By Jim Flick
The Youngstown Christian High football team held Pymatuning Valley scoreless in the second half in Saturday’s 31-17 victory at Cardinal Stadium.
Eagles senior running back Anthony Abeid gained 166 yards in 23 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Junior Ryan Grier gained 119 yards in 12 carries and also smashed into the end zone twice.
Quarterback Emmit Underwood completed only one of six passes, but Grier carried that screen pass into the end zone.
Pymatuning Valley quarterback Josh Adkins completed 12 of 20 passes for 237 yards.
Youngstown Christian coach Brian Marrow credited his “guys in the trenches” for the win, praising both the offensive and defensive lines.
Marrow credited fullback Drevon Green for clearing cleared the way for his teammates.
Pymatuning Valley coach Neal Croton said the size and determination of the Eagles’ linemen caused problems.
“It was awfully hard for them to move kids that big,” Croton said. “They weren’t only big, they were physical. They made plays.”
Youngstown Christian’s defensive line was virtually unstoppable, Croton said. “No matter what front we played, we couldn’t stop them.”
Stopping Pymatuning Valley’s running game made it difficult for the Lakers to run an effective passing offense, Croton said. “When a team knows you’re going to do something, it’s hard to do that.”
On offense, the Eagles ran the ball so well they didn’t need a passing game, Croton said.
“We couldn’t stop their run.”
The Eagles took an early 3-0 lead when senior Dom Polite kicked a 26-yard field goal.
But the Lakers struck back quickly. On their second offensive play, Adkins tossed a 71-yard touchdown pass to Quinton Ratliff.
The Eagles regained the lead when Abeid scored on an 8-yard run.
Austin Nowakowski’s 25-yard field goal and another touchdown pass to Ratliff put the Lakers ahead, 17-10.
Youngstown Christian tied the score in the third quarter when Abeid ran 5 yards for a touchdown.
Grier’s touchdown catch put the Eagles ahead for keeps.