COAL GROVE, Ohio — In a game that will be talked about for years to come, the Meigs Marauders erased a 12 point deficit in the final four minutes of the game to post a thrilling 46-44 come from behind win over Coal Grove Friday evening.
The Hornets looked to put the game away with 4:41 left when Conor Markins pulled in a 57 yard touchdown pass from Jesse Rigsby, Rigsby added the extra points for a 44-32 advantage. But two Andrew Burt touchdowns, the final with 1:41 left in the contest and Burt’s run for the extra points gave the Marauders the thrilling win.
The Marauder defense came up with the games first big play when Rigsby fumbled at the Meigs nine yard line and Daylen Neece recovered for the Marauders. Mixing up the pass and run Meigs went in for the first score when Damon Jones pulled in a 12 yard scoring toss from Kalieb Sheets. The extra points were no good but Meigs had drawn first blood with 1:42 in the first.
On the first play after the kickoff Rigsby hit Joe Akers from 50 yards out to tie the game at six. Tanner Murphy one yard run and, Murphy’s extra point run with 8:35 left in the first half gave the Hornets the lead at 14-6.
Michael Davis, who had a monster game for the Marauders, returned the kickoff 45 yards to give the Marauders good field position. Three plays later Ty Phelps pulled in a 45 yard scoring toss from Sheet, Burt added the extra points to tie the game at 14 with 7:47 left.
After Isaiah Gunther scored from two yards out and Rigsby added the extra points to make it 22-14, once again the Davis sparked the Marauders returning the kick 37 yards to the Hornet 45. Three plays later, Davis pulled in a 29-yard pass from Sheets, the extra points was no good and the half ended with Coal Grove on top 22-20.
Davis returned the second half kickoff 49 yards, setting up a five play drive that gave the Marauders the lead when Sheets went around left end 36 yards for the score and the Marauders went on top 26-22.
Murphy added a 40 yard run in the third period, and Gunther added a 12 yard run with 5:42 left in the third for a 36-26 with 5:42 left. But once again Davis came up with the big play breaking off a 59 yard touchdown run with 4:40 remaining and the Marauders had cut the Hornet lead to 36-32.
Markins pulled in a 57 yard pass from Rigsby and when Rigsby added the extra points the Hornets look to have a comfortable 44-32 lead 4:41 remaining. But once again the Marauders refused to quit. Davis returned the kickoff 25 yards and added a run of 30 yards on first down.
Meigs drove to the Hornet 22, on third and seven, Sheets was unable to find anyone open and rambled down the left sideline for 19 yards to the Hornet three. One the next play Burt plowed through the line for the score. And Meigs had cut the lead to 44-38 with 3:21 remaining.
Instead of going for the onside kick the Marauders kicked deep and Coal Grove took over at their own five yard line. Meigs defense stiffened and forced them Hornets to a three and out and Austin Welch returned the Coal Grove punt 17 yards to the 15 yard line.
After a Hornet penalty, Burt ran for seven and then the final three yards to tie the game at 44 with 1:41 left. Burt then scored the winning points and plowed through the line for the extra points.
A Hornet holding penalty put the host team deep in a whole and facing a fourth and 34, Coal Grove had one last chance when Rigsby pass to Gunther was well short of the first down. Two snaps and Meigs taking the knee ran out the clock and gave the Marauders the exciting win.
Michael Davis had a huge game for the Marauders with 344 total yards, 133 of it coming on the ground in 11 tries. Sheets added 112 in 11 carries and Burt added 42 in 11 tires. Sheets was 11 of 23 in the air for 168 yards, Phelps caught six for 86, Davis two for 43, and Jones two for 22.
For the Hornets Gunther led the way with 81 yards in 20 carries, Murphy added 53 in 10 tries. Rigsby had an outstanding game for the home team throwing for 352 yards completing 13 of 19. Joe Akers caught three passes for 152 yards and Markins caught three for 109 yards.
Meigs (1-0) will make its second trip to Lawrence County in a row next Friday when it travels to Fairland.