By Bill Howes
After a good first half, the Chariton Varsity football team struggled in the third quarter and couldn’t quite pull it out late in a 14-7 loss to Saydel at Chariton’s homecoming Friday night.
The Chargers were able to move the ball well in the first half and held Saydel scoreless to lead 7-0 at halftime. However the Chargers committed a couple of costly turnovers including an interception and fumble in the third quarter that the Eagles converted into scores to take a 14-7 lead late in the third period.
Chariton got the ball deep into Saydel territory several times in the fourth period with a chance to tie or possibly win it but they couldn’t score. On one possession they turned it over on downs and the last one they had an interception to halt the drive.
“I thought the defense played really well tonight. Our defensive backs covered well and did a really nice job. The fumble quarterback Mason Smith lost in the third quarter wasn’t his fault. A couple of our linemen stepped the wrong way in pass protection and that gave a free run to Mason and that can’t happen. If we stepped the right way on that play, then Saydel may not have driven down and scored,” Chariton Head Coach Curt Smyser said.
Chariton had three turnovers including two interceptions and a fumble while Saydel had zero turnovers. The Chargers also committed eight penalties for 54 yards while Saydel committed seven penalties for 69 yards.
“We can’t consistently move the ball. A couple of times penalties got us in long yardage situations and we’re not that good with those. I thought our kids’ effort was really good and I was very happy with their effort. Assistant Coach Ben Schooley had a great defensive game plan and it worked. We just didn’t do well enough offensively,” Coach Smyser said.
Chariton wasn’t able to run the ball as well as they would like to with 93 yards rushing. Tailback Ryder McGee led the team with 52 yards rushing on nine carries. Sam Primakov had 44 yards on 14 carries.
At quarterback Smith went 8-19 for 98 yards with a touchdown and an interception and a lost fumble. Chariton’s other interception was thrown by McGee on a halfback pass.
Alex Bates caught three passes for 66 yards. Tight end Preston Lane caught two passes for 13 yards. McGee caught one pass for a 13-yard touchdown.
Defensive end Andrew Zinchenko had a great game with eight solo tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Josh Desmond played very well at defensive back with coverage and had five solo tackles. McGee had five solo tackles, two assists and one tackle for loss. Bates also played well in coverage and had five solo tackles and two assists.
Read the October 6, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader/Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.