By Dan Ramey
Things started off well enough for Chillicothe in their battle at The O Friday, but eventually, Marion Franklin’s athleticism put the clamps on the Cavs, 40-26.
The Red Devils tallied 22 unanswered points to overcome a 24-18 deficit to improve to 3-0.
Sophomore running back Maleek McIntosh had 16 carries for 227 yards and four TDs for Marion Franklin. He scored the go ahead TD from 62 yards out with 2:02 left in the third quarter, then tapped in a 41 yard run after the Devils had stopped Chillicothe deep, forcing a punt from the Cavalier end zone.
At times, Marion Franklin’s speed resembled Chillicothe’s on display in last Friday’s win over Licking Heights.
Connor Mathis got Chillicothe on the board first on a five yard run. Mathis had 52 yards on 12 carries for the evening. He was also stopped just inches from the goal line on 4th down late in the game.
Cavs QB Branden Maughmer rushed for 166 yards on 20 carries, but managed to complete only 5-of-18 passes for 96 yards with 3 INTs.
The Cavs got a pick me up when JJ Harris hit Zach Coats in stride for a 35 yard TD pass to lift Chillicothe to a 21-18 lead heading into the intermission. Harris also had an 85 yard kickoff return for a TD in the first half.
Chillicothe opened the third quarter forcing a Marion Franklin punt. The Cavs drove inside the Devils’ 10 yard line and settled for a 19 yard field goal by Matt Detty for a 24-18 lead. While happy with points on the board, Coach Ron Hinton said after the game getting three instead of seven points there was a turning point in the game for Marion Franklin..
The Red Devils began to use their speed to gain an advantage.
McIntosh reeled off runs of 62 and 41 yards for half his TD tally. Pittman had a second pick on the night and it was followed up by a 71 yard scoring pass by Ke’Zion Brown to Porter to begin to close the door on the Cavaliers.
The Cavs had 10 penalties on the night and put themselves in difficult situations in the second half.
Chillicothe (2-1) plays Hartley (2-1) next Friday at The O. The two-time defending D3 State Champion Hawks were 56-0 winners over East Cleveland Shaw Friday.
Scores from Chillicothe’s opponents for September 8th:
Teays Valley (1-2) lost to Canal Winchester 33-7
Licking Heights (2-1) defeated New Albany 35-30
Logan (1-2) earned its first win in a 26-22 score with Meigs
Hillsboro (2-1) ground out a 48-7 win at East Clinton
McClain (0-3) fell at Zane Trace 47-7
Miami Trace (0-3) dropped a 17-12 decision to Logan Elm
Washington CH (2-1) lost to London in a shootout 51-47
Jackson (3-0) blanked Gallia Academy 34-0
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