SVSM speed too much for Eagles defenders
By Tom Williams
Already rolling, the Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary football team enjoyed a second quarter for the ages.
The Irish scored touchdowns on their first three touches in the second 12 minutes in Saturday’s 54-14 victory over Hubbard in the Division III, Region 9 semifinal at Fitch Falcon Stadium.
The Eagles (8-4) were unable to stop the Irish combination of quarterback Clayton Uecker and wide receiver Fransohn Bickley, who hooked up for four touchdown passes in the first half.
“It didn’t feel real; it felt like a [nightmare] almost,” Hubbard senior lineman Tyler Korenyi-Both said. “I felt like we were always a step behind them.
“They had that one step of speed that we did not have.”
Asked if he was surprised after the Irish (10-2) scored on their first six possessions, head coach Dan Boarman said no.
“We can play with anybody,” Boarman said. “I’ve told them all year — the only people who are going to beat them are themselves.
“We’ve got some kids who can play football,” Boarman said. “When they come ready to play, nobody can stop us.”
Ahead 19-7 after Bickley scored on receptions covering 14, 14 and 10 yards, the Irish broke the Eagles when Eric Prologo intercepted a Brandon Harb pass and returned the ball to the Hubbard 4.
On the next play, Parris Campbell Jr. scored. Following Hubbard’s next punt, Bickley caught Uecker’s next pass near the Hubbard 35 then shed two tacklers for a 68-yard score.
Another Hubbard three-and-out set up the Irish’s next big play as Mike Pruiett raced for a 74-yard touchdown.
Uecker, who completed 16 of 20 passes for 309 yards, agreed this was his best performance of the season.
“It felt great,” Uecker said. “I’m just looking forward to next week.”
The Eagles (8-4) were unable to stop the Irish’s potent offense. SVSM ran the ball 30 times for 255 yards.
After watching the Irish score on their first two possessions, the Eagles climbed back into the game — briefly. The Eagles produced a 63-yard, nine-play drive capped by Harb’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Tate that sliced the Irish lead to 12-7.
Moments later, Bickley caught his third touchdown pass.
“They were one of the quickest teams I’ve ever played,” said Harb who also plays safety. “The angles to get on them was real hard [to figure]. We didn’t see that very often this year.”
Harb said the Eagles’ offense felt some jitters.
“We didn’t come ready,” Harb said. “The coaches did their jobs. As players, we got nervous. We mixed up some calls a lot and that’s what happens.
“Their defense was real good,” Harb said. “We couldn’t get outside on them. Their defensive ends kept their responsibility — they [forced us] inside; that’s all we could do.
“We resorted to passing, but that didn’t work.”
Sophomore Larry Scott ran 29 times for 144 yards. Harb had 16 carries for 22 yards.
Scott’s 1-yard touchdown run was the only scoring in the fourth quarter.
“I wish we could have gone further as a team, but we [won] what we could,” Harb said. “We did better than most Hubbard teams in the past, so I’m proud of that.”