Garaway crushes West Jefferson to catapult into the state semifinals for the first time

ZANESVILLE – The Garaway High School football team roared as it gathered in its traditional postgame circle Friday night on the north side of Sulsberger Stadium.

Fans joined in a raucous celebration after the Pirates routed West Jefferson, 42-7, in a Division VI regional final. A group of Garaway players accepted the regional championship trophy near midfield and shared hugs with teammates, coaches and family members.

But the Pirates are still hungry for more.

“It’s our goal to win a state championship this year,” said junior quarterback Brady Geibel. “It’s another game, another step in the right direction. We played well all-around. But we’ve got to get back in the film room tomorrow. It wasn’t perfect. One game at a time. We’ve got Kirtland next week. It’s going to be a tough one.”

The Pirates move on to face a Kirtland team in next week’s state semifinal at a site to be determined. The Hornets defeated Mogadore, 42-0, on Friday.

Junior tailback Dillon Soehnlen scored three touchdowns on the night. His biggest play came on a 65-yard high arching pass from Geibel that put Garaway ahead 28-0 in the second quarter.

The Garaway Pirates, including Wyatt Wallick holding the trophy, celebrate their 42-7 win over West Jefferson during the Division VI, Region 23 final, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 at John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium in Zanesville, Ohio.

Meet the team: A list of the Full East District Football squad

The Pirates got contributions on offense, defense and special teams. Wyatt Wallick fielded a low West Jefferson punt, swept right and turned upfield for a 38-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter. He also found the end zone on a 3-yard scoop and score with 9:48 left in the game.

West Jefferson’s lone touchdown came on a 29-yard scamper off a shovel pass in the fourth quarter.

“It means the…


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