Senior quarterback Walt Krezeczowski added two TD passes in the 35-0 win.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- A week ago, junior Nate Ganyard led Niles High with a tremendous defensive effort while tacking on 100 yards rushing.
Friday night the two-way performer was the offensive standout, rushing for 148 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns as the Red Dragons won for the second straight time, blanking East Liverpool 35-0 in a Metro Athletic Conference game at Bo Rein Stadium.
Once again Ganyard got support from senior quarterback Walt Krezeczowski, who added 96 yards rushing and passed for 95 more, including two touchdowns.
"We made some improvements tonight over last week," said Niles coach Phil Annarella. "We played hard tonight and when the kids play hard you have a shot."
Annarella described Ganyard and Krezeczowski as "tough kids."
"We've got a lot of tough kids and both of those kids are good athletes," he added. "But we still have to get a lot better, especially with the grueling schedule we have ahead of us."
Ganyard and Krezeczowski accounted for 339 of Niles' 420 total yards on the night, while the defense, which had some trouble stopping the Potters (0-2) in the first half, rebounded in the second half.
East Liverpool was held to just 17 total yards in the second half -- 6 rushing and 11 passing -- and had just one first down. For the game the Potters finished with 144 total yards, 71 rushing and 73 passing, with senior quarterback Joe Wines accounting for 118 of those yards, 73 passing and 45 rushing.
The Red Dragons scored on their first offensive possession, driving 62 yards in 11 plays, mostly on the ground.
Krezeczowski finished the drive with a perfect 20-yard pass to Anthony Mullen, who broke across the middle in the end zone.
The senior quarterback mixed up the offense a little more on the Red Dragons' second series, hitting Mullen with a 23-yard pass and then darting 22 yards on a keeper to put the ball on the Potters' 3-yard line. Ganyard went over on the next play for a 14-0 lead.
Niles almost pulled out a third scoring drive in the first half, driving from its own 17 to the Potters' 12, but on the final play of the half Teddy Sloban missed a 29-yard field goal attempt.
Strong second half
Niles took the second half kickoff and Ganyard took over the offense.
The Dragons drove 75 yards and Ganyard accounted for 72 of them on five carries, including a final 3-yard run for the touchdown.
Ganyard was shaken up late in the third quarter and did not play the final 12 minutes of the contest, only because he wasn't needed.
Krezeczowski opened the final quarter by driving the Dragons 54 yards and hit Vince Caicco with a 24-yard scoring pass.
When the reserves took over midway in the final quarter, Niles never slowed down.
Junior Vince Melillo took over at quarterback and used the running of Zak Stanton and Isaac Stanford to push the ball downfield. From the 4, Melillo kept it on a run and scored the final touchdown.
Neither team had a turnover until the final three minutes of the contest and then East Liverpool fumbled and lost the ball twice during that span before the Red Dragons finally ran out the clock.