[ Bryce Tinson | WOUB ]

Crooksville host Waterford for stadium grand opening

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CROOKSVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — The Crooksville Ceramics played in front of their home crowd for the first time in 676 days, but were unable to get it done as they fell to the Waterford Wildcats in frustrating fashion.

Friday night was the inaugural Ceramics game at their new stadium on new field turf.

In 2021, Crooksville suffered a brutal season; not only did they go winless with a record of 0-9, but were unable to play a single game in front of a home crowd due to maintenance issues with their previous stadium.

The fans celebrated their new stadium during pregame on Friday night, as those in the Crooksville community were happy to see their boys play on their new, beautiful turf field in front of their hometown.

Included in the pregame festivities was a game ball delivered by a Crooksville alumnus, who flew and landed with the ball on the field by paramotor.

It was clear that the Ceramics were fired up and laying it on the line in front of their home crowd in the first quarter.

After a methodic, ten play first drive by Waterford, Crooksville defined the “bend, don’t break” defensive philosophy by coming up with a huge defensive stop on fourth down on their own two-yard line.

Ceramics defensive back Corbyn Browning was a clear standout on the defense early for the ceramics.

Browning made his presence known in the secondary, delivering big hits on receivers throughout the first half, including a violent pass break up on third down early in the second quarter in Ceramic territory. He finished the night with eight tackles including one for a loss.

Despite a massive display of attitude and effort early, it was clear Crooksville has some ironing-out to do on offense if it wants to be successful moving the ball this season. Penalties were the Achilles heel of the Ceramics, as multiple explosive plays were called back on holdings.

The Wildcats broke the scoring drought with just less than 90 seconds in the first quarter. Lane Cline was the culprit, catching a bubble screen on the 25-yard line and breaking the leverage of the defense, taking it down the right sideline all the way to the endzone to make it a 6-0 game.

From there, the Ceramics offense continued to stall out, as penalties continued to hinder Crooksville’s execution on offense. Waterford running back Dylan Taylor punched in the second touchdown of the night for the Wildcats after setting himself up with a 34-yard run, where he broke through eight Ceramics tackles before getting stopped at the one-yard line.

Each team only scored one touchdown in the second half, as Crooksville’s came on a quarterback run in the fourth quarter from Trinton Cottrell.

Although Crooksville’s first game of the season came at a 18-6 loss against a worthy Waterford opponent, their stout defensive play and team grit displayed showed they have the ability to be a competitive football team.

The Ceramics will look to improve on their offense in week two, as they will travel to Fairfield Union in pursuit of their first win in two seasons.