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Photos by Richard Sayer

Life was not a bowl of cherries for Ethen Knox against the Bulldogs.

Meadville    way too much
for Oilers, 32-8

Out-played, out-classed, out-everythinged. 

The homesteading Meadville Bulldogs put a no-doubt-about-it old-fashioned whipping on the Oilers to end September, virtually clinching a third straight region title. 


Gavin Stephens breaks

loose for his 89-yard

touchdown catch.

Final score was 32-8, and it really wasn't that close. In fact, the Bulldogs completed a 44-yard pass for a would-be touchdown, but Brighton Anderson took a knee at the one before taking another knee to end the game.

Except for a near school record 89-yard touchdown pass from Cole Findlay to Gavin Stephens, Meadville completely stifled the Oiler offense, limiting Ethen Knox to 49 yards on 20 carries. This after holding him to 95 yards in 2021 and 97 last season.

Knox could never break loose. His longest run from scrimmage was six yards, and he accomplished that twice. Meadville is the only team to hold the record-setting back to under 100 yards. Ever.

Knox went 0-3-4 and then after Stephens intercepted a MASH pass and Findlay threw an incompletion, 4-2. Then the rout was on.

A 20-yard punt return and a 21-yard run from scrimmage set the Bulldogs up at the Oiler 4, and three plays later soph QB Jacoby Thompson was in the end zone.

The Bulldogs failed on the conversion, but there was more to come. Much more. You know how Meadville just loves to throw the ball --about as much as the Oilers, and on its next possession, the Bulldogs' other quarterback, Tate Reichel completed an 80-yard touchdown to Anderson. The PAT was good, making it 14-0 very late first.

On the Oilers' next series -- they wouldn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter -- there was a bad snap from center and the ball rolled to the Oil City 30, where Meadville recovered. Lawrence scored from the 7 four plays after that.

The Oilers did get to the Meadville 38 on their next possession, thanks to a couple of big penalties against the 'Dogs and a 14-yard pass to Kevin Pearsall, but that drive fizzled.

Then came the coup-de-you know-it's-not-your-day moment: Meadville was faced with a second-and-47. Second-and-47! And boom: 64-yard touchdown run by Thompson. That made it 26-0 with 3:26 left in the half.

Oil City's one shining moment, which also offered a glimmer of hope, followed: the 89-yard touchdown from Findlay to Stephens, which prevented a third straight shutout for Meadville against the Oilers. That ranks No. 2 all-time in Oil City annals behind only Holden Stahl's 90-yard touchdown pass to Brayden Crocker in 2019. Knox added the PAT, but that would be all she wrote for the Oilers.

They did have the ball around midfield with less than a minute left in the half, but could do nothing with it.

Meadville's final touchdown came after the second half kickoff when Reichel tossed his second TD pass of the game, a 32-yarder to Nic Williams.

The Bulldogs weren't perfect. They had more penalties than they would have liked and they didn't convert all their PATs. But they shredded the Oiler defense, both running and passing the ball.

Meadville plays McDowell next in a non-region affair. The Oilers will be home the next two weeks against Hollidaysburg and Conneaut.

OIL SPILLS -- Senior linebacker Hayden Wilson, injured in the North East game, was back in action for the Oilers...JMHO: Meadville is more

impressive this year than last...Knox was wearing No. 13 (decoy?) against the 'Dogs...This week's opponent, Hollidaysburg, is 2-3 with wins over Butler (33-13) and Altoona.  Two of the Tigers' losses were to Maryland teams, Ft. Hill and Allegany...

Hayden Wilson tells his story
2022 Oil City schedule
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