OLD WASHINGTON --The Barnesville Shamrocks capitalized on dominating play by their offensive and defensive lines to secure a 41-15 victory over the host Buckeye Trail Warriors on Friday night.
The 'Rocks (3-1) compiled 354 yards of offense as they rolled to the lopsided win.
"Our line opened up some opportunities for us to throw the ball, as well as run the ball," said Barnesville High coach Luke Johnson. "Dalton (Smith) has developed into a good leader and he makes good decisions running and throwing the ball."
The senior signal-caller finished with 181 yards on 14-of-23 passing that included two touchdown passes and one interception. Smith also rushed for 23 yards on six carries.
In all, seven Barnesville players found their way into the scoring column.
"The team concept has really hit home for this group of players," said Johnson. "It's not just one guy. The kids do a good job moving the ball around. We keep people guessing. You can't prepare for one player. You have to prepare for the whole team."
Meanwhile, Buckeye Trail (0-4) struggled to find its offense until a scoring drive mid way through the second quarter. Unfortunately for the hosts, they were already on the short end of a 21-7 score en route to a 27-7 deficit at the half.
"Offensively, we were off-balance all night," said Trail coach Ty Sichina of the Warriors' 182 yards of offense that included an 80-yard scoring strike mid way through the final frame.
"We tried to get different things going, but we were not able to sustain anything," Sichina offered. "We would get something going, and then there would be a broken play. We just couldn't sustain any end zone drives."
Barnesville opened the scoring with 9:15 to play in the first quarter on a one-yard run by A.J. Ritterbeck to cap a six-play, 65-yard drive that was aided by a 57-yard pass from Smith to Tim Welch and a personal foul by the Warriors two plays later.
Tyler Kurtz added the point-after for an early 7-0 lead. The second Barnesville touchdown was scored by Gage Hanlon on a two-yard run with 2:14 showing on the first quarter clock. Kurtz's point-after kick gave the visitors a 14-0 cushion thanks to the four-play, 45-yard scoring drive.
After a roughing the passer penalty on Trail in the second quarter, Barnesville' Smith completed three consecutive passes to sustain the march until Jesse Stoudt scored on a two-yard run.
The Shamrocks' point-after increased the lead to 21-0 with 10:53 to play in the second quarter.
Buckeye Trail cut the deficit to 14 points on its ensuing possession -- an 11-play, 65-yard scoring march capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Bobby Beros, who added the point-after to trail the Shamrocks 21-7.
A three-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Zack Dornon with 28 seconds to play in the first half nearly iced the victory for the visitors. The point-after kick missed its mark, but the seven-play, 45-yard scoring drive gave the 'Rocks a 27-7 lead.
In the second half, Barnesville again opened the scoring with a three-play, 50-yard drive capped by a 42-yard pass from Smith to Kurtz at the 8:28 mark of the third quarter. A Kurtz point-after kick gave the 'Rocks a 34-7 lead.
A safety on the ensuing Barnesville possession when a punt ricocheted off a player and out the back of the end zone for a 34-9 Barnesville lead.
Both teams scored in the final quarter -- Trail on an 80-yard pass from Beros to Andrew Wells with 6:47 to play and Barnesville on a three-yard run by Chance Lucas with 2:25 on the clock 9 set the final margin of victory for Barnesville.
Barnesville was led on the ground by Ritterbeck with 53 yards on six carries while Hanlon added 45 yards on eight totes. Beros led the Warriors' rushing effort with 31 yards on 25 carries.
Stoudt was Smith's favorite target on the night, catching four passes for 31 yards. Tre Greiner finished with three receptions for 22 yards while Welch added two catches for 75 yards.
NEXT -- Barnesville entertains Shenandoah on Friday at 7:30 p.m. while Buckeye Trail travels to Bellaire on Saturday to face St. John Central in a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.