Spartans win big against Big Red
Boardman scored 31 points in the second quarter to key a 52-0 win.
By GREG GULAS
BOARDMAN -- The Boardman High football team scored 38 first-half points and never looked back en route to a 52-0 thrashing of Steubenville Friday at Spartan Stadium in what might have been the final time these two teams play.
"When we get both our ground and passing games going, we can be very good," Spartan coach Garry Smith said. "Tonight's final score against a good Steubenville team is a pleasant surprise to me.
"It was nice to see everything working, both offensively and defensively, and in the process give us a chance to play quite a few players tonight."
Neither team could get untracked early, but the Spartans (4-1) got on the board first.
Senior wide receiver Jay Upthegrove caught a 34-yard scoring strike from quarterback Tom Zetts with 52 seconds remaining in the first period for a 7-0 lead.
Key quarter: The second quarter was the Spartans' most productive this season, scoring 31 unanswered points to take a 38-0 lead at intermission.
Evan Beard, the Spartans' go-to back all season, scored on runs of 2 and 30 yards.
Sophomore running back Brad Beck added a 4-yard touchdown run. When Mike Villagrana caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Zetts and placekicker Andrew Good nailed a 31-yard field goal, the Spartans capped their most productive 12 minutes of play this season.
"Our defense has played well all season, so holding them scoreless in the first half was a definite plus for us," Smith said. "The numbers were definitely in our favor."
By halftime, the Spartans had scored five of their seven touchdowns while holding the Big Red (3-2) to 72 yards of total offense, including minus-27 on the ground.
The Spartans almost lost their shutout on the first series of the second half as Big Red running back Jesse Turner ran 34 yards for an apparent touchdown.
However, they were called for clipping, nullifying the run and preserving the shutout.
Beck scored his second touchdown in the third period from 15 yards out to increase the Spartan lead to 45-0.
Putting it away: When Rich Lepore hit paydirt midway through the final period from 3 yards out and Robbie Palma converted the third of his placements, the Spartans secured their seventh win in the 13-game series with the Big Red.
Beard led all rushers with 74 yards on 10 carries, while Beck added 57 yards on 10 carries.
The Spartans rolled up 162 yards on the ground on 32 carries while holding their opponents to just 53 yards on 31 carries.
Zetts was 6-of-13 through the air for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while Michael DiAngelo of the Big Red connected on 9-of-25 aerials for 11 yards.
Overall, the Spartans rolled up 314 yards of total offense to Steubenville's 164 -- 88 yards coming after intermission.