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Red Raiders blank Zanesville in round one

Photos by Chris Whitacre


Sweet victory.


For centuries, the celebration of Halloween has been practiced in various parts of the world. One of the most recently-added parts of the holiday’s fabric is the traditional gathering of confectionary goodness. Along with that is the desire to get more treats than tricks.


After a Halloween weekend gridiron matchup between London High School and Zanesville High School, one team left with all of the goodies.


The Red Raiders treated their home fans to a first round playoff victory Friday as they defeated the visiting Blue Devils 17-0.


Early on it looked like an evening of tricks as each team fumbled on its initial drive.


London was able to right the ship as it put together a 12-play, 72 yard scoring drive. It featured the Red Raiders’ bread and butter for the evening – the running of Antwaun Burns, and the Ayden Cooper run after the catch on screen passes from Dylan Combs.


Squeezed among those on the drive was a nice 39 yard pass from Combes to Andrew Sims. Burns concluded the drive with a one yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the opening quarter.


Best costume of the evening went to the Red Raiders defense as they perfectly portrayed a locked door in front of the end zone, denying Zanesville access all evening.


Once London started to bottle up shifty Blue Devils running back Jordan Martin, Zanesville went to the air. They soon found that was off limits as LHS’ Cooper intercepted visiting QB Isaac Mayle in the end zone.


Getting the ball back at the 10 minute mark, Burns, Cooper and Combs engineered a picturesque 16 play drive that consumed nearly eight-and-a-half minutes off of the clock. The Red Raiders increased their lead to 10-0 thanks to the trusty leg of Ryan Fullmer who booted a 25 yard field goal.


In the third, Zanesville started to move down the field, but were stopped on downs by a stout London defense. The line dominated all night, led by Antonio Burns, Isaiah Jones, Cheney Gross, Thadd Huff, Jonathan Schooley and others who continued to frustrate the Blue Devils.


London’s next drive featured two of the evening’s more spectacular plays. First Richard Dodson made a tremendous catch on the sideline of a perfectly placed pass by Combs. Then, running back Noah Sollars rambled right thru the middle for a 51 yard scoring jaunt just three minutes in to the third quarter.


After that, neither team could get any momentum as yellow flags would seemingly be a part of each drive from that moment forward, thus interrupting the flow of the game.


London got the final word as Cooper snagged his second interception of the evening as the minutes ticked away.


In the end, London coach Kyle Cutler was happy with his team’s performance.


“This game featured no tricks, but a lot of treats,” Cutler said. “And they were sweet.”


London will host Bishop Hartley next Friday evening for round two.