HOWLAND, OH – The Boardman Spartans had a rough couple of weeks where they have given up 40+ points twice in a row. They wanted to make sure to put that in the past going into their Week 4 matchup against Howland. In the end, the Spartans would completely flip the script. It was them that would score 40 points en route to a dominant 40-13 road victory over the Tigers.
It only took the Spartans 1:05 into the game to get things going. Willy Torres would get 3 nice runs on the drive, including his 23-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 Boardman (missed PAT) with 10:55 to go in the first. The Howland Tigers, though, found a gameplan to try to rid their offensive woes from the first three weeks. Coach Steve Boyle implemented a wildcat-like offense led by their star wide receiver Nicholas Leasure. The plan would start off great for the Tigers as they marched slowly but surely down the field to set up a goal-line situation. Howland’s Nolan Rudesill then ran it in from 2 yards out, the Tigers’ first opening-drive touchdown of the season. They tried to take the lead, but the extra point was blocked to keep it a 6-6 draw after one.
Boardman then completely shifted momentum with three second-quarter touchdowns. It started off with the Spartans moving the ball by slowing the game down, completely opposite from their opening drive. With a goal-line situation of their own, Tomas Andujar ran it in from 2 yards out to make it a 13-6 Boardman game. Things really started heating up for the Spartans when Kejuan Robinson went off. He first hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Andujar and then a 25-yard touchdown one as the Spartans led by three scores heading into the break at 27-6. Robinson caught 9 passes for 126 yards (14.0 average) and 2 touchdowns. Andujar, on the other hand, went 11/13 (84.6%) for 155 yards and 3 passing touchdowns while gaining 110 yards on 20 carries (5.5 average).
Howland, though, came storming out of the gates to start the second half with more controlling wildcat action. An offense that had their best performance of the season so far with 236 total yards, they would put themselves in another goal-line set, with Leasure scoring a 2-yard touchdown to pull it back within two scores at 27-13. The Tigers would also be aided by 10 Spartan penalties for 105 yards. However, the Tigers had a tough time converting fourth downs and keeping key drives alive as they went 0/4 on the night.
Despite the adversity and a tough Howland defense, the Spartans just needed one spark. Facing a 4th & Long on the first play of the fourth quarter, Andujar connected with Torres for a 17-yard touchdown catch to pull it back up to three scores at 33-13. Then on the next drive for Boardman, Torres scampered down the field for a 26-yard to all but seal the dominating win. He would finish the night with 106 yards on 11 carries (9.6 average) for two rushing touchdowns along with his touchdown reception.
The Spartans will snap their two-game losing streak and improve to 2-2 on the year. They will look for two straight next week as they will travel to East. The Golden Bears (0-4) are coming off a 74-28 defeat to Akron Ellet.
The Tigers will drop to 0-4 loss as they have now lost nine straight dating back to September 24th of last year. They will now welcome the West Branch Warriors to town next Friday night in a rematch of a thrilling 37-34 heartbreaking defeat last season. The Warriors (3-1) are coming off a convincing 38-14 victory over Ridgewood.
*Contributed By YSN’s Noah Ricks