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Grove City Sprints Past Moniteau for 33-6 Win

Written by: on Saturday, November 7th, 2009

GROVE CITY — When Moniteau invaded Forker Field for the regular season finale Friday night, it turned out to be a bad news, good news situation for Grove City as both teams prepped for the playoffs.

The bad news for the Eagles came on the Moniteau’s first possession as the Warriors marched around and through the Eagle defense for 61 yards on seven plays, quarterback Kyle Arbagost hooking up with Zach Wheeler for a 22-yard scoring play to give Moniteau a 6-0 lead.

“He (Arbagost) is a tough little quarterback,” praised Grove City head coach Jeff Bell. “And that 14 (James Shope) is a good runner, but our kids did a good job against them after the opening drive.”

However, the good news for Grove City was that all the Warrior score did was awaken the Eagles on both sides of the ball as the defense stiffened to make some big plays to hand the ball over to the offense that responded by scoring 33 unanswered points for a 33-6 victory.

Following the Moniteau score, the Eagles set the tone for the rest of the night as they answered the Warrior score with their first of five touchdowns.

Operating from their own 30, the Eagles only needed seven plays to go the distance, Marty Phipps ripping his way into the end zone from 11 yards out for the score. Tyler Dagres tacked on the PAT to give GC the lead for keeps at 7-6.

“I felt the outcome of this game was a combination of things,“ said Moniteau head coach Jeff Campbell. “They are a good football team and they came out and played well, and we came out, especially defensively, and didn’t play well. We put the ball on the ground and we didn’t catch passes. We didn’t do the things that we have been doing to win football games.”

While Campbell was disappointed, Grove City head coach Jeff Bell liked what he saw from his troops as they prepare for the playoffs.

“The kids played a great game tonight,” Bell said. “Both of my offensive and defensive coordinators did a hecuva job preparing the kids to play the game. That first drive was one of the best drives we had all year and when you get scored on quick like that, you never know what is going to happen. But when you answer right back, that is a good sign and we needed to do that at that point of the game.”

There are always a couple of plays that many times determine the outcome of a football game, and those came along in the second period.

With Moniteau driving for a possible go-ahead score, Arbagost had his pocket picked by Marty Phipps in the Eagle end zone. Twelve plays later, Marty’s brother, Wes, went in from seven yards out for the score.

On the first play following the Phipps touchdown, the Warriors found themselves with more trouble as they coughed up the ball on their own 43. Six plays later, Wes Phipps scored his second TD of the game from one yard out. The PAT was no good, but the Eagles took comfortable 20-6 lead to the locker room at the break.

“Turnovers kill you,” added Campbell. “I stress all the time that you cannot beat yourself, you have to make the other team beat you. We beat ourself with turnovers and missed tackles, and if we expect to win next week, we can’t do that.”

Bell agreed that the turnovers were a big factor in leading his team to the win.

“We have talked a lot about that the past few weeks and we have been doing a good job of taking care of the football,” said Bell. “Last week we had a penalty problem, but tonight we did a good job of eliminating many of those mistakes. Hopefully we can take this same thing into next week and build on it.”

Holding onto the 20-6 advantage, the Eagles put the game’s final two scores on the board when Jamarr Patterson sprinted 34 yards to the end zone on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half before Harold Price capped the scoring when a 3-yard run midway through the final period.

Coming out of District 10 Region 5 as the champion, the Eagles will face the Erie Strong Vincent Colonels next weekend in the opening round of the D-10 playoffs.

“I know we are going to play Erie Strong Vincent and hopefully we can play at Slippery Rock but that is not a definite,” said Bell. “Last year we played our first game on Saturday and maybe this time it will be on Friday night so we’ll see what happens.”

As for Moniteau, the Warriors face a tough draw in Brockway.

“We know we play Brockway at Clarion University Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.,” said Campbell. “I do know they throw the ball 60 times a game and I also know their quarterback set the state record in passing this year. They are a tough team so we have our work cut out for us.”

Big Offensive Performers… Grove City quarterback Tyler Dagres completed his first seven passes and finished with 90 yards for the game. Nick Reddick was Dagres’ favorite target with five catches for 71 yards. Jamarr Patterson only carried the ball seven times, but made the most of the opportunities for 84 yards and one score. Moniteau Arbagost made the biggest noise for the Warriors with 66 yards on eight carries while passing for another 87 yards and his team’s lone touchdown.

Big Defensive Performers… The Eagle defensive unit only allowed the Warriors a total of 15 offensive plays in the second half. Marty Phipps intercepted a pass and Jamarr Patterson recovered a fumble.

The Big Plays… Marty Phipps interception in the end zone turned the Warriors away without a score after they drove 73 yards to a first-and-goal. Patterson’s fumble recovery gave the Eagles good field position at the M-43. Following both takeaways, the Eagles scored to pull away to a 20-6 halftime lead.

It Was Over When… The Grove City defense completely stuffed Moniteau after Patterson’s touchdown run.

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