Game of the Week

IVC opener goes to TCC over much improved Strasburg squad

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At halftime of the the IVC opener between Strasburg and Tuscarawas Central Catholic (TCC) the score was dead even at 21.

Strasburg just scored a crucial touchdown on third and goal from the 10-yard line with 13 seconds left in the first half and raced to the locker room with momentum leaking off them.

The Tigers then got the ball to start the second half and used a pretty little punt fake to keep a drive alive and then ended up inside the TCC 10-yard line banging at the door for another score.

However, that drive stalled at the TCC seven yard line with a fumble and all that mojo the Tigers had built, was bursted.

The Saints, after the massive defensive stance to start the third quarter, then went out and scored three highlight-worthy touchdowns to propel them to an IVC win, 41-21.

On TCC’s first two drives they turned the ball over and the Tigers jumped all over the opportunity to take a lead in the game. Capitalizing on both Saints’ turnovers was Strasburg running back Jared Burnworth who scored two first quarter touchdowns, one from five yards out and another from two yards to put the Tigers up 14-0. (video)

The Saints would then score 21 unanswered points, starting with an Austin Dick 1-yard run that made the score 14-7 with 2:50 left in the first quarter. TCC found out if they held on to the ball they would have an easier time finding the end zone against Strasburg. (video)

TCC (3-1,1-0) scored the next two touchdowns to take back the lead 21-14 over Strasburg on the golden arm of quarterback Dean Green and the powerful running of Brandon Ledbetter. Green floated a pass from the Strasburg 35-yard line that wideout Nathan Price went up and got and then shook a tackler for a score with 10:47 to play in the second quarter. Then, with 5:47 to play in the second the Saints called on their big back Ledbetter to crash into the end zone with authority from four yards out.

The Strasburg lead was gone as the Ledbetter score put the Saints up for the first time of the game 21-14.

The Tigers went nowhere with their next drive, but got another TCC turnover and like they did twice in the first quarter, Strasburg got another score off a turnover.

Strasburg (2-2, 0-1) drove the ball all the way to the TCC 1-yard line, but took a penalty that backed them up to the 10-yard line. No worries, Strasburg’s sophomore quarterback Jerrod Willoughby hit Garnet VonKaenel with a pass on third down, the extra point was good and the Tigers tied the game right back up with 13 second left in the first half.

When all the momentum was ripped from the Tigers after their gorgeous drive to start the second half that stalled at the TCC 7-yard line, TCC’s shifty QB Green took over.

With 4:34 to play in the third quarter Green romped for a 41-yard impressive touchdown run and then with 1:19 to play in the third he hit his favorite target Beau Beamer for a 10-yard TD pass. (video) The two scores in the third put the Saints up 35-21 after three.

To cap the night of scoring for the Saints, Beamer and Green hooked up again, this time from 47 yards, but is was Beamer who did most of the work. The dangerous receiver went up and snagged a ball away from the Strasburg defenders and then made several Tigers miss as he spun, deked and juked his way to the end zone. The extra point was blocked, thus the final score being 41-21.

Four Downs
1. Beamer and Dick were seen all night catching passes along the sideline and their quarterback Green was able to find them early and often. The run after the catch though is what made the receiving duo so dangerous. Beamer had five receptions for 98 yards and scored twice. Dick had a game-high 135 yards on five receptions.

2. Green had all day and sometimes weeks in the pocket to pass or scramble. He usually made the right decision and the decisions usually hurt the Tigers’ chances of sticking with Green and the Saints. In all, Green threw for 302 yards and completed 13 of his 22 passing attempts.

3. Strasburg’s Burnworth led all rushers on the night as he tore up the turf for 155 yards on 25 carries. When the Tigers ran the sweep play and Burnworth got a head of steam moving forward, you didn’t want to be the Saint trying to drag him down.

4. Strasburg threw for just 33 yards in the air compared to TCC’s 302.

Man in Motion – OhioSportsTicket.com Player of the Game

The three-headed monster of Green, Dick and Beamer are going to be tough to stop in the IVC and all three had stellar efforts. However, the player of the game goes to Green. So many times in the win, the TCC quarterback showed he’s a dual threat to run, throw the short pass and also unload a pretty-looking deep ball. To go with his 302 yards passing, Green scrambled for a team-high 96 yards.

Sideline Buzz

Fifth-year TCC head coach Casey Cummings on his weapons at quarterback and receiver.
“We are a big play team. We have a lot of guys that can make big plays. That’s what they do.”

Cummings on handing an early lead to Strasburg with the turnovers.
“That’s exactly what we did against Lisbon Anderson. They had the speed and weapons to eventually take us out. (TCC loss to Lisbon Anderson in week one 59-35) We did respond eventually tonight, but it wasn’t easy.”

Cummings on TCC’s big stop on Strasburg’s opening drive of the second half.
“That was the turning point in the game. That stand right there was the difference in this football game.”

Strasburg coach Kevin Pollock on his team’s effort against TCC.
“Our whole idea this year is to show people that we are not just going to roll over and take it anymore when we’re taking it on the chin. I just told the guys that we’re getting there and we are in games, we just don’t know how to win yet. We have to learn to finish and get over that hump. We’ve done an awesome job of not laying down. I give our guys an ‘A’ for effort tonight.

Coach Pollack on the drive to start the second half that the Tigers didn’t score on.
“It was the entire game. It was the whole game.”

Coach Pollack on the getting the big score before halftime.
“We went up 14-0 and then we tried as hard as we could to shoot ourselves in the foot. We jumped offsides, we fumbled and did a billion other things to try not to score. But, we showed resilience getting that score before the halftime. If it’s 21-14 instead of 21-21 at halftime, that’s a totally different game.”

Video of the Night

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