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Crusaders host Dons Saturday

October 15, 2012
By ED LOOMAN - Sports correspondent , The Herald-Star

Like many coaches, Steve Daley had this simple second half goal for his Catholic Central football season: go 1-0 each week.

So far, so good for Daley and his Crusaders.

Central went 1-0 in Week 8 thanks to an easy 53-8 victory over Weir High. Daley's club has won five straight and stands at 6-2 on the season. During the victory streak, the Crusaders defense has allowed just 42 points.

Article Photos

ON THE MOVE — Steubenville Catholic Central receiver Zach Herrington will lead the Crusaders into Saturday’s 7 p.m. showdown with Madonna at Harding Stadium.
-- Mike Mathison

The goal of going 1-0 in Week 9 will come with a huge challenge in the form of the high-flying Madonna Blue Dons. Doug Taylor's gridders are 6-1 and also have captured five consecutive victories since a tough 28-22 loss to Wheeling Central.

The 13th battle between the small school powers is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Harding Stadium.

In the win over the Red Riders, Central again showed outstanding offensive balance, getting 208 on the ground and 143 through the air.

Doug Maslowski ran for 140 yards on just nine carries and three touchdowns. He now has 752 stripes and 12 rushing touchdowns.

Brenton Colabella hit on nine of his 10 attempts for a couple of scores. The junior quarterback leads the Herald Star/Daily Times coverage area in passing yardage with 1,970 and 24 touchdowns.

Madonna's offense had another huge night in steamrolling Clarksburg Notre Dame, 49-12. Ross Comis accounted for 218 total yards (93 rushing and 125 passing). He scored twice and connected with Garrett Hypes for another six-pointer. Five Blue Dons found the end zone in the contest staged at Fairmont State University.

In seven games, Comis has thrown for 782 yards and run for 854. He has 13 rushing touchdowns.

Heading into Friday's game with Big Red, Morgantown was averaging 327 rushing yards per outing. Reno Saccoccia's club countered the potent Mohigan running game with a strong rushing attack of its own.

Big Red finished with 258 stripes while Morgantown was held to 142 (102 coming during the first two quarters).

Senior Dashon Redman had a career night, toting the pigskin 31 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Redman showed both power and speed in helping Big Red earn the 20-14 victory and move to 6-2 on the season. His 1-yard run with 8:02 remaining provided the winning score.

"He's the real deal," said Morgantown's John Bowers. "He's a good runner."

Michael Jett contributed 82 on 10 totes. His 45-yard sprint put Big Red in position to score the game's final touchdown.

Big Red's rushing game chewed up plenty of time in the contest at Pony Lewis Field. The winners had possessions consuming 5:05, 5:06, 7:37, 5:46 and 4:41.

After Redman's 1-yard plunge, Morgantown moved down the field and had a first down at the Big Red 11 (thanks to a defensive pass interference call). Chazzy Thomas moved forward for a yard before quarterback Mark Johnson lofted a pass into the end zone. The Mohigans were called for offensive interference, which resulted in a loss of 15 yards and a down.

The down marker, however, continued to show second down and there appeared to be some confusion on the playing field. Johnson completed a 10-yard pass before scrambling for a few. He apparently thought the Mohigans had another down, but the ball belonged to Big Red and Morgantown was dealt a tough loss.

Turnovers: you either love them or you hate them.

Area teams found themselves on both ends of the TO spectrum during Week 8.

Indian Creek led the list of lovers thanks to an outstanding play made by Alex Young. With the Redskins clinging to a 26-21 lead and Harrison Central marching for a score, Young stepped in front of a Huskie pass and raced 96 yards for the victory-clinching score.

Young's touchdown and Fernando Prestes' extra point gave Creek a 33-21 Buckeye 8 victory and moved Andrew Connor's club to 7-1 on the season.

The Edison Wildcats were crazy about turnovers also after surprising Martins Ferry 35-22 for their second victory of the season.

Ferry committed seven turnovers, four fumbles and three interceptions. Five of the miscues came in the first quarter. The Purple Riders outgained Edison 339-310 but couldn't overcome the mistakes.

Edison's Nolan Marcus had a huge night for coach Mike McKenzie. He completed nine passes for 148 and two touchdowns. He also ran for 67 and a pair of scores.

Brooke fell into the turnover hater category after suffering a 53-27 loss at Parkersburg South. The Patriots tallied 20 points off four first-half Bruin mistakes.

Freshman Justin Loughrie did all he could to help Brooke's cause. He rushed for 155 yards on 20 carries and scored on a 42-yard sprint.

Oak Glen suffered a 33-13 loss to East Liverpool in the annual "Battle of the Bridges" thanks in part to giving the ball away six times.

Four interceptions and two fumbles were too much to overcome for coach Ian Whittington's gridders. Oak Glen is now 4-4 and its playoff hopes are in serious jeopardy.

Toronto also was burned by the turnover bug in its tough 35-32 loss to Conotton Valley. The Red Knights were guilty of six miscues.

The loss dimmed an outstanding performance by freshman quarterback Blaze Glenn. He completed 13 of 24 attempts for 306 yards and two scores. He found big brother Chez five times for 172 stripes and a score. He also hooked up with Charles Ross III on a 66-yard scoring strike.

In addition, Blaze Glenn managed 70 rushing yards and another touchdown.

Where they stand:

After its win over Harrison Central, Indian Creek has taken over the fourth spot in the Region 11 standings, according to Joe Eitel.

The 7-1 Redskins trail Alliance Marlington, Millersburg West Holmes and Dover. Creek closes the season by visiting Buckeye Local (3-4) and hosting Edison (2-6).

Big Red jumped back into the Region 11 hunt thanks to its 20-14 come-from-behind victory over Morgantown. Saccoccia's team is rated sixth. Big Red finishes its season with home games against Sir Wilfrid Laurier (3-1) and Akron Butchel (4-4).

Catholic Central is seventh in Region 21 and Eitel notes the Crusaders now control their own playoff destiny. After the contest with Madonna, Central will visit Magnolia (6-1).

Harrison Central stands eight in Region 15. Unbeaten St. Clairsville leads the region and Eitel says the Red Devils have clinched a first round home game. The Huskies visit Union Local Friday before hosting Buckeye Local.

Madonna is No. 7 in West Virginia's Class A after its easy victory against Notre Dame. The Blue Dons still must play Central, Toronto and unbeaten Clay-Battelle.

A different look:

Drew Pasteur offers a different look at the Ohio football playoffs on his website (

Using 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the regular season, computing the Harbin points each time, Pasteur has developed projections for first-round games in each division.

According to his projections, Indian Creek will finish 9-1 and Big Red 7-3, both making the Region 11 playoffs. Pasteur says Creek will finish fifth, facing Zanesville Maysville in the opening round. Big Red, he says, will close at 7-3, earning a trip to Dover.

Pasteur has Harrison Central finishing seventh in Region 15 with a 7-3 mark. The Huskies would tangle with Ironton. St. Clairsville is projected to win the region and host Indian Valley.

Catholic Central, according to Pasteur, will finish at 7-3 and earn the seventh spot in Region 21. If that happens, the Crusaders would face Malvern in round one.

Top stats:

Running wild: 177, Redman, Big Red, two touchdowns; 168, Hython, Harrison Central, two touchdowns; 155, Loughrie, Brooke, touchdown; 140, Maslowski, Catholic Central, three touchdowns; 97, Nick Ossman, Madonna, touchdown; 93, Comis, Madonna, two touchdowns; 92, Chris Graziani, Edison, touchdown; 82, Jett, Big Red.

Gunslingers: 306, B. Glenn, Toronto, 13 of 24, two scores; 148, Marcus, Edison, 9 of 18, two scores; 143, Colabella, Catholic Central, 9 of 10, two scores; 138, Young, Indian Creek, 6 of 11, three scores; 125, Comis, Madonna, 5 of 6, score; 99, Aaron Walker, Brooke, 4 of 6, score.

Hands team: 5, C. Glenn, Toronto, 172, touchdown; 5, Matt Petrella, Big Red, 43, touchdown; 3, Mandella Lawrence, Indian Creek, 71, touchdown; 3, Moore, Harrison Central, 34, 3, Nate Olmstead, Harrison, Central, touchdown; 3, Zack Herrington, Catholic Central, 72, touchdown; 3, Kyle Laukert, Catholic Central, 37, touchdown; 3, Hunter Wallace, Brooke, 42; 3, Rich Springer, Edison, 55; 3, Nate Stewart, Toronto, 14.