McDONALD - The McDonald Blue Devils dropped their fourth game of the season as they lost to Wellsville, 35-14, on Friday night.
"We have to regroup, come back next week and have to try to finish strong," Blue Devil coach Dan Williams said after the game.
The game began in reverse. The Tigers (3-4) recovered an onside kick to begin deep in McDonald territory. Less than a minute later, sophomore Marcus Moxley ran 23 yards into the end zone to put his team up early.
The Blue Devils (3-4), however, answered back on a 42-yard completion from junior Christian Rusinowski to junior Stephen Vidman. The tie would soon be broken.
On the next drive, senior Jeff Mcmahan ran for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Tigers back in front by seven.
Toward the end of the first quarter, freshman Randy Walters ran a 9-yard touchdown to once again tie the game.
The Tigers began their next drive on the 36-yard line after receiving the kick. Moxley ran all 64 yards to the end zone on the first play right before the quarter ended. Wellsville led 21-14.
With drives stalling, the Blue Devils looked to tie the game again at the end of the first half. However, the Tigers had something else on their minds.
Scrambling away from danger, Rusinowski found three Tiger defenders surrounding him as he let the ball go, looking for an incompletion. Senior Josh Carter stood in the way and picked off Rusinowski. Also, nobody stopped Carter as he returned 55 yards for a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining. The Tigers led, 28-14, at halftime.
"Christian had good times getting away from trouble and finding the open receivers at times," Williams said. "If you look at it, his only mistake might have been the interception at half. If we go down and give up zero points, (then) that's better than seven."
The Tigers were forced to punt after receiving the second half opening kickoff. McDonald drove all the way to the 1-yard line.
Walters received the carry and lost a fumble. Later in the third, the Blue Devils again lost a fumble in the red zone.
The Tigers' last drive in the quarter drove in one play: Moxley's 75-yard touchdown run with 1:23 remaining. He finished with 286 yards on 23 carries.
"He's a good player," Williams said on Moxley. "We watched him on film and he has great speed in the open field. We couldn't get off blocks in the secondary. He got loose a few times and he's good. We knew we had to (key on him) to win the football game. He's their go-to guy."
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Rusinowski found Vidman for a 49-yard hookup to the 3-yard line. Yet, the Blue Devils could not capitalize as they fumbled for the fourth time in the game.
Wellsville kept rushing and wasting the clock down. When the Blue Devils got the ball back, they went into a passing only game.
The Tigers kept bringing pressure and totaled three sacks in the quarter to help seal the victory.
"The interception didn't help before half," Williams said on the five turnovers. "Our defense stepped up, we forced a punt, we took it to their five and the fumble just hurt us. We could've cut it to seven twice. You can't do that to beat anybody; you got to protect the football in those situations. (It is) tough to regroup from those types of situations."
The Tigers threw the football three times with no completions and one interception. Williams said he was surprised but would have done the same thing.
The Blue Devils travel to face Jackson-Milton on Friday, while Wellsville will battle with Western Reserve.