By John Kovach
CAMPBELL — After being clobbered by Girard last week, 40-7, the Campbell Memorial High football team needed to come back with a quality win over Newton Falls Friday night in order to get its season back on the right track.
The Red Devils did exactly that as six players got into the scoring act while their offensive and defensive lines outplayed the Tigers in the rain at John Knapick Field for a 38-7 victory in an All-American Conference Blue Division game.
The win moved the Red Devils into sole possession of second place behind Girard, which already has clinched the division outright.
Speedy senior running back Darrio Bivens led Campbell’s attack by participating in two touchdowns and rushing for 147 yards in nine carries, as the Red Devils built a 12-0 halftime lead and added 26 points in the second half for a 38-0 advantage before yielding seven points late in the game.
Bivens raced 42 yards for one TD and took a lateral from junior quarterback Lester Hughes and fired a 24-yard scoring pass to Alex Lopez, while Hughes also hit Richard Bledsoe on a 34-yard TD strike.
Nick Golec, Jales Hughes (Lester’s younger brother) and Darek Carter also scored TDs for the Red Devils on runs of 14 yards, 14 yards and 1 yard, respectively, while Alex Sudacov kicked two extra points.
“This was a big difference from last week. We played a much better game,” said coach Jeff Bayuk of Campbell (6-3, 4-1 ACC Blue Division). “It was a big step for us. It was important to beat a quality team.”
Bayuk said his team came out with determination, especially the offensive line.
“I thought we hit hard and were very aggressive. Our offensive line did a great job. We pushed them around and created a lot of seams for our runners,” said Bayuk. “Our backs were able to cut back from their normal route.”
Bayuk singled out all six offensive linemen for an outstanding job of opening holes: John Sikora, Dave Guidos, A.J. Kelly, Mike Brooks, Nikitas Tsikouris and Stephen Horvath.
But Campbell’s defense was equally tough and determined.
“We had too many turnovers and they took advantage of them,” said coach Greg Lazzari of Newton Falls (6-3, 3-2). “We set up four scores for them.
“It wasn’t their speed. We are not a slow team. But we were playing poorly on both sides of the ball. We did not show up to play — all 11 [players].”
Lazzari also blamed his team’s lack of adjustment to the rain.
“I don’t think we handled the weather very well. We didn’t play up to our potential,” he said.
Newton Falls averted a shutout when quarterback Matt Brazin raced 3 yards to a TD and Joe Spletzer added the placement with 31 seconds left to cap a five-play, 68-yard drive.
Brazin rushed for 72 yards in 14 carries while John Davis added 65 yards in 15 attempts to pace the Tigers who, however, had zero passing yards.
Hughes was 3-for-6 passing for 47 yards and no interceptions, while Golec chipped in with 41 yards in eight runs to aid Campbell.
The Red Devils got their first score with the help of Raul Pizzaro, who recovered a teammate’s fumble at the Newton Falls’ 25-yard line.