Marauders beat improved Dragons

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 26, 1999

PROCTORVILLE – Justin Roush should change his name to Justin Rush.

Sunday, September 26, 1999

PROCTORVILLE – Justin Roush should change his name to Justin Rush. As in rushing for yardage. Roush ran 31 times and gained 317 yards while scoring four touchdowns as the Meigs Marauders beat the Fairland Dragons 34-18 Friday night.

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Roush now has 5,122 yards on 840 carries during his career. He now has 11 career games with 200 or more yards rushing including three this season. He now has 1,059 yards this season.

Fairland coach Jack Harris had nothing but praise for Roush.

"It was a great game and we played probably the best running back ever to run against a Fairland team at our field. He had some good holes, but he got a lot of it on his own. He ran low to the ground and he had great balance," said Harris.

Meigs, 4-1, had 401 yards on the ground as a team and 490 total yards.

Fairland racked up 323 yards with 198 coming on the ground. Darrin Thomas led the ground game with 100 yards on seven carries and Jeremy Louden had 11 attempts for 62 yards. Quarterback J. W. Jones hit 7 of 12 for 107 yards.

Despite the loss, Harris was pleased with his team’s effort.

"The strides we made in one week were great. We wanted to win the ball game, but we gave the fans their money’s worth. I told the kids let’s not have to pay the parents back their money. I felt like we should have done that after the way we played last week. But the fans responded by getting behind the players and that pumped us up," said Harris.

Meigs scored first on a 31-yard jaunt by Roush that capped a quick 47-yard, four-play drive. Roush also kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead.

Roush made it 14-0 a few minutes later as he ran 5 yards to polish off a 54-yard drive in four plays.

Fairland, 1-3, got back in the game before the half when Jones connected with Glen Chapman on a 10-yard scoring pass. The play capped an 11-play, 88-yard march with 3:21 elapsing off the clock. Jones hit Brandon Spence with a pass covering 32 yards to highlight the drive and it was 14-6 at the break.

The Dragons drew within 14-12 to start the second half as they drove 57 yards in seven play. Louden shook free on a 28-yard run with 8:37 on the clock.

But Meigs answered with a 68-yard drive that took just five plays and ended on B. J. Kennedy’s 25-yard run. Roush’s conversion made it 21-12.

Roush bolted 53 yards late in the fourth quarter that put Meigs ahead 27-12.

But on the ensuing kickoff, Jones electrified the crowd with a 70-yard touchdown return and the deficit was back at 27-18.

Meigs closed the scoring with a 48-yard drive in just six play capped by Roush’s 6-yard touchdown run with only 43 seconds to play.

"The score wasn’t indicative of the type of game it was. They put one in at the end when the game was virtually over," said Harris. "But don’t take anything away from Meigs. They made big plays when they had to. Our kids played exceptionally well from one week to next. We just need to keep getting better and maybe we can surprise someone along the win. You never know."

Fairland was hurt by five turnovers including three lost fumbles. Meigs had two interceptions with Spence picking off both passes.

The Dragons host Tolsia Friday in their homecoming game.

Meigs was playing without starting quarterback Grant Abbott who suffered a broken collarbone in last week’s 20-6 loss at Newark Catholic.