going to remain positive heading into the rest of their schedule.
"We just lost to Beaver. It is going to sting a little bit. It's going to hurt. If it didn't, something is wrong," second-
year East Liverpool head coach Rick Prescott said. "They are going to home tonight. They are going to feel it. They are going to lick their wounds, but our challenge has got to be how do we respond. How do we respond from here, and we have been here before. We just have to go back and fix some little mistakes. That's it. That is all we can do."
Both teams started first-year quarterbacks. Senior Phillip Beohm got the start for the Beavers (1-0), while sophomore Kade Reynolds was under center for the Potters (0-1).
Beohm finished the game with 25 yards on the ground on 11 carries, and he completed two of eight passes for 33 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Justin Osbourne.
Senior Daniel Lattaznio led the way on the ground for the Beavers with 82 yards on eight carries.
Beaver Local finished the game with 149 yards of offense on 39 plays. The Beavers committed eight penalties for 70 yards, they amassed eight first downs and they fumbled twice without losing one.
Reynolds finished the game with 24 yards on the ground on 15 carries. He completed five of 17 passes for 46 yards, but he was intercepted three times.
Junior John Miscuk totaled 61 yards on 14 carries to lead the way for the Potters.
Senior Payton Newlun netted 26 yards on two receptions.
East Liverpool ended the game with 161 yards of offense on 59 plays. The Potters finished with 14 first downs, they committed eight penalties for 35 yards and they fumbled four times, losing three.
"Obviously, just the closeness of the two communities," Prescott said about what makes the rivalry between the two schools so special. "Everyone knows everybody. It's been a rivalry for a while. It is tough when you when it, and it is tough when you lose it, especially when you lose. It stinks."
Beaver Local opened the scoring when Lattanzio ran 14 yards up the gut of the Potter defense for a touchdown. Justin McCoy converted the extra point, and the Beavers led 7-0 with .9 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
Beaver Local added to its lead in the second stanza when Osbourne hauled in a 26-yard scoring strike from Beohm. McCoy's conversion kick made the score 14-0 with 10:50 left to play before halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Thompkins plowed into the end zone from the 4, and McCoy's kick made the score 21-0 with 8:24 showing on the clock.
"I believe the people do, because they know each other," McElroy said about what makes the rivalry stand out. "They are friends off the field. They go back and forth, and they battle back and forth. They are neighbors, so that makes it a big rivalry."
East Liverpool's next game is at 7 p.m. Friday night against Indian Creek at Kettlewell Stadium in Wintersville. Beaver Local's next game is at 7 p.m. Friday night at home against Crestview.