Crusaders rock Barnesville 46-0

POWERING THROUGH — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Craig Smith bulldozes over Barnesville’s Cade Hannahs on Saturday. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

STEUBENVILLE — Steubenville Catholic Central delivered a dominating performance on homecoming Saturday, rolling to a convincing 46-0 victory over Barnesville inside Harding Stadium.

The Crusaders (4-2) amassed 498 yards of offense (432 came on the ground) and put 34 points on the board in the opening half. Meanwhile, the defense held the 2-4 Shamrocks to just 83 total yards.

For Central, the shutout was the first since 2013 when the Crusaders blanked Barnesville 56-0.

“Our kids came out and did what we asked them to do,” Central coach Steve Daley said. “We were able to take control early on. I’m just really happy our kids got a win on homecoming, and we were able to stay healthy.”

Justin Hartzell accounted for Central’s first two touchdowns on runs of 7 and 6 yards. The junior quarterback also had a hand in the third score, which came after an interception by David Miller. He connected with Matt Bell for a 14-yard touchdown. Levi Thompson ran for the extra points and Central led 20-0 after the opening quarter.

“It felt great,” Miller said of his first career pick. “I’m so glad I was able to help my team and get that interception. Our defense really stepped it up tonight. At the beginning of the week, I said ‘Let’s not just get this win; let’s get a shutout’ and we did.”

Central added two more touchdowns before the half, one coming on a 9-yard burst by Thompson and the other via an 18-yard Craig Smith scamper. Hartzell hit Geno DiBiase for a two-pointer following Thompson’s TD run.

The second half was played with a running clock per the OHSAA’s mercy rule. Thompson burst up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the third to make it 40-0 Central. His score came after junior lineman Jacob Stoll blocked a Barnesville punt.

Jeffrey Dawson, making his first appearance of the season after transferring to Central, finished the scoring when he sprinted 43 yards to the house in the fourth quarter. Dawson had an impressive debut for the Crusaders, rushing for 66 yards, catching one Hartzell pass for 29 and returning several Barnesville punts.

“I was a little concerned with how we might play tonight since we were coming off the big win over Warren JFK a week ago,” Daley said. “I wasn’t sure if we could come out and play at a high level, but overall I think we did that.”

Smith had a huge night for Central, which now owns a 5-2 lead in its all-time series with Barnesville. He carried the pigskin 22 times for 230 yards and a touchdown. Hartzell finished with 134 yards of total offense (68 rushing and 66 passing). Thompson added 47 on five carries.

“Our line got off the ball well and got into their blocks,” Daley said. “Craig ran hard like he usually does. I like where we are with our running game.

“We’re not there yet, and we still have plenty of things to work on. But, overall, I like where we are right now.”

Senior Kevin Cuervo, one of Central’s two-way linemen, agreed with Daley’s comments about the line play.

“Our line play tonight was great,” he said. “We played really physical, and we were able to run the ball right at them. Defensively, it was great to get the shutout. That D-line played lights out tonight. Getting this homecoming win feels great. Last year was kind of a tough season, but so far this season everything is going right for us. We need to keep working and keep improving.”

The already banged-up Shamrocks lost starting quarterback Cade Hannahs to an injury late in the first half. He was replaced by sophomore Alex Meade. Sophomore Caden Lake did provide some offensive sparks for Blake Allen’s club rushing for 46 yards and catching three passes for 22 more.

“Offensively we did move the ball in the first half, and we had some good things going,” Allen said. “We hit some big plays, but we weren’t able to sustain drives and that’s been a problem all year. We just have to finish. We fought and I was proud of the effort. We had a lot of injuries tonight; they kind of piled up on us. We just have to go with the next man up theory and keep getting better.”

Barnesville will host Fort Frye Friday.

Central returns to action Saturday when it hosts St. Mary’s of Lancaster, N.Y. at Brooke’s Memorial Stadium. The kick is set for 7 p.m. Central originally had Pittsburgh Carrick down on the original schedule but picked up St. Mary’s before the season began.

The Lancers improved to 4-1 with a 28-23 victory over Honeoye Falls-Lima, N.Y.

“This week is going to be an important one for us,” Daley said. “St. Mary’s is coming down here with a 4-1 record, and they have a really nice football team.”

Catholic Central 46, Barnesville 0

Barnesville 0-0-0-0 — 0

Central 20-14-6-6 — 46

CENTRAL: Hartzell 7 run (kick blocked)

CENTRAL: Hartzell 6 run (pass failed)

CENTRAL: Bell 14 pass from Hartzell (Thompson run)

CENTRAL: Thompson 9 run (DiBiase pass from Hartzell)

CENTRAL: Smith 18 run (kick blocked)

CENTRAL: Thompson 17 run (run failed)

CENTRAL: Dawson 43 run (Central took knee)

RUSHING: Barnesville 20-25 (C. Hannahs 6-(-15); Strous 4-6; Lake 5-46; A. Mead 4-(-8); G. Hannahs 1-(-4)); Central 43-432-6 (Hartzell 8-68-2; Smith 22-230-1; Thompson 5-47-2; Dawson 4-66-1; Lefever 2-5; Keeder 2-16).

PASSING: Barnesville 9-30-58-0-1 (C. Hannahs 5-15-35-0-1; A. Meade 4-15-23); Central 6-14-66-1-1 (all by Hartzell).

RECEIVING: Barnesville 9-58 (U. Meade 1-13; Galloway 3-24; Strous 1-0; Lake 3-22; A. Meade 1-2); Central 6-66-1 (Butler 1-0; Thompson 2-17; Bell 1-14-1; Argentine 1-6; Dawson 1-29).

FIRST DOWNS: Barnesville 6; Central 23.

PENALTIES-YARDS: Barnesville 1-15; Central 8-60.

PUNTS: Barnesville 8-18; Central 1-29.

FUMBLES-LOST: Barnesville 0-0; Central 0-0.