The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


October 13, 2012

Riverside captures ‘program... signature win’

Bors’ bunch wins thriller against Hilltoppers

PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP — Riverside senior defensive back Nick Iapaolo knew what was at stake when he intercepted a pass with less than two minutes remaining against Chardon on Friday night.

“Go out of bounds,” Iapoaolo said. “I ain’t trying to mess it up.”

What he did was seal a 21-13 win over the Hilltoppers, the top-ranked team (Divison 2, Region 5), and give coach Dave Bors and his squad a signature win in rebuilding the program.

“This program has a lot of great tradition,” Bors said. “But, in terms of the last four to five years, there is no doubt about it. This is a program win, a signature win. That (Chardon) is a very good football team over there. They are a playoff team. There is no doubt about it. They are going to do some damage in Division II, but our guys came to play tonight. I’m so proud of them and our staff.”

With the game tied, 7-7, at half, the critical moments of the game developed in the third period.

The Beavers were held on downs on the first possession, where Chardon took over on its own 20-yard line. The Hilltoppers drove it 60 yards in 10 plays, but were held on downs when quarterback T.J. Benenati was stopped a yard short.

Riverside’s offense seemed to get a spark from it. Sophomore tailback Marcus Jones (24 carries for 162 yards) ran for runs of 24 and 59 yards respectively to the Chardon 3-yard line. After getting stuffed on three-straight plays, Bors decided to go for the touchdown on fourth down at the 1-yardline.

Bors called for a play to go to 200-pound senior Nate Vernon on a counter play. Vernon muscled his way into the end zone, giving the Beavers a 14-7 lead.

“When we were able to get that stop, that was just one of those momentum swings,” Bors said.

“I mean, I’m proud of our guys. We have faith in our guys. Again, I point to Coach Hewitt and his staff. They have faith in theirs. How many fourth downs did they go for tonight? It was a couple of great teams going back and forth.”

Chardon (6-2 overall, 3-2 in the PAC) immediately came back with a drive of its own, with Benenati finding pay dirt from 37-yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. The extra point, however, hit off the left upright, allowing Riverside to maintain a lead.

Riverside (6-2 overall, 4-1 in the PAC) increased its lead with 8 minutes remaining after recovering a Chardon fumble. Quarterback Maxx Brubaker faked a handoff and scored on a 28-yard run.

Benenati lead all rushers with 222 yards on 30 carries, netting both Chardon touchdowns. The Hilltoppers, which outgained Riverside (355-231), were hurt by three turnovers.

“You can’t turn the ball over against anyone, let alone a great football team,” Hewitt said. “We found out the hard way.

“You never want to lose,” he added, “but if I’m gonna lose, I going to do it to a staff (Riverside) I know does everything the right way and is first class.”

Iapaolo and his Riverside teammates can see the progress.

“I mean it feels amazing,” he said. “I worked hard all summer. The whole entire team worked hard. It’s a great group of guys. I have never been happier. Three years on my varsity football team and I’ve never felt closer to a group of people. We are truly a family here. We have stuck through everything, even with the levy failing. We went through fundraisers and everything. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This is one of the greatest teams I have been on and I love everybody.”

Negin is a freelance writer from Madison.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

Text Only
  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video