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Ursuline overcomes 10-point deficit to beat Mooney for 3rd straight


Ursuline overcomes 10-point deficit to beat Mooney for the third straight year

By Joe Scalzo


Don’t let the final score fool you. This was no pushover, even if Ursuline’s 44-24 victory was due in large part to the Irish offensive line’s ability to push Mooney over, down and around.

Even after the Irish had rebounded from a 10-0 deficit to take a 29-17 lead, there was a point when the outcome was in doubt.

Two plays after Mooney quarterback Jon Saadey had hit Marcus McWilson for a 45-yard gain, the Cardinals faced a second-and-5 at the Ursuline 26. Saadey rolled right to pass and Irish defensive back Tramain Thigpen released into the flat, eyeing Saadey to see if he would run or pass.

“I saw him pull his arm back like he was about to pass and I slid out there and caught it,” said Thigpen, who returned it 70 yards before getting caught from behind by Mark Handel. “I wish I could have scored but I was a little winded.”

No matter. On the next play, Thigpen scored from 3 yards out to end all doubt. And after Mooney answered with a quick touchdown? It was Thigpen catching the onside kick and returning it 27 yards to set up the final Irish touchdown.

“Our players and coaches talk about finishing games and that’s something we haven’t really done all season,” said Thigpen, whose school has won three straight over Mooney and four of five. This was our biggest game of the year and we played all four quarters, just how Coach [Larry] Kempe had us do it at practice.”

Mooney looked dominant early, taking a 10-0 lead on a 42-yard field goal by Laz Frisone and a 15-yard TD run by Justus Ellis-Moore, who missed practice this week with an injured shoulder. In between, the Cardinals recovered a hard pooch kickoff that bounced off an Ursuline player, allowing them to control the ball for the game’s first 81/2 minutes.

Ursuline (6-3) controlled the rest. Time and again, Irish quarterback Chris Durkin lined up in the shotgun and either handed it off to one of his talented backs or kept it himself. All three choices worked, with Durkin running for 137 yards and three TDs, Thigpen going for 73 yards and Jermaine Williams adding 86.

“Once we got rolling offensively, our offense did a fabulous job,” said Kempe. “They had a hard time stopping us and our defense was feeding off that.”

The win probably clinched a playoff berth for the Irish, who entered the game sixth in the Division V, Region 17 computer ratings and travel to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary next week.

“Coming into the game, we weren’t really thinking about playoffs; we were thinking about beating Mooney,” Thigpen said. “We’ll worry about the playoffs next week or the week after that.”

Added Kempe, “I think [senior lineman] Khalid Pierce put it well: one game at a time. We’re gonna go back to the shrine and celebrate and tomorrow morning we’ll get back to St. V’s and look to the future.”

For Mooney, this year’s future is limited to one game. The Cardinals (3-5) entered the game 14th in the Division III, Region 11 ratings and, like Ursuline last year, will fall victim to a brutal schedule that will leave them at home in Week 11.

“We knew they [Ursuline] were a good football team coming in and we got off to a good start,” said Mooney coach P.J. Fecko, whose team won last year’s Division III state title. “We had some momentum and let it slip away.

“They were able to establish the line of scrimmage and eat a lot of clock and move the ball. We did that in the first half but in the second half we didn’t do as well as we needed.”



Three in a row and four out of five, Ursuline beats Cardinal "Money"! Oh, the "Tippi" wives will be too sad to shop this Saturday! All the "Fortunate Sons" playing for CMHS, who have every advantage in suburbia, were smoked by kids who grew up with plastic spoons in their mouths. All those puffed-up fathers who were so proud as their sons rolled over inferior opponents in seventh and eighth grades got a reality check on Friday.

Hey Crestview, your turn is coming! Be afraid; be very afraid. The inner-city awaits!

posted 3 years, 3 months ago


I will always LOVE seeing Mooney lose. I will never forget the sight at the Rubber Bowl of the Mooney players mocking the Warren Western Reserve Raiders War Dance. They scored, won the State Championship, watched Ted Bell get his knee ruined, and forever had me rooting against them for their cheap shot and poor sportsmanship. GOOD JOB IRISH!!!

posted 3 years, 3 months ago

(1 comment)

At least those "Tippi" wives are paying their kid's tuition. Bet half of the Ursuline football team goes there for close to free! They have table set up for 8th graders checking out the school. Bucci responded a couple years ago about recruiting pointing out the fact that almost all of Mooney's team came up from Parochial grade schools. Ursuline probably recruits at JJC! Read a lot about Ursuline grads getting kicked off the team for discipline in college! Rumor had it your star back a couple years ago had to live with the coach, but got into trouble when he graduated and was on his own.

posted 3 years, 3 months ago


Hey are the "Wedgewood Rats", doing??? JJC and accusations of recruiting from someone in Austintown??? Oh man, that's funny!!!
The "Tippi" wives are able to pay their sons' tuition because, like Mitt Romney, they save money by paying 13% or less on their taxes.

posted 3 years, 3 months ago


From the looks of the game yesterday I'm not so sure Mr Love didn't come from JJC.

posted 3 years, 3 months ago


We showed class, pride, and TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP last night! Coach Kempe and his staff are to be congratulated, as well as our players!! Those boys went hard all 4quarters playing as a family. Keep up the hard work on the field & in the classroom! We are URSULINE!! Crestview, you best be getting prepared us, cause the Irish are coming!! :0

posted 3 years, 3 months ago


I have thought long and hard about this community and have decided that this "valley" is a horrible place to raise a family! Adults are low class thugs who have nothing else going on it their pathetic lives that to run down high school KIDS and create division and hatred in the community! I am putting my home on the market and moving as soon as possible. It was my misfortune to choose this town when we relocated here but I still have time to move my kids back to a higher class community . My kids hate it here and thanks to people life you, will NEVER return to Youngstown for anything! Congratulations!

posted 3 years, 3 months ago

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