By JEFFERY WILLIAMS
Times Reporter sports correspondent
NEWCOMERSTOWN It wasn’t the famous Clint Eastwood movie “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” but the high school football game between Garaway and Newcomerstown at Lee Stadium on Friday night could aptly be named if ever put to film.
In the end, Newcomerstown had just enough “good” to earn a tough 15-7 win over the Pirates. The Trojans improve to 1-1 in the Inter-Valley Conference and 3-2 overall while the Pirates fall to 1-1, 2-3.
“Our guys have been battling some ugly play a bit but we stressed this week that we can fix some things and we can win this game," Newcomerstown head coach Eric Brock said. “I’m extremely proud of our team. I call Garaway, Malvern and Ridgewood ‘The Big 3,’ and I told the kids it’s time to show we can play with those teams and we can beat those teams. These guys believed that and showed we belong.”
The Trojans took advantage of two early Pirate turnovers to score on their first two possessions. On Garaway’s first possession, Jibril Dansby picked off an R.J. Jacobs pass and rumbled 15 yards for the score and with Austin King’s extra point as the hosts led 7-0.
On Garaway’s next possession, Josh Werker fumbled after a reception. A few plays later, Cody Hall ran in from 31 yards out and with the blocked extra point, it was 13-0 barely into the contest.
“We killed ourselves,” Garaway head coach Jason Wallick said. “We absolutely beat ourselves with a lot of mental mistakes.”
The Pirates made it 13-7 just before halftime when they went 80 yards from their own 20-yard line, ending in an 11-yard Joe Warkall touchdown on a sweet shovel pass from Jacobs, who had 34 yards rushing and 46 yards passing in the drive. Ethan Slentz’s extra point was good.
But the second half saw neither team do much offensively. In a scoreless third quarter the Pirates had minus-2 yards of offense to 15 for Newcomerstown. For the second half total, the Pirates had just 15 total yards of offense to 75 for the Trojans, who received a final two points when Slentz stepped out of bounds on a punt in his own endzone for a safety.
“Defensively I thought our kids played solid,” Brock said. “Tonight we wanted to keep things in front of us and we wanted to change our looks up a little bit. I felt like we were able to do that and it helped.”
For the game, Hall had 93 yards on the ground while Dansby had 59. Jacobs passed for 114 yards with Werker catching three balls for 29 yards and Warkall three for 21.