By PAUL TRGOVAC
YOUNGSTOWN -- After falling behind in the first minute of the game, the Mooney High football team scored two touchdowns in a four-minute span in the second quarter to defeat East Cleveland Shaw 14-7 Friday at Youngstown State University's Stambaugh Stadium.
On the second play of the game, Shaw's Harvey McDougal took a screen pass from quarterback Nicholas Jackson and went down the right sideline for a 76-yard touchdown. McDougal kicked the extra point as Shaw led 7-0 just 55 seconds into the contest.
On the second possession, the Cardinals (2-1) moved into Shaw (1-2) territory, but on the first play of the second quarter, McDougal stripped the Cards runner of the ball.
The tide turns
Momentum changed with five minutes to go in the first half, as Shaw had a fourth and 1 on the Mooney 49 and decided to go for the first down.
Shawn Booker took the hand-off and was tackled for a 2-yard loss by Mooney's Christian Lively.
"That was the pivotal turning point of the game," Mooney coach P.J. Fecko said. "Our defense had a great stand there and it changed the whole ball game."
Mooney then moved the 49 yards in just four plays with Ron Stoops running the ball twice for 25 yards.
Stoops also connected on a pass of 17 yards to set up Patsy Malie for the tying touchdown from 7 yards out. Dustin Hinkle tied the game with his conversion kick.
On the next Shaw possession, Mooney forced a forced a punt in three plays. Stoops returned the punt to the Shaw 40.
A Stoops pass to Dean Palombaro for 23 yards started the drive. Another completion to Will Simon put the ball on the 4 yard line from where Stoops found Brad Handle for six points. Hinkle's PAT kick gave Mooney a 14-7 halftime lead.
"[That] was very big for us," Fecko said of the touchdown. "Our kids did a great job on offense of clock management which allowed us to get the lead."
In the second half, Shaw never made it past midfield as the Mooney defense held Shaw to one first down and just six for the game.
Mooney allowed Shaw 179 yards of offense, 80 of those coming on the first drive.
"Our defense played well all night after giving up that big play," Fecko said.
McDougal picked up 77 yards in 16 carries while Jackson was 6 of 11 passing for 104 yards.
Mooney had 13 first downs. Stoops was 7 of 14 passing for 98 yards and also had 38 yards rushing in 14 carries.
Malie finished with 40 yards rushing on 21 attempts. Mooney finished with 177 yards of offense.
"That was one very good football team we played tonight," Fecko said. "[Mooney graduate and Shaw coach] Devlin [Culliver] does a great job. They were a physical ball club."