Lowellville took a 33-7 lead in a rout of Crestview.
By BOB ROTH
COLUMBIANA -- Senior Andy Peterson and his brother Jeff, a junior, combined for 290 of Lowellville High's 405 rushing yards on the ground and scored all five of the Rockets' touchdowns, in a 33-13 victory at Crestview Thursday.
After a nearly two-hour delay to the start of the game because of a storm, the Rockets needed just over four minutes to take the lead.
After a 21-yard punt return by Jeff Peterson, Lowellville went 48 yards in two plays with Andy Peterson carrying the last 46 yards for a touchdown.
Crestview went from its 46 to the Lowellville 7-yard line, but a 20-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Rockets' Anthony Donatelli and recovered by Bryan Wherry at the Lowellville 15. Thirteen plays, 85 yards and nearly six minutes later, Jeff Peterson ran 7 yards for the first of his three touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Mike Palumbo added runs of 14 and 6 yards on the drive, along with his longest completion of the contest, a 26-yarder to Donatelli.
That second touchdown came with 11:22 remaining in the second quarter. The Rockets had two more scoring opportunities, but a fumble and interception stopped both.
David Parker's recovery of a Lowellville fumble set up Crestview's only first half score. Senior quarterback Troy Duhe's threw a 13-yard pass to Keith Baker to pull the Rebels to within 14-7 at halftime.
Going to the run
"Coming into this game we felt we could run the ball well with the Petersons and Palumbo along with our size advantage up front, but our turnovers kept Crestview in the game," said Lowellville coach John Protopapa.
"In the second half we decided not to get cute and just go with the bread and butter of our offense, which is good ball possession."
The Rockets took the second half kickoff and went 76 yards on 12 plays in just over five minutes, capped by Andy Peterson's 12-yard touchdown run.
Jeff Peterson then scored touchdowns from 5 and 21 yards out to make it 33-7.
The Rebels, without a returning starter from their Tri-County League championship team of last season, scored in the final minute on a 15-yard pass from Duhe to Eric Gustafson.
Duhe finished 12-of-31 for 144 yards.
"Defensively we must be more focused and get a better pass rush," he said.
The Rockets had a 23-10 first down advantage and out-rushed the Rebels 405-113. Palumbo, who rushed for 102 yards and passed for 36 yards more, said "We came out with a strong second half and that was when we really began to jell as a team."
Andy Peterson finished with 190 yards on 18 carries while Jeff Peterson had 100 yards on 11 carries. Donatelli finished with 11 tackles.
"A positive of this game is that our kids stayed in it," said Crestview coach Paul Cusick, "but defensively we had breakdowns with too many missed tackles, which you can't have against a great running team like Lowellville."
Keith Baker led the Rebels with 65 yards on nine carries.