One would have expected the Trinity College School Bears of Port Hope, Ontario to experience some problems on Friday night against the Edgewood Warriors at Gerald W. Corlew Stadium. After all, the rules governing Canadian high school football are substantially different than the regulations American prep teams use.

Canadian rules allow for a more wide-open game, including more lax stipulations on alignment and motion behind the line of scrimmage on offense. Safe to say, the stricter American rules caused big headaches for the visitors as the Bears were penalized 11 times, with eight of those flags for illegal motion. Trinity also didn’t collect its initial first down until the fourth quarter and could only generate 158 yards of total offense, all rushing, in a 33-14 loss to the Warriors.

It also didn’t help matters that Trinity College, who just opened its season on September 5, could not throw the ball effectively because of heavy rains on Friday night.

Trinity College coach Drew Allen knew coming into the matchup that he would have to deal with the American rules, but he realized it was something his team could use to make itself stronger.

“The difference in rules between the American game of football and the way we play it in Canada was tough on us tonight,” Allen said. “But this whole trip has to be a learning process and growing process for all the kids on our team. We just got started on Sept. 5, and being a boarding school, we have a varied student body, with many of our players getting their first look at football as we play it, and some also getting their first experience in sports, too. We have a player from the Philippines, one from Barbados, another from Germany, and we just want to make sure that all the players get into games for the life experience they can take home with them for the rest of their lives.”

Allen commended the hospitality of Edgewood High School and the Buckeye Local School District, saying they were made to feel welcome in Ashtabula County after making the 300-mile trip from Port Hope.

“We’re grateful to the folks here at Edgewood for letting us play in front of a great crowd like this and providing such a great atmosphere for all of us,” Allen said. “Being a boarding school, we don’t get a lot of people at our games, so seeing how seriously people here take their football here, with the great bands providing music and the cheerleaders and all that goes with it, just provides such a great way for all of our kids to grow as people, and that’s what high school sports should be about.”



Honored guests

After Friday’s game at Edgewood, Trinity College stayed the night in Ashtabula then traveled to Kent State to watch the Golden Flashes beat Delaware State, 38-7, at Dix Stadium on Saturday. The Bears were recognized during the game and were treated to a celebratory tailgate party.



Warriors improving

After an 0-3 start, which included a disappointing, nine-point loss to Orange in Week 3, the Edgewood broke through for its first victory of the season Friday night with a 33-14 verdict over Trinity College.

Edgewood piled up 423 yards of offense against the Bears in jumping out to a 33-0 lead through three quarters. The Warrior ground game, led by senior fullback Grant Ott’s season-high 102-yard performance, had their best outing in four games with 301 yards rushing. Junior quarterback Marc Bartone also had his best game throwing for 101 and a score. Senior Termaine McCabe also had his best game of the season with two touchdowns, including a 79-yard punt return for Edgewood’s first score. Things are indeed looking up in Ashtabula Township.

Senior tailback Josh McCormack also had a fine game adding 41 yards rushing, while sophomore Devon Anderson, who ran for 146 yards against Orange last week, contributed 62 yards rushing, caught a touchdown pass from Bartone and threw one to McCabe for the Warriors final touchdown of the night.



Plenty of support

To stir up support for their efforts in Friday night’s big rivalry game with Jefferson, students in Ashtabula Area City Schools elementary schools, designated “Little Dragons” were encouraged to come out in force to root for the Lakeside High School football team.

They responded in style. While the Dragons were warming up, the area between the back of the end zone and the all-weather track was a sea of green with the sounds of little voices ringing out around the field.

When game time arrived, the Little Dragons all were escorted onto the field and made a tunnel for the varsity squad to run through. At least in part inspired by that demonstration, Lakeside went on to a 21-6 victory over Jefferson.









Hall of Famers

As also befit the occasion, it was a night of recognition for seven new inductees into the Ashtabula-Harbor-Lakeside Alumni Hall of Fame.

Escorted onto the field before the game were J. Peter Ducro, Ashtabula Class of 1950; Louise Morrison Raffa, Harbor Class of 1950; James R. Myers, Harbor Class of 1955; Ingrid Lahti Eisenman, Ashtabula Class of 1961; G. Richard Coblitz, Ashtabula Class of 1972; Paul W. Hogle, Ashtabula Class of 1983; and Patrick Gouhin, Harbor Class of 1986.



Fighting back

Another Lakeside athlete known for her excellence in contact sports under the tutelage of Dragon football coach Van McWreath was at the game to support the Dragons, although she is on the mend at this point.

Wrestler Brittany Dell, the first girl to place at the Northeastern Conference Wrestling Tournament, was on crutches at Friday’s game with a big brace on her left knee.

“I injured it in a soccer match this week,” she said with a big grin. “They think all I did is sprain my knee and I should be back in about four weeks.”

It has already been a tough year for Dell.

“I had back surgery on July 13,” she said. “My back feels pretty good now.”

Dell is also looking forward to wrestling season.

“I was ranked sixth in the country at 133 pounds by the Wrestling News,” she said.



Crediting the line

Lakeside’s 317-yard team rushing performance was instrumental in beating Jefferson. Kevin McCaleb (career-high 177 yards, 2 TDs) and junior Jordan Sandidge (137 yards, 1 TD) helped the Dragons pile up 16.7 yards per attempt on Jefferson’s defense.

McCaleb and Sandidge had nothing but glowing admiration for the people who made it possible — their offensive line.

“Our line did a great job of blocking down all night,” Kevin McCaleb said. “They kept opening up holes for us. Guys like Greg (Juhola), Jose (Rivera), Levi (Halsey), A.J. (Welker), Kieran (Jones), Chad (Budy), Devon (Crockett), Nick (Mullen), Kyle (Vance) and Shawn (Parsons) all did a great job for us.”

“The line did wonderful,” Sandidge said. “The were keying on me the entire night and Kevin was able to break a few long ones. The line got us our 3.5 yards a carry tonight. That’s all that matters.”



King Kirby

Pymatuning Valley’s Josh Pilson was more than happy to finally share the limelight with teammate Clayton Kirby, who totaled 202 yards on 30 carries to help the Lakers best Conneaut 28-6 on Friday night and remain perfect against Ashtabula County teams.

Pilson, the starting tailback, reversed roles with Kirby providing lead blocks for his fullback for a good portion of Kirby’s yardage. Along with PV’s offensive line the Lakers piled up 287 yards on the ground on the Spartans.

“I owe it to Clayton because game-in and game-out he is blocking for me,” Pilson said of Kirby. “The line was amazing. I have never seen them block like that. We need to go in to league play ready to go.”

The Lakers travel to Ledgemont next Friday night in a crucial East Suburban Conference battle. The Lakers are out to avenge last season’s 17-14 loss to the Redskins, a loss that cost PV the ESC crown.



A fast start

Riverside scored 21 points before Geneva had run two offensive plays in the Beavers’ 38-16 non-conference win over Geneva on Friday. After scoring on the opening possession of the game, the Beavers intercepted the Eagles on their first play from scrimmage and scored on the very next play. Riverside followed that with an onside kick and scored following a seven-play drive for a 21-0 lead with 3:59 to play in the opening quarter.



Long drives

Geneva put together an impressive 16-play, 82 yard drive that spanned more than seven minutes in the second quarter. James Murray ran for 67 yards on 13 carries in the drive. Leon Phillips scored the touchdown. He carried three times for 15 yards on the drive.



Going deep

Geneva’s Adam Cranfill and Riverside’s Garrett Biese each made field goals of longer than 30 yards in the contest. Cranfill was good from 37 yards in the first quarter and Biese connected from 31 in the fourth period.



Rotating QBs

Riverside used three quarterbacks in the game. Andrew Foit drew the start took the majority of snaps. He was 7-9 passing for 87 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball 11 times for 25 yards. Kyle Shaffer was 3-of-4 passing for 28 yards and ran for eight yards on one attempt. Anthony Johnson only took one snap from center, but scored on a 14-yard quarterback draw. It was the only carry he would get. He did, however, catch four passes for 73 yards. As a group, the three totaled 235 all-purpose yards.



Good to be Rich

Not to be overlooked in Grand Valley’s 39-27 loss at Fairport Friday night was the play of senior Rich Sacerich. As a runner, Sacerich gained 141 yards on 29 carries, including three touchdowns.

When Fairport got a sizable lead in the second half, GV coach Tom Henson moved Sacerich to quarterback, a position he played all last season and the early part of this year. He completed 4 of 9 passes for 96 yards, including a 13-yard scoring strike. Furthermore, Sacerich had three booming punts for a 44-yard average.

Needless to say, Henson had much praise for his all-purpose standout.

“Richy would give his life to play this game,” Henson said. “The kid comes to play ever single day. He never quits and deserves a lot better than he is getting. The other kids have to learn to step up with him.”



More alumni

As part of Alumni Weekend in Fairport this week was the honoring of the class of 1957 at halftime of the game. Alumni cheerleaders, band members and other former Fairport grads were able to rejoice in its team’s 39-27 victory against Grand Valley.



Nice adjustments

Grand Valley came out at halftime trailing 18-14. Coach Tom Henson came out by loading the box with more players and blitzing more. The result led to two stops by his defense and allowed his team to take a 21-14 lead through the middle of the third quarter. Fairport coach John Lipps countered by passing more on the next drive, resulting in two Danny Ward-to-Mark Burchett completions, including a 25-yard score.

“We made an adjustment in the second half to throw the ball more,” Lipps said. “It obviously paid off.”



Pirates prevail

Vinny Hokavar led Perry’s second-half offensive surge with his legs as well as with his arm in the Pirates’ big 17-10 win over Aurora.

After the intermission, Hokavar completed seven of his 12 passes for 119 yards and a six-yard scoring toss to senior Kevin Siegel. He also carried the ball 11 times for 67 yards.

Hokavar converted a third-and-eight situation with a 10-yard run to set up J.T. Schratz’s game-tying 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter. On the Pirates’ next possession, he ran for 11 yards on third-and-nine and then took it 28 yards to the Greenmen 11 two plays later, setting up the scoring pass to Siegel.

“We tried to spread them out and have five guys in the box,” Hokavar said. “And our line did a great job of picking up the guys. The holes — you could drive a truck through them. All I had to do was run.”

On the winning 65-yard drive, Perry took possession with just 31.5 seconds left. Hokavar connected with Siegel (4 catches, 56 yards) for 11 yards and then hit Scott Hess for a 35-yard gain down the left side.

“That was a sprint flood,” Hokavar said. “And their corner jumped the middle route and Hess- his job is just to go deep. I barely got it there.”

Junior fullback Josh Mullins (73 yards on 19 attempts) then took the ball in from 16 yards with 9.6 seconds showing on the clock.

“That was one of our option plays; it’s called a veer,” Hokavar said.



Settling in

Perry coach Matt Rosati talked about the fact that he effectively took over as head coach only on June 13, and addressed the large turnover within the squad, which lost a large senior class to graduation in the spring.

“We had no returning starters on offense, and they had the jitters in a big football game right off the bat against a good football team,” he said. “But you know what? They settled down at halftime, and they were convinced that we could go out and do the things we did, and we executed pretty well.”

Rosati said that the difference in offensive production (60 total yards and four first downs in the first half compared to 252 yards and 13 first downs in the second half) wasn’t a matter of a change in strategy.

“We just decided we needed to do things better,” he said. “We needed to get back down to just the basics and try to pace a little bit, and just settle down a little bit and make plays.”



Tough row to hoe

At the beginning of the year, SS. John and Paul coach Jim Timonere knew he had a tough task at hand because of the low turnout for the team. Then, add assistant coach John Buskirk’s battle with leukemia and it’s easy to see how difficult things are for the Heralds.

But there is hope in SJP territory. The Heralds have a solid core of veterans who will not give up. Sophomore tailback Adam Liuzzo has emerged as one of Ashtabula County’s best and junior quarterback Jake Phelps threw for nearly 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season and threw for 138 yards Saturday against Lutheran East. Also players like Steven Robison, Jacob Flautt, Mike Moore, Don Woodward, Jeremy Brown, Brandon McMurphy, Eric Simon, Brian Mayberry, Gareth Moeller, Ryan Colby, Alex Rocco, Kelsey Harper and Jim Brady and seniors Mike Acord, Yancy Harper, Eric Taggart and Stewart Gruey give Timonere a solid base to improve upon.

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