CLAYSVILLE – Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, Washington’s NFL team won three Super Bowl titles mostly on the strength of their offensive line known simply as the Hogs.

Although McGuffey’s current group of offensive linemen might not garner that kind of acclaim, they certainly have the attention of their opponents and Highlanders coach Ed Dalton as they led the way to a 42-0 pounding of Frazier Friday evening.

It was so decisive, a sound clip of ABC’s Howard Cosell’s famous line of “Down Goes Frazier” from George Foreman’s knockout of then-heavyweight champion Joe Frazier in 1973 echoed in the stadium’s speakers following the game.

McKinley Whipkey rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries. For the game, the Highlanders (3-0, 3-0) rushed for 249 yards.

“In the second half, we really did a good job coming off the ball,” Dalton noted. “We weren’t getting any second-level blocks in the first half, but we got after in the second.”

Dalton credited his starting five up front of Troy Falosk, Grant and Aidan Brookman, Nathan Cumer and Evan Wright for leading the way.

“I mean that is a veteran group,” the coach noted. “I think between the five of them, they have 100 total starts.”

It did not take long for the Highlanders’ offensive machine to get cranked-up and humming. Jared Johnson took a handoff 25 yards on the game’s first play. On the ensuing snap, Whipkey charged 35 yards to the end zone for the game’s opening tally. Nate Witowsky split the uprights to give McGuffey a 7-0 lead 25 seconds into the game.

“McKinley ran hard tonight, especially in the second half,” Dalton added.

Frazier was pressing for a tying score three possessions later as they drove from their own 32-yard line to the Highlanders’ 31. An errant shotgun snap on fourth down sailed over the head of Christian Mingrino, who fell on the ball at midfield, giving the ball back to McGuffey.

The Commodores appeared to have snagged some momentum when Jonathan Kubitza recovered a Whipkey fumble on the Frazier 10. But their spark was short-lived when McGuffey’s Eric Donnelly pounced on a Frazier fumble on the next play. Jared Johnson then cashed in from 10 yards to push the Highlanders’ lead to 14-0 three minutes into the second.

McGuffey pushed their lead to 21-0 late in the second quarter as the Highlanders converted two fourth-and-long plays. Jeremiah Johnson capped the march with a two-yard plunge behind dominant blocking from the Highlanders’ offensive line.

The Highlanders began to pour it on early in the third when quarterback Rocco Falosk found Kyle Brookman for a 33-yard catch and run to put McGuffey deep in Frazier territory. Brookman scored on an end-around sweep from 10 yards out to push the Highlanders’ lead to 28-0.

Frazier’s misfortunes deepened on its next possession. On fourth-and-15 from the McGuffey 35, Dom Dorcon misplayed a shotgun snap, attempted to escape but was tracked down by a host of Highlanders back on the Commodores’ 31. Two plays later, Whipkey scored from 21 yards, placing the contest in mercy rule status at 35-0.

Ethan Dietrich then recovered a Frazier fumble on the Commodores’ 12 on the ensuing kickoff. Brookman again scored on an end around sweep, pushing the McGuffey lead to 42-0 late in the third.

It was the first shutout pitched by the Highlanders’ defense this year as they’ve only allowed a total of 12 points the first three games of this season.

“We have nine of 11 guys back from last year on that side of the ball, we should be good,” Dalton said.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.