Irish start out strong, hold to beat East

By John Bassetti


In a game in which the continuous clock ran for a few minutes when Ursuline took a 34-0 lead early in the second half, East battled back within 15 points before losing, 40-19, on Friday night at Rayen Stadium.

Joe Floyd scored twice on runs of 10 and 43 yards and the senior caught a Jared Fabry pass for a third touchdown covering 23 yards to lead the Irish (1-1), who out-gained East, 480-241.

Floyd’s 32 rushes resulted in 238 yards, while East quarterback Thomas Steele completed 13 of 26 passes for 214 yards for the Golden Bears (0-2). Ilijah Donley led East’s rally with three consecutive TD catches from Steele that covered 54, 5 and 21 yards. Donley, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, finished with four receptions for 95 yards, while Carlos Jones had four for 71 and Marcus Finkley three for 29.

Implying that Ursuline may have been less than full strength in the third quarter, Floyd said he wasn’t too concerned about the shrinking scoring margin when the Golden Bears pulled within 34-19.

“No, coach [Larry] Kempe told us that we’d have freshmen and sophomores in, but then we had to get back in in the fourth quarter and do what we had to do,” said Floyd, Ursuline’s 5-11, 210 running back and linebacker.

Despite having 24 first downs to East’s 12, Ursuline had 10 penalties for 125 yards to East’s seven for 65.

For a second week in a row, East coach Brian Marrow said that the fourth quarter wasn’t kind to the Golden Bears.

“Just like last week, it was tight until the last three minutes, then we gave up three touchdowns and that kind of killed us,” Marrow said of a 41-7 season-opening loss to Boardman. “But [tonight] our kids didn’t hang their heads and we challenged them at halftime to come out and show their pride and fight back and that’s what they did.

“I’m disappointed in losing, but we have a lot of work to do. A lot of people say it’s not about winning, but we do want to win; there are things a lot more important right now. We got to get it rolling.”

It wasn’t until the second half — after some adjustments — that East was able to take advantage of Donley’s talents.

“We had a few injuries on our line, so we had to make some adjustments to get some protection [for Steele],” Marrow said. “When we did that, we were able to get Donley the ball. Our young kids are fighting and that’s all you can ask for.”

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