[Payton Brooker | WOUB]

Walker’s four touchdowns propels St. Clairsville to victory

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — It was Homecoming night for St. Clairsville, but the crowning of the King and Queen was not the only coronation that occurred on the field. Jacob Walker and the Red Devils came into this game fresh off of a Coal Bucket victory over Harrison Central, and looking to continue that momentum in this OVAC clash against the Bellaire Big Reds.

After a 3 and out by the Big Reds, the Red Devils methodically drove down the field utilizing a mix of Andrew Vera and Jacob Walker downhill running. 

“We’ve been playing with each other since seventh grade,” said Jacob Walker in reference to his relationship with quarterback Andrew Vera. The seven minute first quarter drive brought the Red Devils to the doorstep of the goal line where Walker punched it in from 7 yards out to make it 7-0 St. Clairsville. 

Both defenses tightened their grip, and most of the second quarter consisted of the Red Devils and the Big Reds trading punts back and forth. That dynamic was interrupted when Bellaire defensive back RayRay Pettigrew intercepted Red Devil quarterback Andrew Vera, and returned it to the end zone knotting up the score at seven apiece going into the half. 

The Red Devils surged out of the locker room to begin the second half. On their first possession out of the tunnel, St. Clairsville marched right down the field to set up Jacob Walker for a 2 yard touchdown run to put the Red Devils ahead 13-7. 

The Red Devils refused to relent on the next Bellaire. On the attempted rebuttal, a strip sack on Jake Heatherington was recovered to place St. Clairsville in prime field position. Jacob Walker took full advantage, steamrolling his way into the endzone for his third touchdown of the night. 

Bellaire declined to simply bow out of this matchup. Filling in for an injured Brayden Roth, Drew White got loose for 30 yards and a touchdown to bring Bellaire back within a single possession, and the score 19-14 St. Clairsville. 

On the ensuing kickoff, the Red Devils looked for the knockout punch. Cole Thorburn returned the kickoff 90 yards to the endzone to put St. Clairsville back up by two possessions, 26-14. They would tack on another and the game would finish 33-14.

For the Big Reds, they fall to 3-4 in on the year, continuing the trend of their brutal schedule. On the season, the combined record of Bellaire’s opponent comes out to 19-3. Bellaire will look to turn it around next week at home against Shadyside who have struggled to find their footing this year as their record sits at 1-5. 

Jacob Walker would tally one more touchdown for the Red Devils in the fourth quarter, and by then, St. Clairsville had slammed the door on any chance of a Big Red rally.  Buoyed by Walker’s impressive performance, the Red Devils improve to 5-2 on the season, and face their biggest test against the mighty 6-1 Union Local Jets on the road. 

This matchup will be vital in determining the champion of the OVAC and the Buckeye 8 as these two teams currently sit atop the standings of the conferences respectively. When asked about the overall picture in the Buckeye 8 and the OVAC, all Coach McClean had to say was, “It’s a week-by-week mentality.”

Next week will have massive reverberations on the landscape of the 740, and it will be a battle between Jaksan Price and Jacob Walker over the mantle of the most dominant running back in the OVAC.