McKinley 28, Hoover 17 (Oct 15-2010)
Fawcett Stadium, Canton
McKinley rallies in second half vs. Hoover
Updated: Friday, October 15, 2010
CANTON Halftime of the eighth game of the season isn't exactly the right time to have an epiphany. Then again, for the McKinley High School football team it's better late than never.
North Canton Hoover -- an inexperienced team that was perhaps a step too slow, an inch or two shy in areas and undermanned across the board -- delivered a message at halftime to the talented Bulldogs. Bring a lunch fellas.
McKinley dominated the second half for a 28-17 win in overcoming a 17-14 halftime deficit. The Vikings were held to 23 yards in the second half.
"I thought our boys did a great job against their men," Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said.
Tough to argue, especially after the Vikings lost 6-foot-5, 200-pound quarterback Austin Appleby in the second quarter. Sophomore Domenic Iero (5-9, 165) filled in admirably.
It took the fire and brimstone of the halftime locker room to get the Bulldogs going. In the second half, defensive ends Steve Miller and Se'Von Pittman combined for four sacks.
"Because we're McKinley, everybody wants to take us out," Miller said. "We have to be ready at all times."
"It should be that way," McKinley head coach Ron Johnson said. "We should get everybody's best, and we should do the same thing."
It was a blessed start for the Pups. Hoover fumbled the opening kickoff and Anthony Reinhard recovered at the Hoover 28 for the Bulldogs. Then, an underthrown pass that should have been a Hoover interception was instead tipped. The tipped ball found its way into Taron Montgomery's hands inside the 5. On the next play, Kyle Ohradzansky went in on a keeper for a 7-0 lead.
Hoover didn't panic. Instead, Hertler paged to the back of the playbook and called a halfback pass with his backup quarterback. Iero took a handoff from Appleby and threw a perfect 71-yard TD pass to Stephen Denisssoff to tie the game.
"It would have been nice to use that out of the gate and go up 7-0," Hertler said. â€œInstead, it was good to answer a turnover and quick score with a quick score."
Elijah Farrakhan capped an eight-play drive when he scored from the 9 for a 14-7 lead. Farrakhan broke off a 16-yard run before that, and Malcolm Robinson slipped a tackle on a short pass to turn that into a 23-yard gain to get the ball inside the 10.
The Vikings answered on the strong right arm of Appleby. He completed 5 of 6 passes (the one incompletion was a drop) for 59 yards. His biggest pass was a manâ€™s throw.
On fourth-and-19 from the McKinley 24, Appleby whizzed a ball to Joey Housos, who ran a skinny post. That 21-yard gain took it to the McKinley 3, and Bobby Leper tied the game on the next play.
Hoover forced a stop and took over at its own 15. Then, the Vikings went on a 21-play drive that started with 8:37 left in the first half. It ended when junior Ryan Sarbaugh drilled a 41-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 17-14 lead with 12 seconds left before halftime.
It came at a cost.
Appleby was hurt when he ran for 11 yards for a first down near midfield.
"He was off to a great start," Hertler said. â€œDom came in and did a great job. We didn't give him time to throw in the second half."
Iero was knocked down most of the 12 times he threw in the second half.
"We wanted to get after him," Miller said.
Starting at his own 38, Ohradzansky completed a short curl pass to Zach Sweat, who slipped a tackle and turned it into a 20-yard gain. On fourth-and-2, Farrakhan took a pitch around left end and got a tremendous block from Miller, who lifted his man off the ground. Two plays later, Farrakhan took another pitch, broke a tackle inside the 10, and scored from 17 yards out for a 21-17 McKinley lead.
McKinley got some breathing room in the fourth quarter. Hoover's offense -- lining up offside twice and taking a delay of game in the same possession -- stalled. The Pups pounced. Farrakhan scored on a 10-yard run with 5:12 left in the game to seal it.
Iero and Appleby combined for 17-of-32 and 211 yards, but Hoover had just 10 rushing yards. Ohradzansky completed 18 of 23 passes for 248 yards. Farrakhan finished with 91 yards.
Still, the Pups weren't happy.
"I'm not happy with the way we coached and I'm not happy with the way we played in the first half," Johnson said. "I'm happy with the way we responded in both aspects in the second half."
Sunday Special: Bulldogs' passing is Hoover's bone of contention
By Todd Porter
CantonRep.com staff writer
Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 12:00 PM
There were some hurt feelings Friday night at Fawcett Stadium. Was McKinley head coach Ron Johnson trying to run the score up on Hoover? No, Johnson said. He was trying to get a first down to maintain possession of the football near the end of the game.
At the end of McKinley's 28-17 Federal League win against Hoover, a couple of assistant coaches from Hoover and McKinley were jawing at each other about the Bulldogs passing the ball in the final 1:17.
"I'm not mad they were passing," Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. "I'm glad they were passing. They were up two scores at that point, and frankly, the only way for us to get back in the game at that point is to pick one of those passes off. He gave us a chance to get the ball back with a turnover. Other than that, there's really no way at that point in the game to make up two scores. I thought they were doing us a favor a little."
Some of Hertler's coaches were clearly miffed about one pass in particular. McKinley quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky threw into the end zone, but it was incomplete as the receiver came down out of bounds. That stopped the clock and McKinley tried to take a knee on fourth down to end the game. However, the change of possession stopped the clock with five seconds left and Hoover's offense had to come out to take a knee.
Johnson said his team wasn't trying to run up the score.
"All we were trying to do is make a first down on third-and-6," Johnson said. "We weren't trying to run up the score. Our quarterback has reads, and he threw the ball to the right place there. He knows if he doesn't make the right read and make the right throw, He's going to hear about it from me."
Johnson didn't want to get into defending his play-calling at the end of a win. However, he pointed out, if Hoover didn't want McKinley to throw the football, perhaps then the Vikings' coaching staff should not have called timeouts at the start of McKinley's last drive.
There are no hard and fast rules to running or throwing the football. However, if a team that is down by two scores or more is stopping the clock in the final minutes, then passing is fair game.
â€œBelieve me, we've seen first-hand how quickly North Canton can score," Johnson said.
He could have been talking about Friday night. The Vikings tied the game at 7 on their first play of the game with a halfback pass from Dom Iero to Stephen Denissoff. Or Johnson could have been referring to last year's game. Hoover had an improbable come-from-behind win, 38-34. The Vikings were down 34-2 at halftime.
Hertler did not know the extent of quarterback Austin Applebyâ€™s injury. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder, who is being recruited by Top 25 schools, was hurt when he ran with the ball and delivered a blow to a McKinley defender. Applebyâ€™s right knee was in a brace from his shin to his hip to immobilize the knee. The size of the brace may have made the injury appear worse. Appleby was on crutches in the second half.
"We'll see what the doctor says over the weekend," Hertler said.
McKinley will play Boardman on Thursday night ... and it wasn't a move made at the Bulldogs' request, Johnson said. The game is being televised, and Boardman made the request to move the game from Friday to Thursday night. Some people thought McKinley was looking for an extra day of preparation for Massillon going into Week 10.
That's not the case, but it did end up that way. The other side is McKinley has a short week to prepare for Boardman.
The Bulldogs also prefer to look at it like Boardman has a short week to prepare for McKinley, and McKinley is pretty good.
Every school in the Federal League earned the OHSAA's Harold A. Meyer Sportsmanship Award this year. The league has spent more than a year on getting all of its schools up to a certain standard to be recognized for the award. Fitch, Boardman, McKinley, GlenOak, Lake, Hoover, Jackson and Perry were among the 72 high schools and junior high schools that won the award.
Boston College hasn't wasted any time getting to know Louisville freshman Bobby Swigert. He's a starting wide receiver for the Eagles as a true freshman. Why not?
Swigert also was the team's leading receiver going into Saturday's game at Florida State. He had caught 14 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
FEDERAL LEAGUE PICTURE
Fitch is clearly in the driver's seat to win the Federal League, which would be odd since the Falcons haven't won the league since their first season in it. If they win it this year, they will have won their first and last seasons in the Federal League.
But there is another interesting scenario that could play out. There could be a four-way tie for first place among Fitch, Boardman, Lake and McKinley. A lot has to happen, but it's not far-fetched.
Fitch would have to lose its next two games at Lake and against rival Boardman. McKinley has to beat Boardman on Thursday night to give the Spartans two league losses.
Then there's a four-way tie for first place with all four teams having lost twice in the league.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
Be sure to check out our high school football show, â€œUnder the Lightsâ€ presented by Toth Buick this evening after 6 on FridayNightOhio.com. The show will feature highlights from Hoover-McKinley, Alliance-Louisville, Marlington-Canton South, Lake-Jackson and Perry-Fitch. Plus, Central Catholic head coach Lowell Klinefelter will be live in studio to talk about his 37-year career and the Crusadersâ€™ strong start. Learn more about our Rude Dawgs Player of the Week, Louisville quarterback Chad Neff and then go tailgating with a second installment of recipes from Repository food writers Saimi Bergmann and Jennifer Mastroianni. The show also canbe viewed on Massillon Cable Channel 22 every Tuesday night at 6:30.
Copyright 2010 CantonRep.com. Some rights reserved
Federal League Notes: McKinley's offense is full of weapons
Updated: Thursday, October 14, 2010
CANTON McKinley High School football coach Ron Johnson likes having his options when it comes to offense.
One alternative just won't do.
Coming off probably their best offensive performance of the season considering the situation, the Bulldogs are making their head coach happy with plenty of players to which he can spread the ball.
While the Pups specialized in power football behind a motivated offensive line last week in the 35-21 win against Perry, they also showed their ability to utilize various playmakers.
McKinley ran for 338 yards, with Sa'Veon Holloway getting 118 and quarterback Kyle Ohradzansky adding 95. They also made big plays in the pass game, highlighted by Taron Montgomery's 92-yard touchdown that began as a simple curl route. He had five receptions for 127 yards.
don't forget about Elijah Farrakhan, Elijah Beach, Tyler Carney, Christian Thompson, Zach Sweat and the versatile Tyler Foster. Beach ran for a 51-yard touchdown against Perry.
Johnson puts an emphasis on having several guys touch the ball.
"We want to be able to do that because we can always feel confident in going to what's working, rather than trying to ride one horse," he said. "We've got a bunch of guys that can make plays, and if we do a good job putting them in the best position to make those plays, it makes it pretty hard to defend."
The biggest game in the Federal League on Friday is Perry (5-2, 2-2) at Fitch. Panthers head coach Keith Boedicker warned about falling into a hole against the high-scoring Falcons, who are undefeated and ranked eighth in the state's Division I Associated Press Poll.
"A lot of teams find themselves playing catch-up against them, which forces you to do a lot of things you don't want to do," Boedicker said. "I think the key in going against a team that explosive is to control the tempo of the game, control the clock."
Perry seems to have the perfect offense for that with a powerful running game and capable play-action passing attack.
Fitch runs a no-huddle offense that isn't in the Peyton Manning style of getting to the line, looking to the sideline, reading the defense and then snapping the ball late in the play clock.
The Falcons get on the ball and go quickly.
"It's very unique going against them," Boedicker said. "They're trying to get a play off in eight seconds. So you've got to be ready to roll."
it's COMING TOGETHER
Hoover travels to Fawcett Stadium to face McKinley (5-2, 3-2) Friday. Vikings head coach Don Hertler Jr. sees a McKinley team that is hitting full stride.
"I thought from the Perry and GlenOak tapes the past two weeks they've been putting it together in all phases," Hertler said. "They're running the ball well. They're throwing it well. We know how good they are defensively. Their return guys are extremely dangerous.
"So They're pretty complete. They're awfully good right now. Hopefully we're not going the other direction."
The undersized Vikings (3-4, 1-3) have lost two straight and four of their last five games. But keep in mind Hoover is just three spots from the final playoff position in Region 2.
don't STOP BELIEVING
Lake's 34-13 win last week didn't start well for the Blue Streaks (5-2, 3-2). Down 13-0 and with GlenOak driving inside the red zone, Lake coach Jeff Durbin admitted the situation â€œlooked pretty dark."
"But if you watch our guys up front defensively during that series, they were getting after it," Durbin said. "If they had folded right there, shoot, that (final) score is likely reversed or worse."
Instead the Blue Streaks dropped GlenOak for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1. Then GlenOak fumbled away the fourth-down play.
Durbin has asked a lot of his players in this injury-plagued season.
Center Sam Rutledge found out last Wednesday that Lake would be short-handed at linebacker, so he needed to get some reps there at practice. He ended up playing basically the entire game at linebacker against GlenOak.
Jarrod Wendorf is one of Lake's top defensive lineman and a back-up offensive lineman. But with Durbin needing someone at fullback, Wendorf donned a No. 38 jersey last week so he could play there some.
"That's a little different than putting a junior varsity guy out there," Durbin said. "That's a guy you're asking more of and playing on both sides of the ball, but They're varsity football players."
TIMES ARE TOUGH
This is not the season GlenOak expected. The Golden Eagles are 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the Federal League, losers of three straight.
"We've had a lot of inconsistent play. A lot of that was due to inexperience," head coach Scott Garcia said. "We've started off great in all the games we've lost, but teams are just wearing us down."
His message to the team this week?
"We're in a tough situation and we have to respond," Garcia said. "We can't sit back and worry about what could have been. We have to take care of what's in front of us and move on. there's still an outside shot, if we can put together a little run here, to sneak into the backdoor of the playoffs. We just got to take care of Boardman this week and then go from there."
Week 8 preview: Hoover at McKinley
Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
TIME 7:30 p.m., Friday
SITE Fawcett Stadium
RECORDS Hoover 3-4, 1-3; McKinley 5-2, 3-2
LAST WEEK Fitch 42, Hoover 12; McKinley 35, Perry 21
LAST MEETING Hoover won, 38-34, last year.
WHAT TO WATCH The Bulldogs look to be kicking into high gear. The defense has been impressive most of the season. Last week, the offense took off, gaining 510 yards, including 338 on the ground. RBs Sa'Veon Holloway and Elijah Farrakhan and QB Kyle Ohradzansky have combined for 1,236 yards and 17 TDs rushing. Ohradzansky completes 53.3 percent of his passes and has been picked only twice in 120 attempts. Taron Montgomery, who took a short curl route 92 yards for a score last week, leads the Bulldogs with 23 receptions for 336 yards. Hoover's defense has been up and down, and the Vikings definitely need to be up for this one. They allowed 411 yards last week. The Vikings have the ability to pull an upset, as Lake learned in Week 5. But they must clean up the mistakes, most notably eight turnovers (six interceptions) during the past two weeks. Hoover's ball security will be tested with the way McKinley's defense flies around. The Vikings must protect QB Austin Appleby from McKinley's front seven, including rangy DEs Se'Von Pittman and Steve Miller. McKinley LBs Chad Fite, Mike Aylward and Freddie Burton get to the ball in a hurry. Applebyâ€™s favorite target is WR Joey Housos, who owns 32 receptions for 468 yards and five TDs. Hoover has won three straight against McKinley. Last year's game was the Vikings' incredible comeback win from a 34-2 halftime deficit. After that game, McKinley won four consecutive games before losing in a regional final.
Stark Federal League teams have tough road to hoe for playoff bids
Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Right now, the road to the Federal League title seems to pass through Mahoning County. Fitch and Boardman, 4-0 and 3-1 in the league, respectively, occupy the Federal's top two spots. But three of the league's Stark County contingent are in good shape for playoff purposes.
Here's a closer look at their chances:
Playoff Position Fifth in Division I, Region 2
Friday, host Hoover (3-4)
Oct. 21, at Boardman (5-2)
Oct. 30, at Massillon (6-1)
After agreeing that his team is starting to hit on all cylinders, McKinley head coach Ron Johnson quickly adds, "We've got to keep getting better. There are a lot of things we have to clean up, obviously. But we're working hard at it and getting better every day in practice."
The Bulldogs beat Boardman and Massillon in Weeks 9 and 10 last year to barely sneak into the playoffs.
This year, the Bulldogs have won three straight and seem to be peaking. But Johnson believes peaking should be a weekly process.
"You want to get better every week," he said. â€œEither you get better or you get worse. You never stay the same. If we get better every week, ultimately, you'll peak in your last opportunity to play."
The Bulldogs must continue to play at a high level with road trips to Boardman and Massillon awaiting the final two weeks. Those two teams have combined to win nine straight games. If McKinley handles its business, a home game in Week 11 is likely.
Fact to consider The Bulldogs have held opponents to 28 points or less in 12 straight games and 19 of their last 20 games. Since last year's 38-34 loss to Hoover, McKinley has held eight of 12 opponents to less than 20 points.
Playoff Position Sixth in Division I, Region 2
Friday, at Fitch (7-0)
Oct. 22, host Jackson (2-5)
Oct. 29, at GlenOak (3-4)
About the Panthers
The road doesn't get any easier for Perry. A week after a 35-21 loss to McKinley at Fawcett Stadium, the Panthers go to undefeated and state-ranked Fitch on Friday.
"You enjoy victory and accept defeat for a very short time period in the Federal League," said Perry head coach Keith Boedicker, whose team has lost two of three games after a 4-0 start. "We're getting another challenge in going to Fitch. They have an outstanding offensive team. Probably the best overall skill players we've seen all year."
A win against Fitch, ranked eighth this week in Division I, would be a big step, not only toward getting into the playoffs, but also hosting a first-round game. Perry has been to the playoffs once since 2002.
Fact to consider After allowing 61 points through the first five weeks, Perry has given up 68 over the past two weeks. Big plays are burning the Panthers. They have allowed four scoring plays of 34 yards or more, and two of 77 or more the last two weeks.
Playoff Position Fifth in Division II, Region 7
Friday, at Jackson (2-5)
Oct. 22, host Fitch (7-0)
Oct. 29, host Col. Bishop Watterson (5-1)
About the Blue Streaks
The Blue Streaks need to take care of Jackson this week, because their final two weeks are brutal. Watterson is ranked sixth in the Division III state poll. The Eagles own quality wins versus St. Vincent-St. Mary, Beechcroft and Winton Woods.
The good news is the Blue Streaks are getting guys back from injury. Even Jim Luther, considered done for the season after suffering an ACL tear in Week 3, may return this week.
Lake's tough-luck season has developed a certain toughness in the Blue Streaks. After compounding problems and losing focus in a Week 5 loss to Hoover, Lake overcame an early 13-0 deficit to score 34 unanswered points against GlenOak last week.
â€œWhen you ask what else can go wrong, you usually find out," Lake head coach Jeff Durbin said. â€œNone of us had that attitude, I don't think. We did a better job as coaches and the kids just kept playing. Good things started to happen."
Fact to consider The Blue Streaks have missed the playoffs two consecutive seasons. They have never missed the playoffs three straight seasons in Durbinâ€™s 21 years as head coach.
The Golden Eagles are in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006. But they still have some points waiting on the table if they can get hot.
Read the GlenOak-Boardman preview
The Vikings have missed the playoffs just three times in head coach Don Hertler Jr.'s 15 years. Avoiding No. 4 would start by upsetting McKinley this week.
Read the McKinley-Hoover preview
The Polar Bears haven't been to the playoffs since 2004, and that drought looks to continue another year.
Come here for media about past games of the Bulldogs and their opponents. Feel free to make comments yourself of the events described by our primary news source, The Repository.
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- McKinley running back Elijah Farrakhan breaks through a Hoover tackle en route to a third-quarter touchdown Friday night at Fawcett Stadium.
- Farrakhan_vs_Hoover.jpg (96.09 KiB) Viewed 1431 times
- Kyle Ohradzansky (left) and Taron Montgomery are two of the many playmakers getting it done for the McKinley offense. REPOSITORY FILE PHOTO
- KyleOhradzansky.celebrates.with_.TaronMontgomery.jpg (140 KiB) Viewed 1431 times
- McKinley running back Sa’Veon Holloway
- 'Veon_Holloway.vs_.Perry_.jpg (152.24 KiB) Viewed 1431 times
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