NEW PHILADELPHIA The game plan for New Philadelphia played out to perfection for the Quakers against Coshocton on Friday night.
“We preached all week long that we wanted to jump on them early and put them away quickly,” said New Philadelphia coach Matt Dennison.
New Philadelphia scored two touchdowns in the game’s opening minutes and raced to a 42-0 East Central Ohio League win over the Redskins.
In staying a perfect 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the ECOL, the Quakers can start peeking at the long-range playoff scenarios and big regular-season games left at Zanesville (Oct. 12) and the finale at home with Dover (Oct. 26).
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At least the fans can look ahead. The players, on the other hand, say their success is rooted in the week-by-week focus.
“We’re just looking one week at a time and we’re rolling game by game and that’s all right now,” said senior wideout and defensive back Jesse Kandel. “You can’t get caught up in other games when the only one that matters is the one you’re getting ready for.”
The Quakers controlled every facet of Friday’s game, limiting Coshocton (1-5, 0-3) to 65 yards of offense. The Redskins rushed for only 37 yards and had only 22 yards in the second half.
“We have a lot of confidence going up against other teams, but our confidence comes from the work we put in each week in practice,” said defensive linemen Kyle Huth, who had a couple of sacks and shook up the Coshocton backfield on several other plays. “We just can’t accept losing and we’re going to work as hard as we can to be ready every week.”
When the Quakers had the ball, the story looked the same as it has all season — lots of yards and touchdowns from junior tailback Jamal Johnson along with big plays from the passing game.
Johnson rushed for 163 yards on 20 carries and raced for four touchdowns (giving him 22 on the season), while quarterback Caleb Beans threw for 172 yards and a touchdown.
The Quakers made sure that homecoming would be a nightlong New Philadelphia party by taking control of the game from the start. The contest was barely two minutes old when the Quakers scored two touchdowns held a 12-0 lead before the Redskins even ran an offensive play.
After taking the opening kickoff, New Philadelphia needed only six plays to go 63 yards before Johnson sprinted up the middle for a 13-yard scoring run. On the kickoff, Coshocton left the right side of the field open and New Philadelphia kicker Adam Hershberger lofted a short kick over to his left to a wide-open Logan Geib, who covered the ball and gave it right back to the Quakers.
“We had great recognition on that kickoff from our guys, and they made the play with perfect execution,” Dennison said. “That was a big lift right then and really put us in position to take over the game right away.”
Beans and wideout Hunter Joseph then immediately hooked up on a pretty catch-and-run play that covered 44 yards for the night’s second touchdown and a 12-0 New Phila lead at the 9:50 mark of the first quarter. Joseph had four catches for 71 yards.
From there, Johnson added scoring runs of 5 and 10 yards in the second quarter and the Quakers went to the half with a 28-0 lead. At that point, about the only suspense left was the crowning of New Philadelphia senior Cassidy Argento as the school’s 2012 homecoming queen.
“We played with some strong intensity and motivation, I thought,” Dennison said. “We know there’s plenty of football left, but it’s fun for all of us, and the guys are really focused.”