East Hardy rallies to eliminate St. Marys, 38-30 | News, Sports, Jobs


St. Marys’ Logan Eddy catches a touchdown pass while Shawn Bodkin (21) and Brandon Jones (14) of East Hardy are in pursuit in a playoff football game Saturday at Bill Hanlin Stadium in St. Marys.
(Photo by Aaron Lee)

ST. MARYS — The conundrum that comes with playoff football is that for every victory there is a team sent packing. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they were on the losing end of that arrangement when they lost to East Hardy 38-30 in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.

East Hardy started the game off with the ball, and failed to convert on fourth and two at St. Marys’ 48 yard line, resulting in a turnover on downs.

The Blue Devils punted on their first drive, but after getting the ball back, St. Marys broke the 0-0 tie with a 30-yard rushing touchdown by Ashton Boron. Jake DeLancey ran in the two-point conversion on a trick play, making the score 8-0 Blue Devils. After lining up as kicker, DeLancey received a pitch from the holder and found the edge for two points.

The Cougars got into the red zone on their next drive, but they were forced to go for a field goal after a key tackle for a loss by William Carr as well as a sack on the next play by a whole pack of Blue Devils. The kick was no good, leaving the score at 8-0.

East Hardy worked its way downfield on the next drive courtesy of some completions by quarterback Damien Dellinger. The Cougars punched it in for the touchdown on a 2-yard carry by Tyler Tarallo. The extra point was no good, leaving St. Marys with a two-point lead.

The Blue Devils then extended their lead on a 27-yard passing connection between quarterback Ryan Kent and Logan Eddy for the score. Eddy also ran in the conversion, making the score 16-6 Blue Devils.

East Hardy quickly responded in just three plays with a score of its own. Dellinger found an open Brayden Gregory for a 31-yard touchdown pass. After the failed conversion, St. Marys still held onto the lead at 16-12.

The Cougars got one more chance with the ball before the end of the half, but Dellinger threw an interception to Josiah DeMoss.

St. Marys got the ball to start the second half and quickly got to work, with Kent running for 54 yards on the first play of the drive. However, Kent fumbled the ball on the next play and it was recovered by Garrett VanMeter of the Cougars. Luckily for the Blue Devils, the ensuing drive fizzled out.

Boron got St. Marys into the red zone on the next drive with a 40-yard run. Josiah DeMoss found the endzone on the next play for a five-yard rushing touchdown. The Blue Devils were up 22-12 after the score.

On the first play of East Hardy’s next drive, Dellinger hit Gregory on another long touchdown throw, this time from 43 yards out. Levi Price hit the extra point for the Cougars, making the score 22-19.

Ryan Kent threw an interception to Brandon Jones of East Hardy on second and seven at St. Marys’ own 36 yard line, setting up the Cougars for a score given the short field. East Hardy was able to turn that mistake into six points on a three-yard rushing touchdown by Tarallo. After the unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt, the score sat at 25-22 Cougars.

The Blue Devils had to punt on their next possession, but they managed to get the ball back thanks to an interception by Shane Moran. St. Marys had a long touchdown pass caught by DeLancey reversed due to an illegal procedure penalty. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they then gave the ball right back in the form of an interception, once again caught by Jones.

East Hardy drove down the field and capped off the drive with a five-yard run by Tarallo, giving him his third touchdown of the day. Price’s kick put the Cougars up 32-22.

Down ten points and with just two and a half minutes remaining, the Blue Devils managed to drive down the field without wasting much time. Kent had many key scrambles on the drive where he managed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. Shane Moran caught a 14-yard pass from Kent in the endzone for a touchdown with a minute and seven seconds remaining. Kent also successfully found Moran on the two-point conversion, making the score 32-30 East Hardy.

The ensuing onside kick attempt for the Blue Devils was unsuccessful. As time expired, Dellinger found Price on a 42-yard pass for a touchdown to make the final 38-30 Cougars.

Blue Devils head coach Jodi Mote said of the team’s effort, “Obviously our guys fought hard, and we didn’t win, and so it hurts and so you just feel for these young men.” He continued, “Very proud of the guys. Proud of their fight. Unfortunately, if you don’t win it all this is how you’re gonna feel, and unfortunately this is how we feel, so my focus right now is these young men. Like I said, obviously we’ve had a great year, but that’s not something that you’re thinking about right now.”

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