The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


October 12, 2012

Flash-point for Falcons

Jefferson must defeat Champion tonight to keep playoff hopes alive

With the All-American Conference title chase pretty much decided, for the Jefferson Falcons, in terms of season-long goals, only one remains:

Reach the playoffs for the second time in school history.

And, while there are no guarantees, this much is known — Jefferson (5-2, 3-2), which hosts Champion in an AAC clash tonight at Falcon Pride Stadium — must win out to even have a chance at postseason play.

“In order for us to have a chance at the playoffs, we need to finish 8-2,” Falcons coach Jimmy Henson said.

Jefferson is coming off a thrilling 24-21 come-from-behind AAC triumph at Lakeview.

“It was a game that had a lot of momentum swings,” Henson, now 36-41 (.468) in his eight seasons at Jefferson, said. “We had the 10-0 halftime lead, Lakeview made some adjustments at the half and was able to get things going. We were able to regain our composure and fight back for the win.”

The win, combined with some adjacent results, catapulted the Falcons from 13th to the eighth and final playoff spot in Division III, Region 9, and it was gratifying to Henson.

“I’m very proud of the kids,” he said. “They have done that all year and it is satisfying to see it pay off in a victory for them.”

Champion comes to town tonight at 3-4 overall and 2-2 in AAC play after a 35-29 overtime loss to visiting Campbell Memorial last week.

The three wins by Golden Flashes of fourth-year coach Terry Howell (12-25, .324) have come against teams with an aggregate record of 1-20 (.048) — 0-7 Conneaut, 1-6 Newton Falls and 0-7 Girard.

Conversely, the four teams that have beaten them are a combined 15-13 (.536).

Though 5-2 Jefferson is the best team, record-wise, Champion has faced to this point, Henson knows better than to take anything for granted against the Flashes, who run a veer option on offense and a 3-4 defense.

“They run the option well and are very quick on defense,” he said. “Quarterback Jason Naylor runs their offense and is a big-play threat.

“James Dorsey is a fast running back and safety. Jacob Rasey plays fullback on offense and is an active linebacker on defense.

“(Two-way lineman) Brennan Grace is big and strong.”

Mike Cyrus (696 yards, 117 carries, 5.9 average, 11 rouchdowns) leads Champion in rushing.

Naylor has completed 47 of 101 passes (46.5 percent) for 689 yards. He has thrown five touchdown passes and been picked off twice.

More of the same from last week would go a long way toward the Falcons reaching at least six wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since Jason Root’s 2003 squad and Henson’s first Jefferson team in 2004 both won seven games.

Quarterback Tony Chiacchiero completed 20 of 33 yards for 288 yards and two touchdowns and feature back Scott Davidson, in addition to running for 85 yards and scoring a touchdown, filled in at linebacker for the first time for Justin Butler, who will be back this week.

However, the Falcons’ big bird was Kyle Ashburn, who caught six passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard gamewinner. On defense, he forced and recovered a fumble when Lakeview was trying to take the lead to seal the seal. He also had an interception, five tackles and three assists.

“Tony had another solid performance —  the big thing he was able to stay calm when Lakeview took the lead,” Henson said. “Kyle made really big plays when we needed them, catching the gamewinning touchdown pass and then three plays later ,causing a fumble and recovering it to seal the win.

“Scotty had a good game at linebacker. It’s nice to know that we have more depth now that Justin is back.”

Tonight’s matchup will be the 13th all-time meeting between the Falcons and the Golden Flashes, with Jefferson holding a 7-5 advantage in the series. The last meeting was in Week 2 of the 2004 season at Champion, when Jefferson invaded and planted its flag, capturing a 35-0 triumph.

Henson’s checklist toward a victory tonight is to the point.

“We must play fast — they are a small, quick team that wants to use its speed,” he said. “We must win the turnover battle and everyone must DYJ (do your job).”

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

Text Only
  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • swim SUMMER SWIM

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anthony From player to coach

    When former Lakeside offensive lineman Anthony Colucci went down with a broken leg in Week 6 of his senior year at Capital University, he got a peak into what his future in football looks like.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video