GIRARD OH- Thursday night, we saw a high school football game like any other going into the 60s in scoring. Well, how about we repeat that but have a team go into the 70. That is exactly what we saw once again at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday when the Girard Indians who were ranked 66th in the DIV preseason poll took on the Streetsboro Rockets who were ranked in the top 10 in DIII preseason poll.
The first half was back and forth and the two powered offenses traded points. Girard opened their first scoring drive as Triston Valley threw a lob 8-yard pass to star wide receiver Dominic Malito making it seven to nothing. However, Streetsboro blasted off on their first drive led by star players in Lafayette commit Hunter Hopperton and Maysun Klimak. Klimak ended their drive with a two yard touchdown tying it at seven.
Later on in the second quarter just before halftime after a controversial call where coach Pat Pearson and the Indians thought that the clock hit zero after a halfback toss which led the Rockets all the way down to the Girard 10 yard line. The refs said that there was still one second left and the Rockets used that to their advantage as Klimak found Hunter Hopperton for a 10-yard touchdown tying it all at 28 going into the half.
However, what seemed like a big time shootout, became a one sided game fast. After a turnover on downs and a fumble by the Indians, there was no going back as the Rockets went to another Hopperton brother in Preston Hopperton where he scored two big touchdowns which were a 45-yard touchdown and a 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter. However even though the Rockets were now up by 21, Streetsboro would suffer a big loss in star quarterback and defensive back Maysun Klimak who limped off the field.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets brought in quarterback Colby Benjamin who got his first touchdown pass of the evening off of an 80-yard touchdown to Preston Hopperton, making the final score 70-35.
First downs: Streetsboro 23
Maysun Klimak: two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown (left game in second half).
Colby Benjamin: 3-3 for 123 yards
Triston Valley: 13-23 for 160 yards two passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown.
Chad McCrae: 13 rushing attempts for 134 yards. Hunter Hopperton 18 carries for 108 yards and three touchdowns.
Girard faces an old familiar rival as they will face the Liberty Leopards in the Battle of Belmonts return. Liberty (1-0) under new coach Joe Simon got their first win against Western Reserve 30-12. This is the first time the teams have met each other since 2018 where the Indians under Mark Waid beat the Leopards 42-12.
For Streetsboro, they host the West Geauga Wolverines (0-1) next Friday, who are coming off of a 24-17 loss to Bay.
*Contributed by YSN’s Ian O’Brien*