After slow start, Farrell scoots past Saegertown
By Bill Albright
The Steelers exploded for three touchdowns in the third period and they never looked back in winning, 31-0.
MEADVILLE — The only thing certain when Farrell and Saegertown squared off in Friday’s District 10-A semifinal was that one of the teams’ winning streaks was going to end.
After the Steelers opened the campaign with a pair of losses, they strung together nine straight wins, while Saegertown was 10-0 entering the game.
Obviously not awed by the impressive numbers of their opponent, the Steelers shook off a sluggish start as they rolled to a 31-0 win over the previously unbeaten Panthers.
With the win, Farrell (10-2) will meet Linesville (10-2) in the District 10 Class A title game next weekend. Linesville defeated Mercer 35-7 in the other semifinal game.
“Our defense stood tall once again tonight and I can’t say enough about our kids,” said Farrell coach Jarrett Samuels. “Tonight was the first game where everyone was on the field, I was hoping this would happen and we got a great result tonight.”
The first 18 minutes of the game was dominated by defense with a comedy of errors at times thrown in before Farrell took over on its own 45 following a Panther punt.
Four plays later, Farrell quarterback Dan Odem called his own number as he ripped into the end zone from six yards out for the score. Ramone West’s PAT made it 7-0 Steelers at halftime.
“The start of this game was a nightmare,” Samuels said. “But again, our defense kept us in it, our guys made plays when they needed to and once we got up, it was full throttle.”
The Steelers exploded for three touchdowns in the third period for a 25-0 lead, and they never looked back.
“I knew our guys were ready because last night during film study, the guys told me to turn the film off, they were ready to practice,” said Samuels. “I knew they were ready and I can’t say enough about their effort tonight.”
When asked what he said to his players at halftime, Samuels said, “There was not a lot of nice things said at halftime. I told the kids that they had to stay focused, I was excited, the coaches were excited and they had to calm me down at halftime. But the kids responded well, they came out and played hard and you can see what the result was.”
Five Steelers scored touchdowns: Dan Odem, Dion Eilam, Lamont Hailstock, Terrell Jackson and Malcolm Hailstock.
The workhorse on offense for Farrell was running back Terrell Jackson who carried the ball 16 times for 144 yards and one score, with Lamont Hailstock chipping in with 52 yards on just six tries.
Odem completed 4 of 8 attempts for 114 yards including a 52-yard TD connection with Eilam. Eilam hauled in a pair of Odem tosses for 59 yards, while Norman Blue also caught a pair of Odem passes for another 55 yards.
Although the Steelers defeated Linesville 27-0 in the regular season meeting, Samuels knows it is going to be more difficult the second time around.
“Their [Linesville’s] passing game is much improved since we played them the first time,” said Samuels. “They improved big-time and they are going to be a tough opponent for us. They are quick, but if our guys play the way they know how, we will get the job done again.”