Friday, October 26, 2012

    New Martinsville (WV) Magnolia 35, Steubenville Catholic Central 0   

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 WRAP-UP from, published 11/1/2012

PREVIEW from, published 10/26/2012


Written by Mario Saggio

Steve Daley and his Fighting Crusaders will have plenty riding on Friday night’s road tilt in New Martinsville as Steubenville Catholic Central looks to secure their first postseason berth since 2007 with a win over home-standing Magnolia. That will be no small fete as the Blue Eagles enter the contest riding the crest of a seven-game winning streak after a 21-20 loss to Linsly in the opening week of the season.

Central hopes to bounce back from a heart-wrenching 21-20 loss last Saturday that saw Weirton Madonna score the game’s final 14 points, notching the winning score with just 30.7 seconds remaining. Magnolia, meanwhile, posted a 46-6 home win over Barnesville, a team that the Crusaders had beaten 63-14 earlier in the season.

The only other common opponent for Friday night’s combatants is Weir High. Central trounced the Red Riders 53-8 one week after the Blue Eagles rolled to a 51-12 victory.

Friday will mark the third-all time meeting between the Blue Eagles and Crusaders, who won both meetings back in the mid 1940s.

Mark Batton’s high-flying Eagles reside in fourth place in the WVSSAC Class A playoff rankings, having outscored their eight opponents by a margin of 269-108. Directing the Magnolia attack will be 6-1, 165-pound senior Tanner Hanna, who threw for one score and ran for another in the win over Barnesville.

His favorite target is flanker-slot man Stephen Rogalski, an athletic 5-11, 170-pound senior. Seniors Ryan Walton (6-0, 180) and Gage Deem (5-11, 165), along with freshman Kyle Ritz (6-0, 190) constitute the rest of the Magnolia receiving corps.

Junior tailback Kage Rohde (5-9, 180) garnered 109 yards and four touchdowns on just seven carries last week, while also catching a scoring pass.

He is joined in the backfield by 5-10, 185-pound classmate Drew Keller at fullback, who added 86 yards and a score on his 15 rushing attempts against Barnesville.

Cole Scckman, a 6-1, 290-pound junior center, is the biggest of the Blue Eagle linemen. The Wrights - Jared, a 5-9, 190-pound senior, and Logan, a 5-8, 200-pound junior - line up at guard, while a pair of seniors, 6-0, 190-pound Samuel Shreve and 6-1, 190-pound Robert Walker, hold down the tackle spots.

Defensively, Seckman and 6-4, 240-pound junior Brandon Clegg man the interior of the Eagles’ four-man front. Ritz, Jared Wright, and 6-0, 275-pound junior Stephen White rotate at defensive end.

Rohde and Keller line up at inside linebacker, with 6-0, 190-pound senior Zachary Arrick and 5-9, 175-pound junior Jacob Brill on the outside.

Hanna and Walton are the corners, while Deem represents the final line of defense from his safety spot.

Despite the loss to Madonna, the 6-3 Crusaders still find themselves in the midst of the Ohio Divsion VI, Region 21 playoff chase, holding the eighth and final qualifying spot. A win over Magnolia would clinch a postseason berth and possibly bump Central up to the seventh spot in the region.

Central’s potent spread attack has led the Crusaders to almost 41 points per game. Junior quarterback Brenton Colabella has thrown for 2,108 yards and 25 touchdowns on 129 of 213 passing. Despite leading Division VI in attempts, he has only thrown five interceptions, while ranking second in touchdown passes, yardage and completions.

His favorite target, rangy senior Zach Herrington, leads the division in touchdown receptions with 10. His 37 receptions and 664 yards both rank third in Division VI.

Fellow senior Kyle Laukert has accounted for five scores and 532 yards on 28 catches, putting him among the division’s top ten in each category.

Junior Ryan Fletcher’s has latched onto 26 passes, resulting in 387 yards and three scores, while senior Michael Carapellotti’s 19 catches have been good for 206 yards and four touchdowns.

The Crusaders have amassed 1,129 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground, with senior tailback Doug Maslowski leading the way with 811 yards and 15 touchdowns on 104 carries.

Sophomore Stone Romano and junior Luke Potenzini (three touchdowns) have been solid at fullback.

Junior Jake McCann has been a stalwart on the defensive front, recording 35 tackles - four for negative yardage - along with four sacks and a safety. Senior Geno Taglione is next among the linemen with 26 tackles, followed by junior Marty Engle with 19. Stephen Butto and Jimmy Joe Mort have provided quality play, as well.

A pair of sophomores, Chris Murphy and Stone Romano, lead the linebacking corps in tackles. Of Murphy’s 51 stops, seven have been behind the line of scrimmage, to go with five sacks and four fumble recoveries. Romano leads the team in sacks with six, among his 47 tackles, 10 of which have been for negative yardage.

Senior linebacker Kevan Zapolnik also has 10 tackles for negative yardage among his 36 stops.

Junior safety Aleks Porreca leads the team in tackles with 52, as well as stops for negative yardage with 11. He also has an interception and fumble recovery to his credit. Classmate Ryan Fletcher has posted 49 stops and is tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.

Laukert and junior Khalil Jones also have three pickoffs each from their corner positions.

Romano has converted 26 of his 30 extra point attempts, while Maslowski has made 10 of 13. Colabella averages over 33 yards per punt.

The return game has also been strong, with Jones and Fletcher handling both punts and kickoffs. Jones averages nearly 33 yards per kickoff return and 14 yards on punts. Fletcher averages over 25 yards taking back kickoffs.

Friday night’s contest kicks off a 7:30.



Written by Mario Saggio

Coming off a heartbreaking loss the week before, Steubenville Catholic Central ventured to New Martinsville Friday night for a clash against once-beaten and highly touted West Virginia Class A power Magnolia. The Blue Eagles were less than hospitable, celebrating Senior Night by holding the Crusaders to 39 total yards and two first downs in pinning a second straight loss on the visitors with a 35-0 rout.

Despite the loss that dropped their final regular-season record to 6-4, the Crusaders did qualify for the OHSAA playoffs, finishing eighth in Division VI, Region 21. They will travel to top-seeded Mogadore Friday night to tangle with the undefeated Wildcats.

Mark Batton’s squad improved to 8-1 and finish the regular season Friday at Oak Glen. A win over the Golden Bears would cement a first-round home game for the Blue Eagles in the WVSSAC playoffs.

Playing without leading rusher Doug Maslowski, who had 15 touchdowns and over 800 yards on the ground through nine games, Steve Daley’s normally high-powered offense never got off the ground at Alumni Field.

Magnolia, meanwhile, took the opening kickoff and drove from their own 35 to deep inside enemy territory before fumbling near the Crusader goal line on the ninth play of the drive. Central junior stalwart Jake McCann fell on the loose pigskin.

After a four-and-out, and a short punt, by the Crusaders, Magnolia took over at the visitors’ 16-yard line, but failed to convert when Clemens Raitmayr’s 33-yard field goal attempt was off the mark.

Three plays later, the hosts took over at the Central 17 after a sack led to a Crusader fumble. Three plays later, fullback Drew Keller took a delayed handoff and broke around the left side for an 11-yard scoring run. Raitmayr’s PAT staked the Eagles to a 7-0 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.

Another Crusader punt saw Magnolia start at the visitors’ 35-yard line. Seven plays later, quarterback Tanner Hanna dented the end zone on a one-yard sneak. Raitmayr again split the uprights with 9:48 to play in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Central did manage to cross midfield on their next possession when Brenton Colabella hooked up with senior wideout Zach Herrington, who made a spectacular catch for a 37-yard gain to the hosts’ 35-yard line. The Crusaders managed to move inside the 30 before a sack ended their best scoring threat of the evening.

Several plays later, Keller latched onto a screen pass in the right flat, broke several tackles, cut left and raced into the end zone for a 66-yard score. Raitmayr’s conversion gave the Eagles a 21-0 lead that they would take into the locker room at intermission.

A Crusader fumble on the second-half kickoff put Magnolia back in business at the Central 37. Nine plays and nearly five minutes later, Hanna found freshman tight end Kyle Ritz in the seam for a fourth-down scoring play from the 15. Raitmayr again converted for a 28-0 margin.

Taking over at the Central 48 after another punt, Magnolia again moved deep into enemy territory before Central junior safety Ryan Fletcher snuffed the drive with a fumble recovery at his own 18.

Two completions from Colabella moved the sticks, but Central was forced to punt, again putting Magnolia on the Crusader side of the 50-yard line. Six plays later, junior tailback Kage Rohde swept right for a 10-yard scoring run and Raitmayr drilled the final point of the night.

The victors rolled up 426 yards of total offense, with Hanna completing 13 of his 22 passes for 227 yards. Keller hauled in six passes for 130 yards, while standout flanker Stephen Rogalski nabbed four for 57 yards.

The Eagle ground game accounted for 199 yards, with Rohde tallying 90 yards on 17 carries, and Keller garnering 78 yards on 17 rushes. Hanna added 26 yards on his seven attempts.

Colabella connected on nine of his 16 attempts for 61 passing yards, with two of those going to Herrington for 38 yards. Fletcher added three catches for the Crusaders.



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