Big Red runs right through St. Joseph

Steubenville’s Jonathon Blackmon rushes against St. Joseph’s on Friday at Harding Stadium. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

STEUBENVILLE — Big Red turned its first three possessions into touchdowns Friday and rolled to a 42-14 victory over Football North St. Joe’s from Ottawa, Ontario.

Steubenville (3-0) was up 29-0 after the opening period at Harding Stadium and led 36-0 at the break. Veteran coach Reno Saccoccia began substituting freely midway through the second quarter.

“It was a great way to start,” Saccoccia said about the early scoring barrage. “That team (St. Joe’s) is just learning. I thought our kids that were in there at the beginning did a really good job. Every game serves a purpose, and that game served a purpose for us.”

Big Red, which will host Boardman next week (the Spartans improved to 3-0 Friday with a 39-36 road win over Massillon Jackson), set the tone early, taking the opening kick and quickly moving 79 yards in just three plays. Jonathon Blackmon burst up the gut for 72 yards on the second snap, then plowed over from the 1.

On its second possession, Steubenville traveled 53 yards in six plays, all on the ground. Senior Jacob Bernard, making his first appearance of the season, accounted for 52 yards. Blackmon again bulled his way in from a yard out. It was 13-0 with 7:07 left in the opening period.

Bernard got the third touchdown on a 5-yard run. After Big Red recorded a safety, quarterback Javon Davis hit Gino Pierro for a 9-yard score. The final score of the half came on a 70-yard Davis to DaJuan Jones strike.

At the half, Big Red had 295 yards of offense compared to just 43 for St. Joe.

The second half began with a running clock, but the visitors sliced Big Red’s lead to less than 30 midway through the quarter on a 17-yard Avery Dow-Lalla to Kevin Victome pass. Steubenville’s Taveon Crawford answered with a 73-yard sprint to the house. The final touchdown came via a 5-yard run by St. Joe’s Jayden Simmonds.

Big Red finished with 368 yards of total offense, while St. Joe’s was limited to 20 yards on the ground and 132 in the air.

“I thought our guys played well in the first quarter and a half,” Saccoccia stated. “After that, we started substituting. Everyone got to play. You earn playing time according to how hard you work in practice, so numbers were rewarded tonight for the work they put in during practice.”

Steubenville 42, Football North St. Joe’s 14

St. Joe’s 0-0-7-7 — 14

Big Red 29-7-6-0 — 42

BIG RED: Blackmon 1 run (kick failed)

BIG RED: Blackmon 1 run (Phillips kick)

BIG RED: Bernard 5 run (Phillips kick)

BIG RED: Safety (St. Joe punter took knee in end zone)

BIG RED: Pierro 9 pass from Davis (Phillips kick)

BIG RED: Jones 70 pass from Jones (Phillips kick)

ST. JOE: Victome 17 pass from Dow-Lalla (Coleman kick)

BIG RED: Crawford 73 run (took knee)

ST. JOE: Simmonds 5 run (Coleman kick)

RUSHING: St. Joe’s 18-20-1 (Maracle 2-(-12); Simmonds 8-7-1; Best 6-23; Bornais 1-0; Dow-Lalla 1-2); Big Red 33-264-4 (Davis 1-5; Bernard 9-61-1; Mitchell 2-10 Crawford 5-85-1; Montgomery 5-11; Blackmon 4-89-2; Blackwell 2-14; Criss 3-(-15); Rice 2-4).

PASSING: St. Joe’s 11-35-132-1-int (Maracle 6-18-62; Dow-Lalla 5-17-7-1-int); Big Red 5-9-122-2 (Davis 4-6-113-2; Criss 1-3-9).

RECEIVING: St. Joe’s 11-132-1 (Corsi 3-38; Coleman 2-24; Victome 2-27-1; Ready 1-16; Bornais 1-14; Mitchell 1-14; Simmonds 1-(-1)); Big Red 15-122-2 (Pierro 2-24-1; Jones 1-70-1; Zane 1-19; Rice 1-9).

FIRST DOWNS: St. Joe’s 10; Big Red 13.

PENALTIES-YARDS: St. Joe’s 6-30; Big Red 9-93.

PUNTS: St. Joe’s 2-14; Big Red 1-11.

FUMBLES-LOST: St. Joe’s 0-0; Big Red 1-1.