BYESVILLE -- The Bill Dowler Memorial Trophy has a new home for the next year after the visiting Barnesville Shamrocks score the first 27 points en route to a 27-7 win over Meadowbrook on Friday.
Two 42-yard punt returns for touchdowns by Jourden Yager paced the 'Rocks (2-0) in the first half and senior Dalton Smith added a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter to account for Barnesville's scoring.
"I thought we were a little flat in the first half," said Barnesville High Coach Luke Johnson as the Shamrocks only tallied 108 yards of offense in the first two quarters. "I thought we were more productive in the second half.
"Defensively, we were productive in both halves," Johnson continued, "and the special teams made two great plays (in the first half) to put points on the board. We have to continue to work to get better, because our opponents are not going to get easier."
For the host Colts (0-2), it was night of shoddy tackling combined with missed opportunities that led to the second consecutive lop-sided defeat.
"We were still in position at the half to win the game," said Meadowbrook coach Mitch Bendle of the Colts' 14-0 halftime deficit. "We were able to move the ball at times in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times.
"We expected that we would able to move the ball in the second half and stop them defensively," the MHS coach offered, "but we had too many bad breakdowns tackling. Poor tackling cost us in the second half."
Barnesville's Yager opened the scoring with 10:24 to play in the second quarter when he hauled in a Colts punt on one bounce and raced virtually untouched to the end zone.
Tyler Kurtz added the point-after to give the 'Rocks a 7-0 lead.
With 3:29 to play in the half, Yager struck again from the same spot on the field by hauling in a Meadowbrook punt and, after breaking a pair of tackles, raced 42 yards to paydirt.
Kurtz's point-after kick gave Barnesville a 14-0 advantage.
On the ensuing possession, Meadowbrook missed on its best scoring opportunity of the first half, failing to score on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line.
"That hurt," said Bendle. "We could have taken momentum into the half with us after the defense didn't allow Barnesville to score (in the half), but we didn't get it done. We were disappointed we didn't get in. They outplayed us."
Smith quickly opened the second half with 11:28 to play in the third quarter on a 44-yard catch-and-run by Tim Welch. On the play, Smith rolled to his left and avoided a Meadowbrook tackler before finding a wide-open Welch, who also cut back against the defense to find a path to the end zone.
The point-after attempt failed, but the visitors were in command, 20-0.
The final Barnesville touchdown came with 5:03 to play in the quarter on a 10-yard strike from Smith to Tre Greiner in the front corner of the end zone. Kurtz's PAT pushed the Shamrocks' lead to 27-0.
Smith finished the night completing 7-of-12 pass attempts for 115 yards and the two scores. His favorite target was Welch with five catches for 78 yards.
A.J. Ritterbeck was the leading rusher for Barnesville with 58 yards on eight totes while Smith added 31 yards on six carries and Jesse Stoudt tallied 22 yards.
Meadowbrook's lone touchdown came with 47 seconds to play on a one-yard run by Kyle Young to cap a 72-yard drive. Josh Riggans accounted for 28 yards during the drive to finish with a team-high 48 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Jimmy Runyon added the point-after kick for the Colts.
Quarterback Jared George finished with 98 yards on 6-of-18 passing for the hosts, including three strikes to Jake Black for 67 yards and a pair of passes to Runyon for 18 yards.
NEXT-- This Friday, Barnesville visits Caldwell and Meadowbrook travels to Shenandoah. Kickoff at both sites is set for 7:30 p.m.