Like in 1997, Chaney gains 13-7 triumph
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- If you are Chaney High football coach Ron Berdis, you have to like the numbers 13 and 7 against Walsh Jesuit in the Division II playoffs.
Like it did in the semifinal round in 1997 (the year Berdis' Cowboys finished as state runners-up), Chaney rolled up 244 yards on the ground and used two touchdown scampers by Kielen Dykes en route to a 13-7 victory Friday at Stambaugh Stadium.
That was the same score between the two teams, with the Cowboys coming out on top in 1997 as well.
"We build our football team with our defense, and after giving up just 58 total points all season, to hold this Warrior team to just seven points is quite impressive," Berdis said.
"Our running game has been intact all season," he said. "We had some missed scoring opportunities, and the fact we couldn't break the game open in the first half, when we had the chance, is a credit to them.
"Forget their 3-6 regular season record. This was an excellent team and they definitely belonged in the playoffs."
99th victory: The Cowboys (10-1), riding an eight-game winning streak, presented Berdis with the 99th coaching victory of his 15-year career at Chaney. He is 99-52 overall.
It looked as if Walsh Jesuit could do no wrong on its opening drive. The Warriors controlled the ball 6 minutes, 43 seconds, yet moved it just 28 yards on 12 plays before being forced to punt. That would be their story all night.
The Cowboys then took over on their own 35-yard line, moving the ball 65 yards in just six plays. And when Dykes scored the first of his two touchdowns from 4 yards out, Chaney held a 7-0 advantage.
On the drive, Ed McElroy's 45-yard run took the ball to the 5-yard line, as he gained 51 of the drive's 65 yards.
13-0 advantage: On the first play of the second quarter, Dykes capped a four-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard run; and after the failed placement, the Cowboys held a 13-0 advantage. This time it was Marquis Trevathan's 53-yard run that put the ball at the Warrior 4-yard line to set up the score.
With an opportunity to take a commanding lead in the second quarter, quarterback Juan Serrano of the Cowboys fumbled at his own 40-yard line. The fumble was recovered by Eric Endress of the Warriors, setting up their only scoring opportunity of the game.
After penetrating to the Cowboy 5-yard line, Walsh Jesuit got a penalty, an incomplete pass and a 5-yard loss to make it fourth-and-goal from the 15-yard line.
Lead is cut: Electing to go for it, sophomore quarterback Neil Strebler found Trumaine Riley in the corner of the end zone; and after the conversion by Steve Majerus, the Cowboy lead was cut to 13-7.
The closest the Warriors got in the second half was the Chaney 37, while the Cowboys got inside the Warrior 20 on two separate occasions, both coming in the fourth quarter.
Serrano intercepted an errant Strebler pass and ran it back to the Warrior 18-yard line with 8:08 remaining. And the other time was on Chaney's final series of the game after holding Walsh Jesuit and taking over on downs.
"I don't think we had anything to prove tonight," Warrior coach Gerry Rardin said. "All year long we just couldn't generate enough offense. We had our chances tonight and a few opportunities, but we didn't take advantage of them."
Of the Cowboys' 267 yards of total offense, 244 came on the ground.
McElroy leader: McElroy led all rushers with 170 yards on 22 carries, while Trevathan added 64 yards on six carries, both contributing key runs on each of their scoring drives.
The Warriors had 98 rushing yards on 31 carries, while Strebler completed five of 13 aerial attempts for 70 yards and a touchdown, suffering an interception as well.
Walsh Jesuit had 168 offensive yards, while Riley, playing in his final scholastic game for the Warriors, had 122 yards on 19 carries.
The Cowboys held a 10-8 advantage in first downs.