ZANESVILLE -- Newark High School's Jordan Spurlock used his arms and kicking leg as motivational devices as Licking County rallied for a 13-7 victory in the 28th annual Licking County-Muskingum Valley All-Star Game on Friday night in John D. Sulsberger Stadium.
ZANESVILLE -- Newark High School's Jordan Spurlock used his arms and kicking leg as motivational devices as Licking County rallied for a 13-7 victory in the 28th annual Licking County-Muskingum Valley All-Star Game on Friday nightin John D. Sulsberger Stadium.
Spurlock's extra-point following Licking County's only touchdown forged a 7-all tie with 9:12 remaining in the third quarter. Then he blasted the ball through the end zone for a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, staying on the field to wave his arms up and down as the visiting fans grew louder and the momentum seemed to be turning.
"I was just trying to get the crowd going a little bit," Spurlock said.
If that didn't do it, his 51-yard field goal moments later certainly did. Licking County took possession again when Johnstown's Kurt Sammons came from the blind side to level Muskingum Valley quarterback Treg Ulmer square in the back. Licking Valley's Michael Shackleford recovered the fumble, and three plays later Spurlock's long-distance kick put Licking County ahead to stay 10-7 with 5:39 left to play in the third quarter. It cleared the crossbar with at least five or six yards to spare.
"I was on a blitz from the outside," said Sammons, a linebacker who will play next year at Capital. "I saw the quarterback fake and I just ran right at him."
Spurlock, who was named Player of the Game for Licking County, wasn't finished. He also added a 32-yard field goal for the game's final points as his team scored on all three third-quarter possessions, including a 13-yard run by Northridge's Sean Haines.
"I knew I hit it really solid," Spurlock said of his 51-yarder. "Then I looked up and saw the ball going through the posts. It's an awesome feeling, especially on one that long."
Licking County pulled even in the series at 14-all. It's the team's third win in four years and seventh in nine games.
New Lexington's Brett Wycinski, who caught four passes for 77 yards and scored Muskingum Valley's only touchdown, was named Player of the Game for his team.
"We just came together," said Johnstown's Mike Carter, who coached Licking County. "We jelled when it really mattered."
Licking County's defense also helped key the victory. Muskingum Valley punted on four of six second-half possessions, also turning the ball over once on downs. It took a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Wycinski scored on a 20-yard reception from Ulmer, but four other first-half possessions inside Licking County territory resulted in no points.
"That was the ballgame, too," said Thornville Sheridan's Paul Culver, who coached Muskingum Valley. "We clearly didn't get enough out of that first half when we had some scoring opportunities."
Licking County didn't fare any better in the first half, when five of its six possessions went three-plays-and-out.
"I thought both defenses were pretty good," Carter said. "But we had a pretty good kicker."
Kurtis Adams can be reached at email@example.com.