Saturday, September 29, 2012

    Steubenville Catholic Central 54, Bowerston Conotton Valley 7   

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 WRAP-UP from, published 10/6/2012


Written by Mario Saggio

Steubenville Catholic Central got off to a quick start and never looked back in a 54-7 rout of Conotton Valley at Harding Stadium. The win was the Crusaders’ third straight and improved their mark to 4-2. The visiting Rockets suffered their third straight loss after winning their first three games of the season.

Saturday night’s Homecoming victory marked the second time this season that a Crusader win was shortened because of inclement weather. Lightning in the skies early in the fourth quarter precipitated a stoppage by the officials, and both teams agreed to let the game end at that point.

Central set the tone early, as Ryan Fletcher returned the opening kickoff 59 yards to the visitors’ 25-yard line. Passes to Zach Herrington and Kyle Laukert moved the ball to the five, from where Brenton Colabella hit Luke Potenzini in the right flat for the first score of the night. A two-point conversion attempt failed.

The Crusader defense forced a punt before Conotton Valley intercepted on their own 30-yard line. Another Rocket punt gave Central possession on their own 42. A 31-yard Colabella-to-Laukert strike, a 14-yard run by Doug Maslowski, and an interference penalty set up Fletcher’s three-yard scoring run. Maslowski’s PAT put Central up 13-0 less than eight minutes into the game.

Conotton Valley rolled the dice on their next possession, going for it on fourth down near midfield, but Herrington snuffed out a Rockets’ reverse.

Five plays later, the lanky senior hauled in a 15-yard touchdown lob from Colabella in the right corner of the end zone. Stone Romano split the uprights for a 20-0 Central lead just five seconds into the second quarter.

The visiting Rockets ventured from their own 23 deep into Crusader territory before Laukert stopped the drive with an interception in the end zone.

After Colabella hit fellow junior Johnny DiCarlantonio for a 12-yard gain on first down, the two connected again for a 73-yard score (after an illegal motion penalty) as the latter hauled in a short pass across the middle and outran the secondary to the end zone. Romano’s successful conversion upped the lead to 27-0 with 8:24 to play in the half.

The visitors mounted another drive into Central territory before senior Geno Taglione’s sack forced another Rocket punt. Khalil Jones took that offering at his own 25-yard line and weaved his way through coverage for a dazzling 40-yard return.

Maslowski’s 18-yard run moved Central inside the red zone before Colabella rolled right and hit Herrington, who had circled back toward the middle of the field, in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown. Romano’s third PAT of the night upped the lead to 34-0 with 2:42 left before intermission.

The Rockets mounted another threat right before the half, aided by a 62-yard pass from Colton Cottis to 6’7" wideout Brandon Bailey. A fourth-down pass from the Central 24-yard line was picked off in the flat by Michael Carapellotti, who returned the theft all the way from his 20 to the Rocket five-yard line before being brought down as time expired.

Central’s defense came up with another fourth-down stop on the first drive of the second half, setting up the Crusader offense at their own 43. A nine-yard run by Romano and a 31-yard reception by Fletcher set up the latter for a 15-yard scoring grab in the left corner of the end zone. Romano’s conversion kick was true again, staking Central to a 41-0 lead 2:45 into the second half.

Six seconds later, Laukert recovered an errant shotgun snap in the end zone on the Rockets’ first play following a touchback on the kickoff. The ensuing extra point was off target, leaving the score 40-0 in favor of the hosts.

A missed field goal following another Rocket threat gave Central possession at their own 20. Receptions by Jones and Herrington of 40 and 26 yards set up Maslowski’s eight-yard touchdown run. Romano nailed the PAT for Central’s final point of the night with 4:29 left in the third quarter.

Potenzini recovered a Rocket fumble at the visitors’ 22-yard line on the first play after the kickoff but the Crusaders turned the ball over on downs.

Conotton Valley finally dented the scoreboard after a six-play, 71-yard drive on Keaton Carrothers eight-yard run. Bailey’s conversion kick closed the scoring 8.6 seconds before the end of the third quarter and moments before lightning ended the game.

Steve Daley’s Crusaders rolled up 350 yards of offense, again led by junior quarterback Brenton Colabella, who connected on 16 of his 22 throws for 304 yards and five scores.

Herrington hauled in four of those passes for 57 yards and two scores. Fletcher snagged three passes for 60 yards and a score, while Laukert caught three for 57 yards.

DiCarlantonio’s two catches went for 85 yards and a score. Romano, Maslowski, and Potenzini each had one reception, with the latter’s going for a score.

Maslowski paced the ground game with 36 yards and a score on six carries. Fletcher’s one carry went for three yards and a score.

For the visiting Rockets, Cottis completed seven of 16 passes for 183 yards. Bailey was his favorite target, grabbing four passes for 150 yards. Taylor Bowdish added three catches for 33 yards.

Conotton Valley did manage 147 yards on 34 rushes, Riley pacing the effort with 71 yards on five carries.

The Crusaders entertain Barnesville Saturday night, while the Rockets travel to Paden City Friday night.

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