CHARDON OH- Both teams started off the season with impressive wins, but only one could continue the winning streak during Friday’s game between the Chardon Hilltoppers and the Ursuline Irish. The last time these two teams met was in 2007 and 2008, with the Irish winning 35-28 and 42-0. This time however it was different.
The first big play was on Special Teams as Reagan Smith kicked the ball that was near out of bounds. It was then picked up by Andrew Bruce who went nearly 80-yards on the return. Few plays later, Chardon got on the board when quarterback Alex Henry took it in nine yards out making it 7-0.
The game seemed to have been all Chardon after as they would put up 33 points thanks to touchdown runs by Henry, fullback Sean Carr and Daniel PettyJohn. The Irish looked defeated at that point. However, that would change as after a struggling first half and an interception early on, quarterback Brady Shannon bounced back off of a play action, finding wide receiver Marc Manning for a 44-yard touchdown making it 33-7. Ursuline got the ball back under a minute and got his second touchdown pass finding Jakylan Irving in the back of the endzone making it only a 20 point game now 33-13.
Later in the third, the Irish did it again as a end around sweep gave Manning an opening as he turned up the jets going 42-yards out to pader with the lead now cut to only 13. The Irish scored once more and this time it was DeMarcus McElroy who earlier had a huge run, but fumbled in the red zone. This time it was a makeup and with that, and a Smith point after, the lead was cut to six.
Chardon’s only point in the second half meanwhile was a field goal by All-Ohio Kicker Nathan Tager while Youngstown State commit and tight end Alex McDonald had a few catches but was silent throughout the day.
The Irish had one more attempt, but Shannon threw two costly picks with just under six minutes to go as the Hilltoppers, the reigning Division III State Champions moved to three and 0, defeating the Irish 36-27, with Ursuline falling to two and one.
Ursuline (2-1) will head back to the Valley to face the Austintown Fitch Falcons (3-0) at Greenwood Chevrolet Austintown Falcon Stadium. Fitch is two and 0 against the Irish the last two seasons. (27-7 in 2019), (56-28) in 2020. Game will be Friday at 7pm on YSN!!
Chardon (3-0) will host the Riverside Beavers (2-1) who are coming off of a 28-7 victory against Holy Name (1-2).
*Contributed by YSN’s Ian O’Brien*