Ryan Curry led the Irish with 176 yards and three TD's in the 33-13 win.
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- Ryan Curry rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns, and the Ursuline offense piled up 358 yards as the Fighting Irish defeated the Boardman Spartans, 33-13, last night at Stambaugh Stadium.
Curry, a junior, scored on runs of 38, 39 and 85 yards as seven Ursuline runners combined for 50 carries and 328 yards on the night.
"We're deep at running back and solid up front, and we feel that we need to be able to run the ball in order to be successful," Ursuline head coach Dan Reardon said. "Boardman is a much improved team from a year ago and we knew that going into the game. They play hard and with plenty of emotion and that was definitely the case tonight.
"We're a big formation team and look to run that against the opposition. We felt like we accomplished what we set out to accomplish tonight. However, good teams show the most improvement between weeks one and two and if we expect to do that, then we must work on some of the little things that weren't done to our satisfaction as a team tonight."
Scoreless first quarter
After a scoreless first period in which the Fighting Irish (1-0) failed to score on a 13-play drive while controlling the ball for all but 4:02 of the quarter, quarterback Bryant Youngblood raced in from a yard out with 2:32 remaining before intermission for a 6-0 Ursuline halftime advantage.
"[Bryant] Youngblood has been a three-year starter for us at several different positions. He's intelligent, understands the game and handles pressure really well," Reardon said.
After the Fighting Irish held the Spartans (0-1) on their first series of the second half, Matt Yarab scored on a 15-yard scamper on Ursuline's third play of the drive and when Youngblood added the two-point conversion, Ursuline built a 14-0 lead.
Ursuline's Elliott Stewart then recovered the Spartan fumble on the ensuing kick-off and two plays later, Curry added the first of his three scores for a 20-0 Fighting Irish advantage.
"We played an excellent first half, only to a shoot ourselves in the foot with costly turnovers after intermission," Spartan head coach D.J. Ogilvie said. "They (Ursuline) have tremendous athletes and when they put together long drives like they did tonight, it becomes tough to stop them."
The Spartans cut the deficit to 20-7 when quarterback Joe Bako scored from a yard out at the 1:04 mark of the quarter, but Curry's second touchdown run of the game, this time from 39 yards out, increased the Ursuline lead to 27-7 just 45 seconds into the final quarter.
Curry's 85-yard run at 8:12 of the quarter made it 33-7, but Boardman cut the lead to 33-13 when Bako scored his second touchdown of the game on a 12-yard run with 1:22 remaining.
Other rushing stars
In addition to Curry's rushing totals, Youngblood had 58 yards on 14 carries and Maurice Jones added another 54 yards on 11 totes for the Fighting Irish.
The Spartans had 138 rushing yards on 31 tries as senior Tyme Hammond, nursing a separated shoulder, came off the bench to rush for a team high 65-yards on just eight carries.
Bako was also three of six through the air for 56-yards as the Ursuline defense held the Spartans to just 194 total offensive yards on the night.