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Schadl sparks McDonald win

Staff photo / Brian Yauger McDonald quarterback Dom Schadl runs through the Leetonia defense Friday night.

LEETONIA — Going into Friday’s game between McDonald and Leetonia, both coaches agreed that the rushing game would be crucial.

Blue Devils quarterback Dominic Schadl proved to be the X-factor for McDonald, rushing for six touchdowns as the Blue Devils beat Leetonia, 41-24, in the quarterfinal round of the Division VII, Region 25 bracket.

“He’s a gamer man, the kid’s unbelievable,” McDonald coach Dan Williams said about Schadl. “We’ve been riding him, and the whole team’s been on his shoulders the whole year. … We had some guys make some big plays with catching the football and then (Nathan) Gilligan and (Logan) Hawk, that one-two punch off of Schadl. They both do a great job as well.

“Our offensive line blocked really well. They’ve been doing that all year and, we’ve just got to continue and just keep improving as the weeks come.”

The Blue Devils dominated the first half, with Schadl rushing for four touchdowns and had 157 yards on the ground.

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Leetonia senior Jaedon Finley, left, runs upfield on a punt return while being chased down by Nathan Sierra of McDonald.

“We’re just so proud of this group,” Leetonia coach Paul Hulea said. “With what happened in the first half, to come out and play the way we played in that third, we just in all phases we played outstanding in the third quarter. I’m really proud of this group and I’m proud of our seniors.”

Leetonia running back Marco Ferry wasn’t able to do much in the first half, tallying only 56 yards on the ground, which is exactly what McDonald’s strategy was coming in.

“We surrounded him,” Williams said. “That was our thing coming in, we had to surround him and gang tackle him. He’s a hell of a player. He broke a few in the second half and showed how good he was.”

However, Ferry was a big part of Leetonia’s offensive spark to kick off the second half.

The Bears scored on their first drive, with Ferry rushing in from 10 yards out.

After a McDonald fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Leetonia regained possession and drove down the field again. Ferry had a 34-yard rush that put the Bears on the 1-yard line. A few plays later, Ferry crossed the line and scored again.

Leetonia continued to close the gap, as quarterback Dylan Lennon hit Jaedon Finley on a 39-yard strike.

Schadl sealed the deal for the Blue Devils on the ensuing drive however, rushing in on a 39-yard scamper to make it 41-24 after the missed extra point. The senior quarterback was proud of his team’s performance.

“I think we played good especially offensively,” Schadl said. “Other than early in the second half where we started to let up a little bit. They got that onside kick, and then the fumble, so other than that I think we played a near-perfect game offensively and defensively.”

McDonald has to wait a day to find out their opponent as the game between Lucas and Independence was postponed to today because of inclement weather.

If Lucas advances, it’ll be a rematch of last year’s first-round matchup where McDonald lost 21-20 in overtime. If Lucas is the matchup, Schadl is excited to get another crack at them.

“That’s what we’ve been waiting for,” he said. “They were like our kryptonite last year. They beat us in two sports by a combined three points, so we’re hungry to get a win against them.”

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