By RICH KELLY
For the Star Beacon
Blessed with big-time players at a multitude of positions, it’s easy to see why Brookfield is ranked fifth in the Division IV state poll and unbeaten. It’s also easy to understand why Conneaut is sporting the exact opposite record of the Warriors.
The Warriors dominated the young Spartans right from the start in a 49-6 victory at Conneaut Stadium on Friday.
Ryan Mosora, who gained 156 yards on just 10 carries showed off the Warriors’ quickness. Along with twins Jeremy Quinlan at quarterback and Jimmy Quinlan running the ball, Joe Clark and Derick Sulich wreaking havoc from their linebacker positions and linemen Gary Hiner, Eric Kusky, and Tyler Miller, it’s the perfect formula for an 8-0 start.
“We came out well from the start and executed our offense,” Brookfield coach Randy Clark said. “We still have some things to work on. I definitely want to approach those penalties. We had way too many tonight, and it’s something we’ve had problems with before.”
Brookfield was flagged 11 times for 75 yards.
The overall edge in team speed, though, kept Conneaut from getting a sustained offense in the game, and led to four Spartan turnovers — a trio of interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The Spartans (0-8) were in a hole right from the opening minute and never recovered completely, although they did have some bright moments.
Starting from the Spartan 47 with just a minute and a half gone by, a 27-yard dash by Mosora set the stage for a Jeremy Quinlan to Jimmy Quinlan pass from the 18 and the game’s first score.
A 1-yard punt shortly thereafter set up Brookfield at the Conneaut 20. Four plays later, Jeremy Quinlan found Collin Harkulich from 5 yards out.
The Warriors began from their own 34 and went the 66 yards in 11 plays, capped by a Jeremy Quinlan 2-yard run. He also booted the extra points after each score in the first half.
Meanwhile, things just didn’t go right for the Spartans, but their effort never slowed down.
“The kids played very hard tonight against a great team,” Conneaut coach Rocco Dobran said. “I just told them to go out and give 100 percent effort the whole way. They had nothing to lose. We played a much better second half by simply playing good assignment football.
“They are young, they are learning, and they are just trying to get better every time out.”
Sophomore Troy Colucci has done yeoman’s work subbing at quarterback so far for Conneaut, and Brookfield knew it and was ready for it.
“We knew Conneaut had a couple really tough players,” Clark said. “They blitzed a lot early, so we threw the ball and had some success. We had a few mental breakdowns, but overall did pretty well.”
Mosora echoed Clark’s feeling about execution.
“We just came out and ran our offense as best as we could,” the 5-11, 185-pound senior said. “We just tried to play our game and to get set up for next week when we play Youngstown Christian. They are a tough team, so we need to be ready.”
Jeremy Quinlan passed for 102 yards and a trio of touchdowns. He also ran for 64 yards, including a 44-yarder in the third period that essentially capped the offensive efforts on the night for the Warriors.
In the first period, after the third Warrior score, Kyle Prevot took a kickoff at his own 10 and split the middle of the coverage before being tackled from behind at midfield. The offense went backward from there, but they did break through at the end of the game when Sam distelrath found Tyler Cox in the end zone for a 26 yard score.
Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.
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