Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Weirton (WV) Madonna 21, Steubenville Catholic Central 20   

Skip Navigation Links

 WRAP-UP from, published 10/26/2012

PREVIEW from, published 10/19/2012


Written by Mario Saggio

Saturday night’s contest between cross-river rivals Steubenville Catholic Central and Weirton Madonna would be intense under normal circumstances, but this week will be even more so as both teams are riding high and battling for playoff berths in their respective states.

The Crusaders come into the game with a 6-2 mark, having won five straight after starting the season with two losses in their first three games. Losses to Bellaire (44-42) and Columbiana (38-35) sandwiched a 23-8 win over Frontier. Over the past five weeks, Central has defeated Toronto (49-7), Oak Glen (28-6), Conotton Valley (54-7), Barnesville ( 63-14) and Weir High (53-8). The Steubenville contingent is currently ranked seventh in Ohio Division VI, Region 21. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the postseason.

At 6-1, the Blue Dons are also winners of five consecutive games, their only setback a 28-22 loss at perennial power Wheeling Central in week two. The Dons opened the season with a 49-0 rout of Valley and have beaten Fort Frye (49-6), Cameron (60-14), Bridgeport (55-0), Bishop Donahue (15-14), and Clarksburg Notre Dame (49-12) last week. Heading into this week, Madonna is in seventh place in the WVSSAC Class A rankings.

Second-year mentor Doug Taylor brings his charges across the river for Saturday night’s battle led by quarterback Ross Comis. The versatile 6-1, 205-pound junior has been a jack-of-all trades this season, rushing for 854 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 53 of his 80 passes for 782 yards and seven scores.

A pair of hard-nosed juniors, 5-10, 195-pound Nick Ossman and 5-10, 185-pound Eliott Nero, share the fullback spot, giving the Dons a potent one-two punch.

Ossman tallied 97 yards and a score on 13 carries last week, while Nero ran for a score and caught two passes for 63 yards.

Lining up in the slot for Madonna are another pair of juniors, rangy 6-3, 205-pound Nathan Guio and 5-10, 165-pound Marcello Biondillo.

When Comis airs it out, he looks to 6-0, 180-pound junior Will Bowser and especially 5-11, 160-pound senior Garrett Hypes, who snagged two passes for 55 yards last week, including a 37-yard score.

Paving the way for the running game and providing protection when the Dons throw the ball is a front line that boasts plenty of size. 6-1, 240-pound Charlie Kotten lines up at center, flanked by classmate Quintin Hukill (5-10, 260) and junior Garrett Bever (5-11, 236) at guard, and 6-3, 227-pound Adam Robertson and mammoth 7-1, 290-pound Joshua Martin, both juniors, at tackle.

While Madonna has rolled up 299 points through seven games, they’ve only allowed 74 on the defensive side of the ball. The Dons have been very stingy giving up yardage, leading the area in that category at 217 stripes per game.

In last week’s win over Clarksburg Notre Dame, the Blue Dons recorded two defensive scores - one an 85-yard interception return by Nero from his linebacker post, and the other, a 101-yard scoring theft by Anthony Antinone, a 5-7, 165-pound junior back.

Comis also quarterbacks the secondary from his strong safety spot, along with Hypes at free safety. Biondillo and Bowser man the corners.

Ossman paces the linebacking crew in the middle, flanked by juniors Travis Brown (6-0, 195) and Gabriel Hypes (5-10, 170).

Guio and 6-1, 205-pound junior Tyler Ewusiak are the defensive ends, with Hukill and Bever lining up on the interior of Madonna’s four-man front. 5-11, 205-pound junior Stevie Maus also sees action at tackle.

Sophomore Matthew Green (5-6, 130) handles the place-kicking duties for the Blue Dons.

The Crusaders’ spread offense has been firing on all cylinders lately, aided by the emergence of an increasingly potent running game. Second-year Crusader mentor Steve Daley’s spread attack has rolled up nearly 2,000 yards through the air and over 1,000 via the ground game, helping the Crusaders average over 43 points per game.

Senior running back Doug Maslowski has emerged as a force for the Crusaders with eight touchdowns and over 300 yards rushing the past two weeks. Through eight contests, he has accounted for 749 yards and 13 scores on 91 carries. He has also caught seven passes for 55 yards.

Junior fullback Luke Potenzini notched his third scoring run of the season last week, while sophomore Stone Romano continues to gain tough yardage between the tackles.

Crusader signal caller Brenton Colabella continues to be highly efficient throwing the ball, completing 117 of his 192 attempts for 1,967 yards and 24 touchdowns, while being intercepted only four times. He leads Ohio Division VI in completions and attempts, and ranks second in yardage and scoring passes.

His favorite target, lanky senior Zach Herrington, leads the division in touchdown receptions with 10, and is tied for second in receptions with 35. His 643 yards are currently second in Division VI.

Fellow senior Kyle Laukert’s 473 yards puts him sixth, while his 23 catches and five scores put him in the top ten in both categories. Junior Ryan Fletcher also rates among the top 20 with his 364 yards on 24 catches, three of which have gone for scores.

Senior Michael Carapellotti has been a solid possession receiver in key situations, nabbing 17 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

Juniors Khalil Jones and Johnny DiCarlantonio have both caught four passes for over 100 yards and a score.

Central’s offensive line has been instrumental in the offense’s high-octane performance. Sophomore Jonathan Shrieve (5-10, 200) has handled the center position well, while seniors Geno Taglione (5-11, 195) and junior Jake McCann (5-8, 205) have been solid at tackle. Senior Kevan Zapolnik (5-8, 200) has been a stalwart at guard, while senior Harley Ehrman (5-11, 255), and juniors Marty Engle (5-11, 200), Jimmy Joe Mort (6-0, 225), and Tony Godich (5-11, 165) have all been solid contributors, as well.

The Crusader defense continues to improve each week, giving up an average of only 10 points per game in Central’s six victories. Not only has the defense forced 27 turnovers, they have scored four touchdowns themselves.

Zapolnik and sophomores Chris Murphy and Stone Romano have led a linebacking corps that has spearheded the defense. Zapolnik and Romano lead the team with tackles for lost yardage with 10 each. Murphy is also tied for the team lead in tackles (43), while pacing the squad in sacks (five) and fumble recoveries (four), one of which he returned for a score. He has also recorded six stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Romano is next in line with four sacks, among his 42 tackles. He has also recovered one enemy fumble. Zapolnik has an interception and sack among his 32 stops.

McCann is the leader in tackles (23) along the front line, followed by Taglione’s 18 stops and 5-11, 200-pound junior Marty Engle, with 16. He and Butto each have three tackles for lost yardage.

Matching Murphy’s 43 stops is junior safety Aleks Porreca, who has also made nine stops behind the line of scrimmage, and has an interception and fumble recovery to his credit.

Classmate Fletcher has 38 tackles under his belt (four for negative yardage), along with three interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. Herrington has tallied a fumble recovery (which he returned for a score), two sacks, two interceptions, and two tackles for lost yardage among his 16 stops.

Jones and Laukert have recorded 28 and 24 tackles, respectively, from their cornerback positions. The latter has picked off three passes, recorded two tackles for lost yardage, and recovered an enemy fumble for a touchdown. Jones has two pilfered two enemy aerials.

While the place-kicking has been solid throughout the year, the return game has improved week-by-week, with Jones 92-yard kickoff return for a score last week being the highlight. Jones has averaged 36 yards per return, while Fletcher’s 11 returns have been for better than 25 yards per effort.

Those two also handle punt returns, with Jones averaging better than 13 yards per return.

Romano has been successful on 24 of his 28 PAT attempts, and Maslowski has converted 10 of his 13 tries. Colabella is averaging nearly 33 yards per punt for Central, who will try to halt a three-game losing skid against the Blue Dons.

The Crusaders still lead the all-time series by a count of 7-4-1. The 12th meeting between the two parochial rivals will kick off at Harding Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m.


Written by Mario Saggio

Weirton Madonna overcame a 13-point deficit heading into the final quarter Saturday night at Harding Stadium, pulling out a 21-20 thriller over Steubenville Catholic Central. The Blue Dons’ winning points came off the foot of sophomore kicker Matthew Green, who nailed the extra point after a six-yard pass from junior Ross Comis to classmate Elliot Nero tied the score with 30.7 seconds to play.

The Madonna defense then preserved the victory, batting down a Crusader pass in the end zone as time expired. The win was the Dons’ fourth straight over Central, and their sixth straight overall, improving their record to 7-1 and solidifying their stature in the WVSSAC Class A playoff hunt.

The Crusaders suffered their first loss since week three, dropping them to 6-3 on the campaign. Central can still qualify for the postseason in Ohio Division VI, Region 21 with a win Friday night against another West Virginia small school power, Magnolia, or if Mogadore defeats East Canton.

Central got on the board first after the defense forced a punt on the game’s opening possession. Kyle Laukert’s 13-yard punt return put the Crusaders at the Madonna 32-yard line. A 27-yard strike from Brenton Colabella to Laukert set up Doug Maslowski’s one-yard touchdown run. Stone Romano split the uprights for a 7-0 margin with 4:17 expired.

Undaunted, the visitors answered with a 13-play, 67-yard march that culminated in Comis’ three-yard scoring burst with 1:43 to play in the opening stanza. Green’s PAT knotted the score.

Both defenses tightened after that, each forcing a pair of punts with resulting in a Central possession at the Madonna 47-yard line. Maslowski rushed for 20 yards on the first play, before hauling in a five-yard flip from Colabella. Senior wideout Michael Carapellotti then snatched Colabella’s end zone pass away from a Blue Don defender to regain the lead for the hosts. Romano’s PAT made it 14-7 with 3:47 remaining in the half.

Junior Khalil Jones put the Crusaders back in scoring position after pilfering a Madonna pass at his own 28 and returning the ball all the way to visitors’ 30-yard line. A pair of six-yard runs by Colabella, and a 12-yard catch by Laukert, set up Maslowski’s six-yard scoring jaunt just 34 seconds before intermission. A bobbled snap prevented an extra point attempt.

Both defenses stiffened in the third quarter and the Dons took over at their own 42 after a Crusader punt early in the final period. Comis connected with senior Garrett Hypes for an 11-yard gain on a fourth-and-10 from the hosts’ 30-yard line, before a 12-yard connection to Will Bowser set up Comis’ seven-yard score with 7:27 to play in the final quarter. Green again converted to cut the Crusader lead to 20-14.

Madonna then forced a Crusader punt that gave the Dons’ possession at their own 20. An interference penalty and runs of 26, 10 and 11 by Comis moved the Dons into the red zone before Nick Ossman’s eight-yard gain took it to the one-yard line. An illegal motion penalty pushed the visitors back before Comis connected with Nero in the right flat for the tying score.

Comis paced the Dons with 99 yards on 28 rushing attempts. He also completed eight of his 17 pass attempts for 76 yards. Ossman lugged the pigskin 13 times for 85 yards, while Nero chipped in with 45 yards on eight carries.

Nero, Bowser and Marcello Biondillo all caught two passes each, while Hypes and Ossman were both targeted once.

The Blue Don defense limited the high-powered Crusader passing attack to 132 yards, Colabella completing 12 of his 23 attempts. Laukert paced Central receivers with five catches for 59 yards. Carapellotti and Zach Herrington both had two catches each, while Maslowski, Ryan Fletcher and Chris Murphy hauled in one pass apiece.

Maslowski paced the Central ground game with 56 yards on 12 carries. Central was limited to 67 yards on 20 rushing attempts.

Madonna will entertain Toronto Friday night, while the Crusaders will travel to New Martinsville for that crucial tilt with Magnolia.


cheap air max|cheap air jordans|pompy wtryskowe|cheap huarache shoes| bombas inyeccion|cheap jordans|cheap sneakers|wholesale jordans|cheap china jordans|cheap wholesale jordans|cheap jordans|wholesale jewelry china|wholesale cheap jerseys