The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

September 28, 2013

Conneaut cruises... again

Spartans spank PV for second win in a row

CONNEAUT — As far as offensive efficiency was concerned, it didn’t get much better than what the Conneaut Spartans did to the Pymatuning Valley Lakers on Friday night at Conneaut Stadium.

Prior to Troy Colucci taking a knee to end the first half, the Spartans ran 16 plays, scored five touchdowns and led 34-8 at halftime ultimately taking home a 41-14 win.

“We knew they were going to stack the box a little bit so we wanted to come out throwing just to open up the box a little,” Conneaut coach Rocco Dobran, who’s team improved 3-2 with the win, said. “Troy did a great job throwing. He put the ball on the money. He did a great job throwing the ball to open things up then we took off running.

“The offensive line did an amazing job.”

Colucci started a big night with a 16-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Rice just two plays and 36 seconds into the game.

After a PV (1-4) turnover on downs, Colucci connected with Alex Gerdes from 43 yards out to give the Spartans an early 13-0 lead.

The Lakers answered, though.

A 9-play, 62-yard drive resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run from Nick Such with 2:40 left in the first. Quintin Ratliff’s run for the 2-point conversion cut the deficit to 13-8.

But, it was all Spartans from there.

A 69-yard return by Colucci on the ensuing kickoff set up the Spartans on the Lakers 15 and Colucci capped the short drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Lakers coach Neal Croston said the kickoff return killed any momentum his team had gained from the touchdown.

“We were trying to kick it away from No. 3 (Rice) and 5 (Colucci) and I think we kicked it right to him; you can’t do that,” he said. “It took all the momentum we did have right there. Next thing you know, it’s 21-8.”

And not long after that, it was 34-8.

Conneaut forced PV into consecutive three and outs and Colucci turned those into touchdown runs of 44 and 40 yards to give the Spartans a comfortable 26-point halftime advantage.

Colucci ended the night 4 of 7 passing for 115 yards, two touchdowns and no picks in addition to 170 yards rushing on 11 carries and three scores.

“His confidence is growing every week,” Dobran said. “He’s starting to fit into the quarterback role. Everyone wants to say he’s a running back at quarterback and he took that as a challenge and said ‘I’m a quarterback.’ His efficiency has been great all year. He works at it all the time. He’s just doing an outstanding job and the rest of the team is helping him get there.

“He knows it’s tough to key on him when you’ve got other guys out there doing well.”

Conneaut totaled 332 yards on the ground in addition to 122 through the air, averaging 11.1 yards per play.

Croston said coming in he felt the key to stopping the Spartans was controlling the ground game.

“I mean, they run their spread and we got seven in the box, we wanted to stop the run, we thought that was the main thing then they beat us with the pass,” he said. “Then we put six in the box and they were able to run on us so it was pick your poison tonight. We couldn’t stop either. Give them credit.”

Conversely, the Lakers didn’t get much going on offense.

Ratliff rushed for 100 of PV’s 137 on the ground. The Lakers added 133 yards through the air, but 45 of that came on the game’s final play, a touchdown pass from Mitchell Skleres to Kegen Hoopes.

“I was extremely excited (about our defense),” Dobran said. “Our defensive coaching staff put together a great game plan. We felt we could put up some points but I would’ve never thought we’d hold Ratliff and them to 8 points (not counting the final touchdown which came with mostly JV players in). Our defense did a great job pursuing the ball. Sam Distelrath and Cole Walker did a great job containing the outside and keeping Ratliff inside the box and everyone else just pursued to the ball. R.J. Nelson, first time full time back from his knee injury, did a great job in the middle.

“We counted on Ratliff getting his 150, we just thought we’d have to outscore them,” Dobran said. “They outweighed our expectations and did a great job.”

With Northeastern Athletic Conference play beginning next week, Croston said his team’s goal now becomes winning a conference title.

“The kids are a lot tougher than we give them credit for,” he said of his team’s mental state. “They’ll probably forget about this within five minutes. But you know, we’re banged up. But everyone is banged up right now. I just told the kids we’ve only won four conference titles ever so our goal is to win the conference. It’s a new season for us, it might sound dumb, but that’s the way we gotta think and stay positive.

“Most of these guys, after high school they’re done with football so you gotta have a little fun.”

On the opposite spectrum, Dobran’s team coming off a winless season in 2012, has a winning record for the first time in his three years as coach of the Spartans.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I think these guys believe they can win and believe in the team concept. They’re buying into everyone is a part of this team and everyone’s got to do their job. It’s not all about Troy or (any one individual). Everyone is going to play their part and everyone is going to get their touches.

“It’s that team concept and since the scoreboard is showing it they’re believing it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

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