Spartans a winner -- again, now 2-1
Boardman overcame three turnovers in the first half against Chaney.
By GREG GULAS
BOARDMAN -- For the first time since the 2002 season, the Boardman Spartans have put together back-to-back wins.
Tyler Amendola rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns while Nick DeMarinis added 65 yards and another score Friday as the Spartans defeated the Chaney Cowboys, 21-7, at Spartan Stadium.
In what head coach D.J. Ogilvie hopes will serve as his team's breakout game, you have to go back 39 games and the third and fourth weeks of the 2002 season when current YSU signal-caller Tom Zetts was barking signals under center to find the last time the Spartans had posted consecutive victories.
"Our defense was phenomenal tonight, much like they have been all season," Ogilvie said. "Assistant coach [Mike] Popio has them playing great and they are responding to what he is teaching them.
"Three turnovers in the first half had me concerned because we were able to protect the ball in our previous two outings," Ogilvie said. "I am happy for the players because this has been a long time in coming.
"Both Amendola and DeMarinis had excellent games for us tonight on both sides of the football," Ogilvie said.
The last time Boardman put consecutive wins together was when they defeated Chaney, 42-27, then followed that the following week with a 35-28 decision over Ursuline.
A scoreless first quarter saw the Spartans fumble on the Cowboys' 1-yard line and then have a pass intercepted in the Chaney end zone.
Amendola capped an eight-play, 33-yard drive with his first score from 3 yards out. Erik Johnson's placement put Boardman ahead, 7-0.
On their next possession, Amendola's 1-yard plunge and Johnson's kick made it 14-0 at halftime.
The offensive line
"Our offensive line was awesome tonight," Amendola said. "We get the credit for running the ball but let me assure you all the credit goes to them for the holes that they opened tonight."
At the half, the Spartans rolled up 149 total yards (136 on the ground) while holding the Cowboys to 41 yards, all on the ground.
Chaney cut the Spartans' lead in half at the 3:11 mark of the third quarter when Terelle Tomlin scored from 28 yards out and Joe Morales nailed the placement kick.
The Spartans added an insurance marker in the final stanza, when DeMarinis scored from 35 yards out on his second touch of the night.
"There is no question that this is an improved Spartans team," Chaney coach Ron Berdis said. "They've made tremendous strides and believe me, it won't be a surprise to me if they make some noise this year in the Federal League.
"We're missing a couple spots here and there and we have to do a better job of protecting our quarterback, but we'll get through this and learn from tonight's game," Berdis said.
Victor Toney was 5-14 for 106 yards through the air for the Cowboys while, as a team, they managed just 97 yards on the ground on 29 carries.
The Cowboys had 203 total yards offense in the game.
The Spartans had 213 total yards with all but 13 coming on the ground. Amendola's 96 yards led all rushers while Spartan quarterback Joe Bako was 2-5 for 13 yards with two interceptions.