Cowboys’ improvement shows in rout of Mooney
YOUNGSTOWN — Chaney’s football team worked toward victory, ever since getting routed by Ursuline in Week 1.
Close calls against Howland and Austintown Fitch in the following weeks set them up for Saturday’s 30-0 victory over Cardinal Mooney in a Steel Valley Conference matchup at Stambaugh Stadium.
“They’re coming together great,” Chaney coach Chris Amill said. “We’re still a pretty young team, not having the scrimmages early hurt. Just to be safe, we did do the COVID testing so we did miss a week of practice there.
“Those three weeks of (2-a-days), we got two weeks of practice in, and missed the scrimmages. So, those first couple weeks were like scrimmages. I’ve always said we got the pieces. We just got to find the right place to put them in.”
Chaney (1-3, 1-3 SVC) had big-play abilities in Saturday’s game.
Cowboys freshman Cam Sly jumped on a Cardinal Mooney fumble. The next play, Jamie Melton went 73 yards for the score.
“The play started, and it’s like I didn’t see nobody — not one person,” Melton said “I was just going straight, so I kept pushing it.
“It’s like we got to click on. We know what we can do. After that touchdown, that made us realize that like, ‘OK, we can do that.’ It wasn’t even hard. We just had to play to our level.”
Cardinal Mooney (1-3, 1-3) botched a snap on a punt with less than a minute before halftime. The ball flew out of the end zone as Chaney earned a safety.
Jason Hewlett blocked a Mooney punt as Chaney led 9-0. He ran it back for another score as the Cowboys led 16-0.
The Cowboys continued to amass offense with a 49-yard TD reception by Bryant Douglas and a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Darius Humbert.
Chaney senior quarterback Delshawn Pestrosky was described as the “heart and soul” of the Cowboys by an excited Amill following the win.
“There’s a lot going through my head right now,” he said. “We came out. We played as good as we could. We started off the season 0-3, but we didn’t let that stop us tonight. We got our first W, and there’s many more to come.”
Pestrosky was 13-of-24 passing with 193 yards and a touchdown, in addition to 88 yards on 10 carries.
“Our biggest key is probably just our play,” he said. “Play. Do us. We make plays, really. We make a lot of plays. We got a lot of athletes on the field. Give the athletes our ball, and we’re going to be good.”
Cardinal Mooney coach Carl Pelini was short on words following the loss.
“Disappointing.” he exclaimed. “We just need to keep getting better, I mean shoot, it was a battle for the first half, and every time we had something going we had a turnover.
“The fumbles killed us. The bad snap on the punt killed us. It just gets us in a hole and then we got to start pressing and just, all year, that’s on me as a coach. We just got to clean it up, clean up our mistakes.”
Chaney tallied 408 yards of total offense, with Douglas recording 102 receiving yards.
Hewlett grabbed an old-fashioned cowboy hat from behind the bench as the clock began to wind down on Saturday’s game. He wore it with a massive smile as a way to celebrate the team’s victory.
He’s proud to be a part of the Chaney football program.
“It feels good, man,” Hewlett said. “We started off the season 0-3, but we know we’re way better than that. We know what we really can do.
“I’m very proud, because I know what coach Chris (Amill) done for other players in the past, putting them in college. I just know that he’ll put me in if I just work hard and do what I got to do.”