Both Sharpsville and Conneaut were presented with opportunities
Sharpsville took advantage of those opportunities. Conneaut did not. And the end result was a 19-7 win for the Blue Devils on Friday night at Conneaut Area Senior High School.
“We had chances to score and we didn’t capitalize,” said Conneaut head coach Pat Gould. “We had plays that were open and we’d make mistakes. ... And then when (Sharpsville) was on offense, and when it’s time for us defensively to make a play, we’re not making them. (Sharpsville) did. And that’s the bottom line.”
The loss was the second in a row for Conneaut, which fell to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 in Region 1.
Sharpsville improved to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the region.
“I’m telling you, I think Conneaut is a nice team,” said Sharpsville head coach Paul Piccirilli. “They’re going to beat a lot of teams. To come up here and win on the road, that was a big win for our program going forward.”
There was one play that went Conneaut’s way. On Sharpsville’s second down on offense, quarterback Nick Henwood fumbled the snap and Conneaut’s Chris Richardson jumped on it, giving the Eagles the ball at the Blue Devils’ 36.
Five plays later, Conneaut was in the end zone thanks to a three-yard run by Elijah Anderton. The Eagles led 7-0.
By the second quarter, however, Sharpsville began to turn the tide. And they did it through the air.
“Honestly, when we played Mercer, we just pounded the ball like 95 percent of the time,” said Piccirilli. “And after we lost the game, coach (Len) Grandy, our offensive coordinator, said that we’ve got to spread it out and start putting the ball up. So that’s all we did all week. Maybe we caught (Conneaut) off guard.”
The Blue Devils embarked on a six-play, 70-yard scoring drive that featured two big completions by quarterback Nick Henwood, a 15-yarder and a 20-yarder, both to tight end Greg Popatak.
With Conneaut’s defense on its heels, the Blue Devils sprung Ben Bucher 25 yards into the end zone. Sharpsville’s holder muffed the snap on the PAT attempt, leaving Conneaut in the lead at 7-6.
That’s where the score would stay for much of the second quarter.
Conneaut suffered its first major missed opportunity in that frame, however. A botched punt attempt by Sharpsville set the Eagles up on the Blue Devils’ 15 yard line. However, in four plays Conneaut’s offense went back five yards, giving the ball back to Sharpsville with 1:24 left in the half.
Despite starting on their own 20 with very little time remaining, the Blue Devils weren’t going to go into the locker room quietly. The Mercer County squad commenced a remarkably efficient series of plays. And once again it was the passing attack leading the way.
Henwood went 4-for-6 for 78 yards during the nine-play drive. And facing a third down and 17, Henwood lofted a bomb into the end zone that was caught by running back Tyrin Peavy.
“It was just a Hail Mary,” said Piccirilli. “We had two guys down there. We said just heave it up there as far as you can. We tried to get it to the big guy (6-foot-4 receiver Derrek Smith) down there, but Peavy came up with it.”
Sharpsville went into the locker room leading 12-7.
The Blue Devils dominated the third quarter action, running 18 plays to Conneaut’s three plays. But it wasn’t until the start of the fourth that Sharpsville would revisit the end zone.
Once again, Conneaut had the Devils backed up, facing a third down and 22. Yet, once again Henwood sprung his squad. This time he fired a pass deep. And this time the Devils’ big target, Smith, reeled it in for a 33-yard completion, giving Sharpsville a first-and-goal on the 2.
“We threw a long ball to Smith and he’s just so big he can jump over everybody,” said Piccirilli. “And finally it worked. We’ve been trying it all year and finally it paid off.”
On the next play, Peavy dove in for the touchdown, making it 19-7.
Conneaut attempted to answer. On the Eagles next drive, they marched all the way down to Sharpsville’s 1 yard line. But the Blue Devils’ defense pushed them back. And Conneaut ran out of downs on the 2 with a little under five minutes to go. That was the ball game.
“We’re in situations where it’s long distances and we’re letting them have it. We can’t do that,” said Gould. “Their athletes are making plays, our athletes aren’t. And I don’t care who you’re playing, if you’re not making plays you’re not going to win. And that’s what’s happening right now. The plays are there, and we don’t execute them.
“I think we played a tough game,” he added. “We hit. We did a nice job that way. But that just can’t keep happening. We’re in trouble if it does. I mean, we’re in every game. We just can’t make enough plays to win them.”
Both Sharpsville and Conneaut were presented with opportunities
Big first inning leads Meadville to win over Saegertown
So, how does one go about beating the Saegertown baseball team? It’s a question that District 10 programs have been asking themselves for years now.
Taylor, Osborne lead Panthers to 12-1 win over CASH
Saegertown freshman Kendra Taylor had no reason to believe that Friday afternoon’s non-region softball game would go like any other.
H.S. Softball: Cards strike late for 2-0 win over Blue Devils
“You can wait around all day,” Cochranton head softball coach Mark McGuire said. “But when the moment is there and the opportunity is in front of you, that’s when you have to get it done.”
Gallo’s single lifts CASH to win in extras
“He got the hit because they were scared of Cole Baker,” said Cole Baker.
He was just kidding around ... probably.
Lynn leads Bulldogs over visiting Beavers
“It’s a good thing we have that little break for Easter,” said Meadville track and field coach Carl Roznowski. “That should give her a chance to rest up those muscles.”
Roznowski is talking about Bulldogs junior Jordan Lynn, who was a busy lady on Wednesday as the MASH boys and girls squads took on Corry in a Region 3 meet at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
Panthers stay unbeaten with win over Blue Devils
Saegertown’s run to the District 10 boys volleyball championship a year ago was anything but easy.
Needless to say, the Panthers have a little experience when it comes to dealing with tribulations. The Panthers put that experience to good use on Wednesday night in a Region 1 showdown.
Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.
Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles
The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.
Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs
Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.
Ogwumike goes No. 1
It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.
- More Sports Headlines
- Big first inning leads Meadville to win over Saegertown