Big Red still king of Spartan Stadium
Steubenville turns in a shutout against Boardman, repeats state performance
By Jacob Ruffo
Steubenville defeated Boardman in Spartan Stadium the same way the Big Red handled Ursuline in the same place last year.
The silver-clad Boardman Spartans fell at home Friday night to Steubenville, 28-0. It was the same score Steubenville put up against the Irish when Boardman was home to the Division IV state semifinal.
Boardman quarterback Mike O’Horo was sacked five times. The team ran for negative yards and had a punt blocked. The Steubenville (4-0) defense terrorized O’Horo all game, forcing him into four turnovers, including three interceptions.
“Turnovers cost us this football game.” Boardman coach Joe Ignazio said.
O’Horo could attest to the Big Red’s defensive dominance.
“We kind of knew they were really good at disguising stuff and blitzing a lot.” O’Horo said. “We had to check a lot of plays at the line. We could only throw short routes and we didn’t run the ball real well. It’s hard to block eight guys when we only have five.”
Ignazio was much more critical of his players.
“We have to try and make these kids tougher,” he said, “That’s what we need.”
The physical defensive front of Steubenville stifled any attempt at running the ball for Boardman. Their leading rusher, Koby Adu-Poku, had 11 carries for 25 yards. His longest rush was for 16 yards. O’Horo was also hit a lot in the game, getting tackled 11 times.
For nearly the entire game, Steubenville’s drives started in Boardman’s territory. They had drives start at Boardman’s 25, 44, 17, 25, and 23, respectively. However, Boardman had most of their drives start deep in their own territory.
“It’s definitely hard always playing with your backs against the wall,” O’Horo said. “We as an offensive unit have to get better and just focus on moving the chains ten yards at a time.”
Steubenville’s line also controlled the game from the offensive side of the ball. They had much more success running the ball, accumulating 94 yards. They also blocked much more effectively for their quarterback Javon Davis, allowing him to stay in the pocket longer and survey the field more. With a much more defined pocket, Davis had a much better game. He threw for touchdowns of 15, 41 and 21 yards. Two of those touchdown passes went to Charles Reeves and one went to Dajuan Jones.
Boardman falls to 2-2 on the season after the loss, and hosts Perry next week.