The Cowboys rolled to a 33-0 win behind Ed McElroy, Juan Serrano and great defensive play.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Chaney High football team began City Series play in usual fashion -- with a victory.
The Cowboys, who have won 10 of the last 11 City Series titles, began the 2001 portion of league play with an impressive 33-0 win over Woodrow Wilson Thursday at Stambaugh Stadium.
The last time Chaney (4-1) lost to a City Series opponent was in 1997 to a Mark Lyden-coached East High team. Lyden is now the coach for Wilson.
Chaney's Ed McElroy rushed for two touchdowns and gained 109 yards, while quarterback Juan Serrano threw for one touchdown and ran for another to lead the Cowboys.
Good defense: More impressively, the Chaney defense pitched a shutout and limited Wilson to 114 yards of offense and five first downs.
"We're playing really well right now," said Chaney coach Ron Berdis. "We have a goal of getting better every week and our kids are responding to that challenge."
Berdis was especially pleased with the team's shutout of a potentially-dangerous Wilson offense.
The Redmen spread the field and rely on the talents of sophomore quarterback Shawn Lane and junior Carlton Sims to move the ball.
Many aerials: The duo combined to throw 30 passes, but because of Chaney's ability to control the line of scrimmage, the offense was only able to come up with 11 receptions for 78 yards.
"A shutout is what we are shooting for as a defense," Berdis said. "They have some great athletes who, if you let them get going, can hurt you.
"Fortunately, our defense was able to control the line of scrimmage and keep their quarterbacks in check."
The Redmen (0-5) were only able to mount one threat, and that was after Chaney had built a 20-0 second-quarter lead.
Drive fizzles: Wilson drove from its own 35 to the Chaney 8 in 11 plays, with Lane completing a couple of passes for nice gains and also scrambling for key yards. On fourth down and 3 from the 8, Lane's pass in the end zone was incomplete with 48 seconds remaining before halftime.
"I don't know that if we score there it would have made a difference," Lyden said of the missed opportunity.
"But we might have been able to take some momentum into halftime, and then you never know."
But Lyden was more concerned with his team's inability to generate much offense.
"We struggled again offensively, and that forced our defense to be on the field most of the game," Lyden said. "We dropped too many passes, for one thing."
In control: Chaney controlled the game by rushing 54 times for 264 yards. Serrano also was very productive throwing the ball as he connected on 6-of-8 passes for 79 yards. He connected with Johel Canaveral on a 15-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.
Overall, Chaney ran 63 offensive plays to 43 for Wilson.
Chaney scored first on a 1-yard run by Serrano early in the first period, which capped a four-play, 42-yard drive.
McElroy scored on Chaney's next possession on a 21-yard run, and Serrano's touchdown pass gave the Cowboys a 20-0 lead at the break.
Chaney scored one touchdown in each of the final two periods. McElroy scored on a 1-yard run and sophomore Chris Eskew raced 15 yards for the final tally.
Good job: "We played well in all areas of the game," Berdis said. "We got what we wanted out of the game. We were very productive with our running, passing and defense."
Lyden, whose team plays one of the toughest schedules in the area, said Chaney ranks up there with the best teams.
"They're definitely one of the top teams," Lyden said. "They play very tough and are fundamentally sound."
One bright spot for the Redmen was the play of senior defensive end Anthony Floyd, who was all over the field.
"He's a big-time player," Lyden said. "He's one of the best."