The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 9, 2012

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Glad to have Brookfield behind it, Edgewood will journey to Gilmour Academy on Saturday

The Edgewood Warriors won’t have to worry about the mighty Brookfield Warriors this week, having dropped a 49-13 verdict Friday night in Brookfield.

No, Brookfield is Conneaut’s problem this week.

Meanwhile, Edgewood (4-3), having had the curtain dropped on its three-game winning streak, gets an extra day to lick its wounds before playing at Gilmour Academy on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The contest will mark the second time in three weeks coach Dom Iarocci’s Warriors will play a Saturday game, having knocked off the visiting club-team Cleveland Knights two weeks ago at Corlew Stadium, 23-12, in a night game.

Before turning his attention to Gilmour, which Edgewood defeated for the first time in four all-time meetings last fall, 48-18, Iarocci had high praise for Brookfield, the top-rated team in Division IV, Region 13.

“I think they will go 10-0 and they should go deep into the playoffs,” he said. “They are a legitimate championship contender and the atmosphere down there is just fantastic.  

“Ryan Mosora and Jeremy Quinlin are definitely the real deal. We had a very difficult time handling their physical line. Couple that with the running of these two young men, and they were pretty tough to stop.”

Is Brookfield the best team Edgewood will face this season?

“Without a doubt,” Iarocci said.

Gilmour comes into this game at 2-5, having earned both wins on Ashtabula County soil — a 21-8 Week 5 win at Grand Valley and a 29-28, double-overtime triumph last Friday night at Conneaut.

“They’ve beaten Grand Valley and Conneaut,” Iarocci said. “I think their quarterback, Matt Botek, is a very solid quarterback. They like to throw the ball and they have some good receivers and are very difficult in the afternoon at Gilmour.  

“It seems they are a different team when they play on Friday nights on grass than when they play on turf up there.”

The third-year coach knows what to expect from coach Shawn Dodd’s Lancers.

“They use a spread offense. They’re probably 80 percent passing, 20 percent running,” he said. “Their quarterback, Botek, is a left-hander. He has put up good numbers against both Conneaut and Grand Valley.  

“Their feature receiver and running back is Benoit Mapango. Another good running back for them is Chuckie Gallo and their feature receivers, besides Mapango, are A.J. Wright and Jack Highland.  

“On defense, they run a stack three and are led by inside linebacker, Conrad Geis.”

The Warriors will be without only Alex Spangler, who is out for the season, this week.

Having already doubled their win total from last season, Iarocci knows what the key to getting win No. 5, which would match the total from his first Edgewood team, the 2011 squad.

“We have to stop their passing attack,” he said. “I think we have to keep our eyes on Mapango all the time and we have to keep the quarterback in the pocket and put some pressure on him.  

“On offense, we have to get back to running the football.”

Then, there is the big-picture scenario.

“Our goal is to finish strong, win the last three games and be 7-3,” he said. “We believe that would be a pretty outstanding season.”

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