The Rockets contained Mustangs to minus-27 yards in the first half en route to a 41-6 win.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
LOWELLVILLE -- Lowellville High senior football linebacker Anthony Donatelli said Mathews' offense is "confusing."
On Saturday, the Rockets solved the puzzle pretty quickly.
Lowellville held the visiting Mustangs to minus-27 yards in the first half, and opened a 41-0 lead en route to a 41-6 Inter-County League win.
"We made some good reads and the coaches called a couple blitzes," said Donatelli, who had an interception, a fumble recovery and three tackles for losses. "I guess I was in the right position."
Jeff Peterson ran five times for 45 yards and three touchdowns for the Rockets (5-0, 2-0).
His older brother, Andy, did not play due to a mild ankle injury.
Nine carry the ball
Lowellville out-rushed Mathews 325-34 and nine different Rockets carried the ball. Senior running back Dan Ricottilli had six carries for 71 yards and senior quarterback Mike Palumbo added 68 yards on six carries.
Palumbo also completed 2-for-4 passes for 27 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Meehan.
Ryan Goist had nine carries for 59 yards and a 7-yard touchdown, and junior quarterback Buddy Dorney had six carries for 58 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.
Adam Hughes scored a 5-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter for Mathews (1-4, 0-2).
"They have some good athletes and [Mathews coach] Jim Parry is putting together a nice program, they just don't have the numbers to match up yet," Lowellville coach John Protopapa said. "We just wanted to run the ball and do what we what do best."
Junior lineman Steve Carchedi had a sack and three tackles for a loss for the Rockets. Ed Barrone and Meehan had interceptions and Brian Wharry added two tackles for losses.
The win served as a tune-up for Lowellville, which visits reigning ICL champion South Range on Friday and then plays host to Springfield the following week.
Protopapa has not beaten either team in his three years at Lowellville.
"Those teams are never down," Donatelli said. "They never had bad years. Those are must-win games for us and they're statement games.
"Coach has built a good program here and everyone has a winning attitude. That attitude is just contagious. Winning is contagious."
The Rockets last won a league title in 1995, but were the pre-season favorites this year.
"We've had everyone gunning for us, but that's a good feeling," Donatelli said. "We've got our two toughest games ahead of us, and we're definitely going to be up for them."