Down 15 points with just more 11 minutes to play in the game, Nelsonville-York faced a third-and-two from the Minford 12 yard line. Buckeye quarterback Nathan Dean dropped back to pass and surveyed his receivers, but as he let the ball go, Minford defensive lineman Brett Taylor jumped up and intercepted Dean’s pass, essentially ending the game.
That play told the story of a frustrating game for the Buckeyes, as they lost 27-6 and were eliminated from the playoffs. Every time it appeared Nelsonville-York had a chance to make a move, Minford asserted itself.
Minford running back Mark Slone led the team, as he ran 38 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Nelsonville-York’s defense had no answer for Slone and was dominated up front all night long.
“He is a nice running back,” Nelsonville-York coach David Boston said. “But we did not come out and play typical Nelsonville-York football.”
The Buckeyes had some success running the ball in the first half, and jumped out to 6-0 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Dustin Young in the first quarter.
But after going into halftime trailing only 7-6, the Buckeyes abandoned the run in the second half.
Fullback Justin Cunningham was sidelined with an injury, which forced Nelsonville-York to put the ball on the air more than it would have liked.
“Whenever you lose a 215-pound fullback, you have to adjust,” Boston said. “They made some adjustments at the half and did a good job shutting down our run.”
Dean completed 15 of 27 passing attempts for only 93 yards and two interceptions.
“We were banged up and we lost a couple of players,” Boston said. “We have to take our hats off to Minford, they came out inspired and their kids played a great football game. They brought it to us.”
Young managed only 60 yards on 18 carries, as Minford’s defensive line dominated most of the game.
“We did not come after it tonight and it showed on the field. But we had a great group of seniors and a great group of young men and I’m extremely proud of their effort this season’” Boston said.