STEEL VALLEY CONFERENCE Ursuline regains confidence with 33-7 win
Coach Jim Vivo praised running back Delbert Ferguson but noted his team's mistakes woes.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
YOUNGSTOWN -- The disappointment and doubt in the minds of the Ursuline High football players and coaching staff following last week's 56-16 loss to Warren Harding faded quickly once the Irish received the opening kickoff Friday against Cleveland Benedictine.
The Irish (4-1) marched 80 yards to a score on the game's first drive and went on to easily defeat Division III Benedictine 33-7 at Youngstown State University's Stambaugh Stadium.
Sophomore tailback Delbert Ferguson rushed for 227 yards on 27 carries and scored three touchdowns.
Senior fullback John Angelo added two more scores, including the game's first on a 6-yard run.
That opening drive set the tone for the game and somewhat surprised Ursuline coach Jim Vivo.
Tough week: "Yeah, I was surprised by the fast start," Vivo said. "It was a tough week of practice for all of us after last week and it was hard to get the players -- and frankly the coaches -- up for practice.
"Anytime you lose by 40 points, I think you naturally start to doubt yourself," Vivo said.
The Bengals had plenty of confidence coming into the game following an overtime victory over a strong Walsh Jesuit team the week before.
But Benedictine (3-2) wasn't ready for the talented Ferguson, who picked up nearly 10 yards every time he touched the football.
"Delbert's a great back," Vivo said. "But we're blessed to have two great backs and you need to have that to be successful in the long run."
Ferguson picked up the slack for sophomore Terrence Graves, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury.
The Irish offensive line controlled things from the start and that enabled Ursuline to control the football for most of the game.
Pressured quarterback: Defensively, Ursuline linemen John Frost and Brandon Brown put plenty of pressure on Benedictine quarterback Anthony Tyus. The duo combined for five sacks.
Ursuline's defense held the Bengals to 10 rushing yards on 30 carries. Overall, Benedictine managed 122 total yards and seven first downs.
Vivo, however, wasn't entirely pleased with his young team's performance.
"We are still making too many mental mistakes," Vivo said. "We need to take care of those things if we want to have a successful season."
Irish mistakes: Vivo was alluding to a defensive breakdown right before halftime that allowed the Bengals to get their only points as a receiver broke free behind the Irish secondary.
Ursuline went up 20-0 quickly after getting touchdown runs of 26 and 39 yards by Ferguson.
The Irish tacked on two more scores in the second half when Ferguson scored his third touchdown on a 4-yard run and Angelo added another on a 1-yard run.
Vivo also praised the play of sophomore quarterback Darryl Clark, who completed 3-of-5 passes for 75 yards.
Clark's 52-yard pass to Jimmy Riley set up Ursuline's first score.