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McDonald, Walters rumble past Jackson-Milton

November 2, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

NORTH JACKSON - McDonald came into Friday's game at Jackson-Milton Community Stadium knowing a win gives its team a chance for a Week 11 matchup.

The Blue Devils haven't been to the playoffs since 2010, but they faced a dangerous Jackson-Milton team.

"We knew they were dangerous, they could throw the ball around," McDonald coach Dan Williams said. "We challenged our D, don't give up a big play, which we didn't tonight. We knew we had to establish the run and stay ahead - stay ahead by many scores if we could. That's what we did tonight."

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The end result was a 48-14 victory.

Randy Walters led the McDonald rushing attack with 10 carries for 185 yards and four touchdowns.

"It felt great," Walters said. "We had great blocking up front. Coaches put us in the right spot and it played out right."

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For the Tribune Chronicle / Dave Dermer
Jackson-Milton quarterback Jeremy Fitzpatrick (18) throws the ball as McDonald’s Jake Foster (55) tries to defend.

McDonald (7-3) rushed 47 times for 481 yards.

The Blue Devils took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 43-yard bomb to Zack Conley from Ben Carkido, who has developed his throwing touch in recent weeks. Carkido was 2 for 2 for 55 yards.

McDonald was relentless as it quickly went up 28-0 in the second quarter on a 30-yard scamper by Matt Morrell, who had 11 carries for 153 yards. Jake Reckard had 16 carries for 109 yards.

"I'm proud of our linemen. I'm proud of our running backs. That's been our mainstay all year, us running the football and playing D to finish this game," Williams said.

Meanwhile, McDonald fans were scoreboard watching the Streetsboro-Waterloo game. Streetsboro, which lost to McDonald earlier this season, won 42-7, giving McDonald enough points to possibly get into the playoffs in Division VI, Region 19. Official playoff pairings will be announced Sunday afternoon.

For Jackson-Milton (6-4), it had its best year since 1997, when it went 6-4. The Blue Jays, if they would've won, had a chance to make the postseason for the first time in its school history.

However, coach Mark Assion was more than pleased with the effort his team gave this season.

"It was a fantastic year," he said. "We did some things that were unprecedented out there. We flirted with the notion and the idea of going to the playoffs, but it wasn't meant to be.

"These kids are going to fall in love with themselves with how good they did. These kids haven't seen anything like that out here in some time."

Quarterback Jeremy Fitzpatrick was 25 of 41 for 229 yards, while Tyler Shaffer had 14 carries for 91 yards.

It was a year to remember for the Blue Jays, but hard for it to end in this manner.

"It's a tough loss to take," Assion said. "These kids worked their tails off, got all sorts of record breakers. We got to give credit where credit is due. Danny Williams and his staff do a great job.

"It wasn't meant to be tonight."

For the Blue Devils, they look headed back to the postseason.

"It was huge for us," Walters said. "We haven't been to the playoffs in a few years. It was definitely something we wanted to look forward to coming into the game."

Now, McDonald can look toward Week 11.