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
  • 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:

    BASEBALL
    NAC
    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    FRIDAY, APRIL 18
    Baseball

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

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    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