By TODD PORTER
Super heroes took over the field at halftime at Memorial Stadium. Boardman High School’s marching band put on quite a show, complete with Batman, Robin, Spiderman and Superman.
Too bad they were out of eligibility. Boardman’s football team needed the help.
Hoover played perhaps its best game in three years and put a 42-20 shiner on Boardman. The Spartans had five turnovers.
Hoover’s dominating win was Boardman’s first league loss, creating a wide open Federal League race. McKinley leads the league at 3-1. GlenOak, Perry and Boardman are each 2-1. Hoover is 2-2 in the league.
“I think for a half of football, we were as sharp as you can be offensively,” Hoover coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “We were creating turnovers on defense, and we took advantage of them.”
The Vikings were dominant in the first half, but then things got crazy in the final two minutes. Hoover scored three times in the final 2:09, including 14 points in the last 30 seconds to take a 42-7 halftime lead.
Quarterback Dom Iero scored four rushing touchdowns before halftime and he threw two others. Iero finished with 255 yards passing and completed 11 of 14 passes. Iero also ran for 87 yards on 15 carries.
Hoover needed all of four plays to stun Boardman and take a 7-0 lead. That four-play drive covered 63 yards and took 53 seconds. Iero completed passes of 27, 11 and 15 yards. On first and goal from the 10, he stepped up into a seam and scored for a 7-0 lead.
Three plays after Hoover scored, Boardman fumbled and Dylan Sanderson recovered for the Vikings at the Spartans’ 21.
Iero was back at it. He hit Alex Binnie for 9 yards. Then Iero kept it on the next two plays and scored from the 4 on a draw for a 13-0 Hoover lead.
“When you get off to a start like that, the other team’s morale takes a hit,” Iero said.
“That quarterback is a heck of a high school quarterback,” Boardman coach Mark D’Eramo said. “He’s going to be a great baseball player at Akron. He’s just competitive.”
Boardman answered with a score on a drive that was mostly Turel Thompson. He scored from the 4.
But Iero still was throwing darts at the bull’s-eye. He hit Luke Grandjean on the first play for a 62-yard TD pass. Then Iero connected with Binnie for the conversion and a 21-7 lead with 5:35 left in the first quarter still.
Boardman had a chance to cut it to 21-14. Quarterback John Babos carried for 55 yards to the Hoover 1, but lost the ball on a jarring hit by Jake Garfield, and Nick Graham recovered for the Vikings in the end zone. Babos and Thompson, however, missed the second quarter with injuries. Babos returned in the second half.