STEEL VALLEY CONFERENCE Boardman overwhelms Mooney
Tom Zetts' four TD passes, three of them going to Jay Upthegrove, led the Spartans to third triumph.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
YOUNGSTOWN -- Boardman High junior quarterback Tom Zetts threw for four first half touchdowns to lead the Spartans to an impressive 42-7 Steel Valley Conference victory over Cardinal Mooney at Stambaugh Stadium Saturday evening.
Zetts threw three of those scoring aerials to senior Jay Upthegrove, and the Boardman defense nearly pitched a shutout as the Spartans' record improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the SVC.
Mooney (0-4, 0-1) is off to its worst start in school history. Mooney's only losing record came in 1966 in Don Bucci's first year. Including a loss to end the 2000 season, Mooney is in the midst of a five-game losing spell, the longest in school history.
"We finally caught some footballs," Boardman coach Garry Smith said. "We played a solid football game on both sides tonight."
Good job: Zetts completed nine of 14 passes for 160 yards and was not picked off.
"I've been gaining a lot of confidence especially after last week's game against Chaney," Zetts said.
"Mooney surprised us by playing their corners up close and we were able to take advantage of them."
His favorite target was Upthegrove, who caught four passes for 82 yards, all in the first half.
Boardman wasted little time in setting the tone for the game when Spartan Mike Finamore intercepted Dean Palombaro's first pass of the contest.
The Spartans scored three plays later when Zetts threw a 37-yard strike to Mike Vilagrana.
4-for-5: Boardman then scored on four of its next five possessions.
Zetts threw a 20-yard TD pass to Upthegrove, who made a diving catch in the end zone.
Following a 25-yard punt return by Brian Weiser, the Spartans scored on another Zetts-to-Upthegrove aerial, this one covering 9 yards.
Boardman scored two more times in the second quarter to open a 35-0 lead at the break.
A 5-yard scoring run by sophomore Brad Beck made it 28-0, and then Zetts threw another touchdown pass covering 35 yards to Upthegrove.
By halftime Zetts had completed seven of 12 passes for 136 yards and four TDs.
Contained: Mooney was held to just 33 total yards in the first half, and limited to three first downs by the dominating Boardman defense.
"When you have great receivers like Jay and Mike, it makes my job pretty easy," Zetts said. "Did you see those catches those guys made?"
Boardman also got great rushing efforts by Evan Beard who ran for 109 yards on 17 carries and Beck who gained 71 yards on six carries. Beck scored twice.
Boardman out-gained the Cardinals, 339-111.
Patsy Malie led Mooney with 61 yards rushing.
The Cardinals averted a shutout when Mike Colaianni scored on a 4-yard run with 2:43 remaining in the game.
Mooney had another chance to score late in the contest when an interception gave the Cardinals the ball at the 19. The team failed to convert the turnover into points, however.