By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
The Ursuline Irish varsity players could have taken their post-game showers at halftime against Cleveland East Tech.
The Irish regulars, fresh off back-to-back state titles, pounded an undermanned Scarabs’ team for 33 first half points before turning the game over to the junior varsity and freshmen in a shortened second half.
The Irish (1-0) finished off East Tech with an impressive 40-0 victory on opening night at Youngstown State’s Stambaugh Stadium.
“For the first full game action, the good news is we are 1-0,” said Ursuline coach Dan Reardon. “Starting [today] we have to make sure we correct any of the bad stuff and keep the good stuff going.”
There wasn’t much of any bad stuff as Ursuline totally dominated an East Tech team that only dressed 14 players for the game. The second half of the game was shortened to eight-minute quarters.
To Ursuline’s credit they used a generic version of their potentially explosive offense and got plenty of players needed work without embarrassing East Tech. The Irish only threw three passes.
“We knew they were down in numbers,” Reardon said. “They had a few more guys that were dinged up in their scrimmages but we were anxious to get out on the field and see what we look like.”
Reardon saw his replacement for last year’s standout Allen Jones, Akise Teague, look as good as advertised in a short period of playing time.
Teague only handled the ball five times but scored three times, all on 6-yard runs. The senior also caught a pass from a wide receiver position.
Reardon said that Teague will see action at both positions and that suits No. 26 just fine.
“I like the versatility in our offense,” said Teague who had a standout state championship game last season both running and catching the football. “But tonight it was just fun to get back out on the field and go against a different color jersey in a game that counts in helping us get back to another state title game.
“That’s our only goal this season.”
Teague took plenty of his friends on the ride with him to the 40-point rout.
Junior Trevor Smith was the team’s leading ball carrier with seven carries for 61 yards and a touchdown.
The Irish also got touchdowns from junior Anthony Davis (11 yards) and Tramaine Thigpen (39 yards).
“The first series we were good but then we got a little careless the next couple of series,” Reardon said. “After that we got it cleaned up. We have some veteran guys on the line and they made nice adjustments on the run.”
Ursuline’s defense was equally engaging with its quickness and gang-tackling.
Irish defenders hounded East Tech into numerous mistakes and the Scarabs finished with minus-25 yards in total offense. East Tech didn’t get a first down until 3:59 left in the fourth quarter against Ursuline’s freshmen.
Reardon said that he put the Irish through a very long and physical summer camp to ensure that there was no letdown for this upcoming season.
“We have a good core of guys with a lot of game experience this year,” Reardon said. “Those guys need to step up and make sure they have great seasons for us this year.
“I know the kids were happy to get out here tonight and get things going.”