Barnesville's winning streak came to an end Friday night when the Caldwell Redskins ran their way to their first victory of the season, a 25-7 upset of the homestanding Shamrocks.
After spotting the Shamrocks an early 7-0 lead and withstanding another Barnesville scoring bid following a fumble, Caldwell used its wildcat style attack to pile up 355 yards on 53 rushing attempts and snap Barnesvilles four-game wining streak in the process.
The Redskins (1-4) used a four-pronged attack of backs to do the damage, with junior Andrew Minosky getting a little over half of the total with 179 yards on 18 carries. Senior Caleb VanMeter found the end zone three times while toting the leather 17 times for 77 yards; senior Kale Rayner picked up 75 yards on six attempts; and freshman Bricker Lori chipped in 51 yards on 10 totes.
Perkins had the look of a proud papa after the game when discussing how his team has adapted to the new game plan.
The kids are believing, he began. We had some injuries and we had to find some way to bounce back and find something we thought we could do and these kids bought into it hard.
Ive seen it coming, the Redskins boss said of the vastly-improved play of his team. The ball hasnt always bounced our way, but tonight we did what we had to do to get it done. The line and the backs are getting off the ball and working hard and theyre all working together.
I said we set football back 60 years, and were going to keep it there, Perkins grinned. Whatever works.
Were not done by any means, he added. We have a goal and were working toward it, but the kids really deserve this one tonight.
Barnesville (4-2) took the opening kickoff and drove 53 yards to paydirt, with senior QB Kyle Yaquinta teaming with senior Brandon Burkhart for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Junior David Browns PAT kick gave the hosts a 7-0 lead with 9:41 on the first quarter clock.
After an exchange of punts, Caldwell fumbled the ball away, with Barnesvilles Brandon Burkhart pouncing on the loose ball at the Redskins 34-yard line.
The Rocks drove to a first-and goal at the three, but a pair of fumbled snaps; a quarterback sack and an incompletion followed to thwart the scoring bid.
Caldwell got out of the hole in a hurry with the games biggest play a 64-yard scamper by Rayner to the Barnesville four and then freshman Jack Ridenour pushed his way across the goal line on a sneak for the TD.
The Skins went for a fake out of a muddle-huddle formation, but the play was stopped short and the Shamrocks lead was cut to 7-6 with 10:58 left in the first half.
Thats where things stood until late in the third quarter when Caldwell got great field position at the Barnesville 29-yard line following a high snap and a shanked punt.
It took five snaps for Caldwell to take the lead, with VanMeter getting the payoff from six yards out.
The two-point run again failed, but the Redskins were on top, 12-7, with 1:42 remaining in round three.
Caldwell put the game away with two tallies in the final frame, the first when VanMeter turned a simple off-tackle run into an 82-yard TD jaunt to make it 18-7 with 5:47 to play and then on a 15-yard VanMeter run with 4:03 left, with junior Alexi Cubas kicking the point-after to close out the scoring.
First-year Barnesville coach Matt Johnson was quick to praise the Redskins for their performance.
Give credit to their coaching staff and their kids, he said. They started out 0-3 and they changed what they did to give themselves the best chance they could to be successful and that says a lot about them.
Nothing the Rocks did defensively slowed down the Skins, according to Johnson.
Youre only allowed to play with 11, and we tried to get everybody we could in the box, he offered. They probably only ran two or three different plays all night, and we just couldnt stop them. They run them with different styles of backs and they executed very well.
While all of Caldwells yards came on the ground, Barnesvilles offensive output of 135 yards included a net of 32 rushing and 103 passing. Yaquinta completed 8-of-26 aerials, including three for 52 yards to Colton Pritchard and three for 30 yards to Brandon Burkhart. Dylan Burkhart had eight rushes for 26 yards.
NEXTBarnesville will go on the road to face Steubenville Catholic on Saturday at 7 p.m.